Dear Major Wannabe

Dear Poppy design created by Sydney Haulenbeek.

Dear Poppy design created by Sydney Haulenbeek.

Poppy, Advice Columnist

Dear Poppy,


As of right now, I’m having a really hard time not comparing my life and looks to other people my age. It’s especially hard because of the circumstances that we are in right now. I’m not really allowed to hang out with any of my friends due to COVID, but it really sucks to see so many people hanging out with each other on social media and I really wish that could be me too. I just wanna be as happy as these people seem, or even a fraction. However, I know that social media is not real life, and what people are posting does not reflect how they truly are doing, but it’s still hard for me to not compare and wish that were me.


It’s the same with my appearance. I am a person of color and I just can’t help but wish I looked different, with straight hair, lighter skin, and blue eyes. It really really freaking hurts to admit that but it’s true. I don’t know what to do about this. It’s so hard when every time I go on Instagram or TikTok there’s a girl that I will feel the need to compare myself to. What do I do? How do I stop comparing myself to others? Do you have any advice on just being content with who I am?


—Major Wannabe


Dear Major Wannabe,


Finding self-love is a long and hard journey that is different for everyone. It’s best to start with baby steps. I know many people who use positive affirmations every morning for a confidence boost. Before you go to bed, point out at least one thing you like about yourself. It can be a physical trait or personality trait.


However, affirmations don’t work for everyone. Personally, I remind myself that whenever I meet a new person or hang out with a friend, I’m not actively searching for their negative traits. I don’t look at someone and only see their faults, so why would I assume that others are trying to find faults in me?


As for missing your friends, I know it’s hard to be away from them, but there are other ways to hang out. A lot of people video chat with their friends or join a Discord server to play games with each other. I know it’s not the same as being with them in person, but it can still bring a little joy into your day. If you’re looking for safe ways to see your friends, try meeting with them at a secluded bookstore or empty park. Ensure that everyone wears a mask and remains socially distanced.


You mentioned that you didn’t like how you looked as a person of color. This self-hatred toward your physical appearance could be a result of internalized racism, or internalized oppression caused by society’s behavior toward you. You should know that you aren’t alone in this feeling as many people of color have this experience. It’s important to remember that there is a world of beautiful people who look just like you even if the media doesn’t represent that. You don’t have to fit someone else’s beauty standards to be worthy of love—especially self-love.


Not comparing yourself to others can be difficult, but I’d like to leave you with a challenge that will hopefully help you: once a week, log off of social media, and do something for yourself. You can read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or anything that makes you happy. However, make sure you are doing it for yourself—not family or friends. The first step to achieving self-love is actually getting to know yourself. Spend time alone and away from all the noise of the internet and school. With time, you can learn to love yourself unapologetically.


I believe in you.




Poppy <3