I have never been someone that has great self-esteem. I don't look into the mirror everyday and see what I would like to see; I don't always love my body and I don't feel the urge to show it off, but I do know that all of this is the way God made me. I do know that no man in my life needs tell me that I am beautiful and no man has the right to tell me that I am not. Although it is nice to hear that I am beautiful, pretty, gorgeous, cute, adorable... etc, it should only validate what I already know.
In the age of the "Selfie," it is difficult to feel completely confident in ourselves when we see how "flawless" those around us seem to be. Ladies, the size of your boobs does not matter. The dimples on your ass do not matter. The straightness of your hair does not matter (which for some reason has become a societal decision that hair must be straight... When did this happen?). None of it matters. You are beautiful, but you do not need me to tell you this. You do not need a guy to tell you this; you are the only one that should have a say in this.
Back to the hair thing, when I was in 8th grade, I had my hair pulled back and the hair tie broke. I had an extra, so all was well, but a classmate of mine said, "Is your hair naturally curly?" I said that it was a bit wavy, but not really curly. She responded by saying, "Oh, so that is why your hair is so frizzy." Umm... What? I didn't take offense to this, because she didn't mean it in a malicious way, like a lot of my classmates would have, but it is something that has stuck with me. This was before I was told that I needed to go drink a Slim Fast (understand that I probably weighed, maybe, a hundred pounds at the time and did not need to "drink a Slim Fast," but this was after I was told that my freckles were ugly and I should probably buy some liquid coverup (I have learned to love my freckles and miss them when they aren't as noticeable, because of the lack of sun).
If you don't believe you are beautiful, you have already lost. You need to believe it without the influence of others, because people can be mean, but even the nice ones should not have to take on the job of ensuring that you identify as beautiful. This task is yours.
Stop talking about how your boyfriend has caused you to feel better about yourself. I have been there. Stop believing that your value can be found in how he perceives you. I have been there, too. If you rely on someone else to cause you to accept yourself for who you are, then what happens if one day they are no longer there? Everything "you" have believed about yourself comes tumbling down. Everything that has been legitimized gets placed into question. And your beauty is not something that should ever be questioned.
Your beauty is flawless. Sure, you might be breaking out like you just hit puberty; you could be losing your hair from treatment; you may be unable to lose that freshmen 15 from 5 years ago. Don't get me wrong, it is important to be healthy, which means different things to different people, but just because you may need to lose a few pounds (I do) or gain some does not make you any less beautiful.
There are so many things that are camouflaged as something other than beauty, but that is what they are - Beauty. You, as an individual, are stronger and more capable of loving yourself than you have ever imagined.
Love yourself. Don't rely on others to do it for you or to convince you of the fact. Your job is to know it without being told. Your job is to know it even when it is not verbalized. Your job is to believe that YOU are beautiful.
Now, go take a freakin' selfie.