Born Beautiful story sharing @arbela_c

Posted by Hoan Nguyen on


Tell us about yourself in 50 words or less. We want to know one or two things that you'd want someone to know about you?

Hi! I'm a journalism & women's and gender studies student at Cleveland state. I work as an editor for a music magazine in Cleveland. I enjoy reading, writing and yoga!

What are you most grateful for in life?

The ability to learn and connect with people and know their stories -- as well as make a career out of it.

Who do you find beautiful – and what makes them beautiful to you?

My mother. She radiates positivity, strength and compassion through her actions as well as how she presents herself. Everyone I know finds her beautiful on the outside and then they realize how beautiful she is on the inside as well.

Was there ever a time that you felt ugly? What happened and how did you react?

Especially during high school, when I was conditioned to compare myself to other women and look at them as competition. That's when I really felt down on myself. I especially always second guessed how my hair looked and my identity was closely connected to that. Every time I saw girls with "better hair" I felt small and self-conscious. Overall, it affected the way I did other things in life.

Based on the time above, when did you realize that you were beautiful?

Beginning in college -- when I didn't have any boyfriends or posse of friends to influence me otherwise. I learned how to love the beauty inside me and partly was through learning my passion for writing and journalism. This is also when I started becoming more grounded in my own fashion sense and the way I present myself .

What makes you beautiful?

What makes me beautiful on the inside is I have a strong passion for the things I love to do. What makes me beautiful on the outside is the first thing as well, because it lets me have confidence in myself and therefore I'm able to explore more with my personal style, hair, and beauty routines.

How has your idea of beauty changed over the years?

I've become much more free and experimental. I used to define beauty as what was popular. Now I turned that around and instead, I try my best to lift other people up around me and gain inspiration from them. I try to mold myself into not a perfect human being, but a person who is beautiful in my own way that makes me comfortable and content. This means I don't necessarily need to force myself to be happy or positive, but rather strong and confident. I've had a lot of rough things happen in my life, but it's made me stronger and realize the meaning of true beauty.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

I would say, "stop caring so much". AKA stop caring about what others are saying, thinking or assuming. People are always going to talk and assume things but once you feel comfortable with how you want to present yourself, on the inside and out, you will be set free.

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