If you knew me when I was a teen, I would have never asked a partner or anyone that question. Simply because I wasn't confident of myself or who I was. I mean when all my peers grew boobs and wore grown-up bras, I was still in singlets (what you wear even before a training bra). I was a late developer and my mom and sis used to tease and said I was flat like a runway. Well, thankfully, I did develop and though I'm no bombshell or so, I started learning to be less self-conscious. It definitely didn't happen overnight but gradually over time, you do get wiser and you learn to love yourself for what you are.
People think that my muscular aka big calves are a result of running. Truth is, if you see my photos as a kid, I had big calves all along. I don't think the 4 short years of ballet contributed even to that. It's just genes from my Dad I think. My sissy has slim calves and when I stand next to her, mine look ginormous. So I used to hate my calves a lot, still don't like them but don't lose sleep over.
I have sweaty palms. And I mean sweaty. It's embarrassing when I meet new people and have to shake hands. Even as I type now, my keyboard is damp. My mom said that I used to leave wet feet marks on the floor as I scurried around as a toddler. Still do sometimes. It's genetic. I can go for an op for it, but I don't want to. B.T is the first guy to tell me that he doesn't mind it :)
I'm vertically challenged. I get teased a lot about it but I've learned to laugh along with it. In fact I get away with a lot of things by being short. Can you help me to reach that please? I fit into designer kids sized clothes, I can curl up comfortably on a coach class airplane seat and it's really not that bad being short. Sure, I would love to be taller with longer legs and not needing to alter the length of almost every pants or jeans that I buy BUT, I am not going to get hung up about it and feel insecure about my height.
I have such a bad sense of direction, it frustrates him sometimes. Everyone knows that I can't be counted on for directions and I almost always get lost all the time. I always laugh at myself, make it into a joke and hey, it's not that bad. It's a flaw per se but no one expects me to be perfect, so why should I?
If you look hard at my teeth, they are embarrassingly large. Someone once said that I have chicklet teeth. You know what chicklets are? Those white rectangular gums? Anyway, to let you into a secret, my front teeth are so large and my jaw small, that I had to extract 4 of my adult teeth when I was thirteen as it was getting overcrowded. Non of my wisdom teeth have fully erupted SO, if you do the math, I have only 24 teeth in my mouth when the standard is, yes, 32.
What I am trying to say is that nobody is perfect so don't beat yourself up if there is something or a few things about yourself that you don't fancy. If you think about it, I really do have a lot of imperfections and that's because I'm only human. But like I said, I learned to accept who I am, and love myself. Focus on the positives, focus on something about yourself that you like. There has to be at least one. It can even be skinny ankles, slim fingers or proportionately sized and shaped toes. I decide what I like about myself and stay focused on those points. People used to compliment me but I would always say something like Nah, it's just normal. I learnt to accept compliments graciously and say thank you.
To love yourself, it starts with being comfortable with who you are physically and allowing your personality to shine through. Look at yourself in the mirror and say that I love what I see and remember that the mirror piles on about 30% more weight onto yourself so in reality, you are skinnier than what you think.
If you can get over your physical hang-ups about yourself, it helps in pushing your confidence level up. I hate my calves but love my abs, nose and hair. Used to dislike my fine flyaway hair and always wanted straight hair instead of messy waves like mine. But now, I actually love my hair and think it's one of my best feature. I always invest in a good hair cut to make myself feel good, works on my abs and well the nose, I just try to keep it clean without uh blackheads and do those facial masks more regularly :P
Learn to laugh at yourself. Trust me, when you do, life becomes a lot easier. I get teased about my height and directions all the time but I learn to laugh along with it.
Everyone always has something that they are good at. It could be sewing or doing a sport or cooking or so. Do something that you love doing, and chances are, you'll get good at it and your confidence will go up as well. I might not be a Kara Goucher when it comes to running but I know I can accomplish the goals I set for myself. I love running, running makes me feel good and confident so I keep doing it.
Finally, clothes do make a person feel good about themselves. Invest in clothes that fit well and bring out your best features. Wear what you are comfortable wearing not what everyone else is wearing or what fashion dictates.
Love yourself, be confident and others will see it. And find someone who can love and accept you for what you are.