When I was little, I used to think that celebrities were the embodiment of perfection. Every time I would see them on TV or read about them I would express in my mind my desire to be just like them.
As I got older, I started to see the bubble that was shielding them from reality. What we sometimes don’t realise is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, we struggle, some more than others. I wish that I knew this back when I was 16. I was so insecure and shy. I lacked self confidence to the point where I would think that I was worthless. In short, I wasn’t capable of loving myself. I used to envy everyone around me and saw beauty in each human whom I’ve crossed paths with but myself ( still do sometimes ). I would look at different celebrities and think Oh, I wish I was just like her/him, they’ve got it all figured out. If only I knew then how wrong I was. By the time I graduated I thought that I knew who I was, that I was ready for the real world. But let me tell you something that I would have liked to know back then, you’re never ready. I was just a 19 year old who was stepping into the real world and didn’t fully grasp the full meaning of that aspect. College life proved to be a difficult yet exciting change and for the past year I’ve grown so much as a young woman. I guess it’s true what they say that everything happens for a reason. The experiences that I’ve gone through so far have shaped my mind and soul so much that I no longer saw celebrities as inhuman. Of course they had fame and money but that didn’t mean that they were by any means happier than us. The more my blindness started to vanish the more I saw how vulnerable they truly are.
I’ve been a huge fan of Lily Collins ever since I saw Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in 2013. Once I heard that she was writing a book, more specifically a memoir, something told me that I had to have it. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get it when it was released as I am living in Romania, so I had to wait a little for Unfiltered to be released here as well. My life got so busy due to my exams that didn’t have the time to even think about buying the book. As fate would have it, I would get my hands on it when I needed the most. Two weeks ago my instincts told me that I shouldn’t delay it any longer and sure enough, three days later I had Unfiltered in my possession. Even though I was really excited I can honestly say that I didn’t know what to expect. Was it going to help me? Was it going to empower me? I will never forget the moment I turned my first page and read The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful.
From that moment I was hooked. For the first time we were given the opportunity to see that a celebrity is nowhere near perfect but that imperfection holds an unimaginable beauty. Reading about how Lily struggled with anorexia as a teenager made me understand those who suffer from this more. I was almost in tears when she explained her fear of never being able to have children, a fear that I also have because of my small ovarian cysts. I have come to admire her more ( if that was even possible ) for her courage to share her life without any filters. Through her words, she encouraged me to love myself even if it will be hard at times, that I am enough on my own and I don’t need anyone to complete me, that I can be silly because that’s our best part. I found myself relating to her more than I could have ever imagined.
As I mentioned before, I’ve had a hard time loving and accepting myself. I never saw myself as beautiful until I was 18 and still then it was just a small progress towards confidence. Yet everyday I tried to look at myself in the mirror and repeat that I am beautiful over and over again. I knew I had a long way to go but I kept trying not for anyone but myself. I had to understand that not everyone is going to like me, so I needed to accept myself as I am because there is only one of me. When I read her first chapter about her insecurities due to her eyebrows and that she learned to love what makes her unique thanks to her mother’s advice, something in me changed. It’s only been a week and a half since I read it but I can honestly say that I’ve never loved myself more. Of course my confidence still needs some work but I realised that if I don’t love myself then why expect others to. I also felt self conscious about my hair when I was younger. It used to be very bushy, and because of that I referred to it as “Hermione style”. I hated the fact that it looked so burned and I preferred it to be flat rather than full of volume. With time though I started to take care of it better and today I adore my hair, it’s become one of my best features and I always get compliments on it.
I was on the train, trying to get away from the city life when I reached a chapter where she talked about how she looked too young for her age. Believe it or not, looking younger than you are can be both a blessing and a curse. Everyone around me told me that I should appreciate it and believe me, I do, but sometimes it can be a bit annoying because people tend to treat you like a child. Reading about how Lily struggled during her auditions because she looked too young made me feel so relieved that someone finally understood.
Also, like Lily, I like to surprise people too. I love the look on their faces when they find out that I’m 20 instead of 15-16 and that my personality is way different than what they’ve had in mind at first glance. I am also not a fan of drinking to have fun and sometimes I am too compassionate. I loved how she talked about tattoos, how a story could be told just by a simple tattoo. What impressed me the most though was the story of her abusive relationship. When you’re in that kind of situation, it’s hard to leave that person because you love them and in your mind you feel like you have a responsibility to help them. It must have taken a lot to speak up and accept that you deserve better. When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them. I will never forget this.
I urge everyone to get Unfiltered not only because you’re a fan of Lily Collins but also because there’s not a person in this world who cannot relate to her book. It has now become one of my favourite books that I will most likely re-read when I am feeling down about myself. The truth is, we are constantly evolving. No one has life figured out yet and even though sometimes things might be hard remember that things are going to get better and you are strong enough. We need to accept the things that make us unique!