It’s only come with age that I’ve learnt that the only way to happiness is to stop comparing yourself to others. And boy, has it taken it’s time.

I spent the majority of my teenage years constantly bullying myself, telling myself I wasn’t good enough; I was too ugly, too shy, too awkward, too anything. I was constantly comparing myself to other women and this was the main reason for my unhappiness.

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It’s incredibly common for young women (and men) to feel this way and we can’t be blamed for it. It’s injected into our brain from a young age, to be the utmost best versions of ourselves which physically and mentally isn’t possible.

I figure I’ve always been into fashion because it was a way of being accepted. Of course, I love fashion, it’s the most wonderful source of inspiration, a way to silently express emotions and a great way to up your confidence but unfortunately some of the most fashionable girls I know are the most insecure and if I’m honest, it doesn’t surprise me.

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At age 18 I became insanely jealous of girls on Instagram. They were doing the things I wanted to do and wearing the clothes I wanted to wear. Now when I look back I figure I spent the majority of my time wanting to be them instead of going out there and actually being them. I was really miserable but did nothing about it other than complain – what a bitch, hey?

The problem is that there is very little others can say or do to make you feel any differently. Sure, your boyfriend can tell you you’re the prettiest girl in the world but until you actually start to believe it, it’s ineffective. It only comes with acceptance of yourself that you will start to see things differently.

Yeah, you can change your face with various cosmetic procedures (I did – but that’s another story) but no one can change your brain but you. Until you get out of the “I want to look different” cycle, you’ll never be happy. Look in the mirror and embrace the fact that no one has your face – work with it. OK, maybe you’re not generically beautiful but who the fuck is? Embrace that… find your angles, find your lighting, take a million selfies until you find the perfect one (no shame). If you believe you’re beautiful other people will believe it too. It might sound cliché but you’ve got to love yourself first before someone else can love you.

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In my first post I told you I have an incredibly healthy relationship with social media and that is now completely and utterly true. I follow over 3,000 people on Instagram, majority of whom are women and every day I feel so incredibly inspired and unless my brain is having a shit day, I’m rarely jealous. The women I follow are beautiful, they’re stylish and most of all, they’re all about girl power.

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If it wasn’t for the girls of Instagram I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m incredibly motivated thanks to many of those I follow. I spend less time being jealous and more time focusing on the person I want to be – a confident, fashionable, independant woman and that’s who I’m becoming.

It’s only within the last few years that I’ve started to accept myself for who I am. Of course, I’m not completely happy with the way I look and the way I think but I’m learning to embrace my flaws and the fact is I’m always trying to think positively and I couldn’t be prouder for doing so. Learning to love yourself is difficult but taking the time to look in the mirror and pointing what you like is so important.

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Everyone is at different points in their life and yes, the girl you’re jealous of may have 1,000 more followers than you but she’s earned that and good for her, she should be proud and you should support her. You’ll earn it too – just don’t sit around being jealous about it, go out and actually do something about it!

I’m Amara Howe. I want to be a fashion blogger because I believe I can inspire others.

What do you love about yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

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