With age comes exposure and experience that help disabuse some of our self-critical beliefs and enable us to love what we once most hated about ourselves.
Who among us hasn't been haunted by someone's offhand comment about the way we look or act? For many, such comments follow them all the way from childhood and well into their adulthood as insecurities that stop them from embracing themselves for who they are and living life to the fullest. Thankfully, with age comes exposure and experience that help disabuse some of these self-critical beliefs and enable us to learn to love what we once most hated about ourselves. Hundreds of r/AskWomen community members recently came forward to address this phenomenon, by sharing the parts about themselves that they hated while growing up but have grown to love as adults in a heartwarming thread started by u/codependentweeb.
Here are the top 25 responses to the Reddit user's question, "Women of Reddit, what is something that you were really insecure about when you were younger, but have grown to love about yourself?"
"It's curls for me too. Growing up, nobody really knew how to take care of my curly hair and all my aunts would just insist on brushing it, straightening it, etc. I used to HATE my hair. But I've been learning how to care for it now and literal strangers will tell me how much they love my hair lol. I love it too now and I'm happy that if I ever have curly-haired babies, I'll be able to teach them how to love and care for their curls." — AloeVeraBuddha
"Being tall. I'm 6'1 and was called 'Big Bird' my whole life. It's hard for a little girl to be close to a half foot taller than every other boy/girl growing up! I've learned not to give two f**ks in my 30s." — crayshesay
"Wide shoulders. I can build more muscle, and be physically fitter than most unactive men." — workswithanimals
"Pale skin that doesn't tan. Tans were super fashionable when I was in school and the only time I got something resembling a tan was when I got burned very badly... and I merely turned a slightly darker shade of pale. I eventually accepted that I would never tan but still hated that I could not.
When I started exploring make-up in my twenties I realized that I would only ever need one shade of foundation because my skin never changes color. As time passed I became completely fine with my pale skin." — latebaroque
"My zebra stripes aka stretch marks. I've had them since I was 12 and I've been average or underweight all my life (aside from now, I'm 10 pounds overweight from Covid).
I used to not like them, but no one has ever said anything mean about it, so I just got used to it." — BlushButterfree
"My bigass Alaskan cheeks and flattish face that comes with my awesome heritage. I was always told by others and my white step mother I would never be desired. Well, they are actually seen as beautiful when I displayed my love for them. I started out joking about them to deal with my hate of them. Over time, I do actually love those features and changed my makeup routine to embellish them.
I also embrace my 'befriend the alone', I would always try to chit-chat with that one person that wasn't engaged in conversation in a group. In school, one or two were always alone. I was picked on enough and didn't want them going through it." — ParticularShirt6215
"My butt. I turned eighteen and moved to Los Angeles for college during the early 'heroin chic' 1990s. In those days, there was not a body to be seen anywhere in media that looked like mine, to say nothing of finding a pair of jeans that fit it. 36-26-40 at 5'6" was decidedly NOT in fashion.
Today, I see butts like mine everywhere. What Mix-A-Lot started, the Kardashians have well and truly finished, and I don't hate them for it. I also am married to a man who likes it and would like it to stay this way forever. That helped a lot." — lamante
"Being short. I'm 5"0 and during my formative years, I used to wear high heels and I always felt a little bit inferior because of my height. Now, I love myself the way I am and I have come to terms with my petite frame. Did you know that shorter people live longer? True story.
No, but seriously... I found my home in powerlifting - a place where my height was actually seen as an advantage. I also think it's beneficial sexually (being easier to manhandle, lol), and being this tiny... actually gives me the upper hand in some social situations. People tend to see me as non-threatening, which has been a great advantage in my line of work.
Also, I do own a stepping stool and with that, I feel like I can conquer the world!" — mywatchwoman