THE CONVERSATION: Andrea Ward

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Andréa and I am 21 years old. I am a university student and I love fashion and spending time with my friends and family. I also love taking my dogs for walks.

What is your definition of Beautiful?

My definition of beautiful is being comfortable on the inside and not worrying what others think. I think someone is truly beautiful when they have confidence that radiates when they walk into a room. They could be trying out a new hairstyle or outfit and if they truly own it and don’t care about being judged, they are beautiful.

When do you feel the most beautiful?

I feel the most beautiful when I wear my hair up and hardly have any makeup on, and I can still be comfortable around others and have a good time. I feel beautiful because I am okay with myself and that’s all that matters.

How do you take care of yourself when you have those “Not enough” moments?

When I am feeling down or insecure, I think of all the good things I have in my life. I have a roof over my head, a family who loves me, and so many opportunities ahead of me. Through volunteer work, I have come to realize that there are so many teens out there that maybe don’t have the same opportunities that I have. At that point, my problems seem minuscule compared to others.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in life so far?

I have learned that I need to make decisions in life that will make me happy, at the end of the day, my own happiness is important. Of course, it is important to make others happy, but I realize I have to take care of myself first. I’ve also learned that if I have a problem, I should talk to someone about it. It can be hard sometimes, but it can be worse to keep it bottled up inside.

Any advice for young girls/ women out there?

My advice to young girls and/or women is to be comfortable with yourself regardless of all the information you are getting from the media. I always thought that there was a standard of beauty, but beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. The standard of beauty used to be skinny, so I wanted to be skinny. And new standards seem to be about curves and a booty, and I felt my curves were in the wrong places. It is impossible to keep up. I got to a point where I realized I was born with this body, and it is special and beautiful because it is mine! You only have one life, and you shouldn’t live it trying to be or look like someone else.

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