Today, being a member of the LGBT community is easier and safer than ever before, but it can also be quite stressful. Surely, there are laws that protect us and many people have truly accepted us, but the violence still exists. Besides that, we have managed to put too much importance on appearance, causing many members to work tirelessly to fit into a stereotypical physical look of a gay man or woman. What happens when you do not fit that mold? How can you learn to accept your natural appearance and grow to love your look? 

Reject mainstream beauty ideas

It’s pretty much impossible to change the way society perceives beauty overnight, but you can change your own ideas of beauty. Reject the standards that you see in ads, movies and social media and focus more on people around you that you admire and love. And don’t hesitate to express your queerness just because it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the people! 

Focus on your inner worth

Too many young LGBTQ people focus too much on the outer and not enough on the inner qualities. Examine things like your skills, personality, thoughts, ideas and abilities, and see what you like about them. In many cases, these inner qualities are more valuable and easier to improve over time than facial features and body composition. 

Fix some small things that bother you

Accepting how you look doesn’t mean that you can neglect your physical appearance altogether. If there are some small things that bother you about your appearance that can be fixed easily, don’t hesitate to do it. For instance, places like Australia have amazing dental professionals that can do wonders for your smile. So if your teeth had seen some better days, find a dentist that works with the best dental lab in Australia and ask for an appointment. With great machines, tools and materials, your dentist will quickly and painlessly give you back your perfect smile. The same goes with other smaller things that you can easily fix to make you feel better about yourself. Acceptance doesn’t equal defeat. 

Wear clothing that fits you

Things that are trendy often don’t look good on anyone but supermodels. If you’re obliged to wear clothes that don’t fit, it’s natural to feel unhappy about yourself. Try to let go of what the fashion world dictates and dress the way you want to dress. You can also go makeup-free for a few days to let your skin breathe. In many cases, you’ll notice that you look better when you’re wearing something that fits your body and your vibe, and when your skin is not suffocated with products. There’s nothing inherently bad in fashion trends or makeup, but they should be there to enhance your look and not mess with your self-esteem

Put your health first

A great thing about the LGBTQ community is that we love to hit the gym and eat cleanly. However, doing good things for the wrong reasons (like working out and dieting to be skinny or buff) is not the healthiest thing to do for your mental health. Instead, try to work out and watch your diet to improve your body’s functions. In many cases, no matter how much you work out or starve yourself, your short and curvy body will never look like those tall and slim models. If you accept that fact, you’ll be much happier with your image and start to see all the beauty in what nature gave you. 

Stop the comparisons

We constantly see amazing-looking people who are young and fresh—there’s no point in comparing yourself to 20-year-olds when you’re ten or twenty years older than them. Even if you choose to compare yourself to actors and singers of your own age, it’s important to keep in mind that they spend thousands of dollars on lux treatments, personal trainers and cooks and even plastic surgery. There’s nothing wrong with getting older and aging gracefully, this is something all of us need to accept. 

Once you accept your appearance and embrace all your flaws and unique features, you will see your true beauty. And when you’re confident and in love with yourself, other people will follow!