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From Our Readers: To the Girl Who Thinks She's Not Good Enough
It's cliché to stop someone from comparing themselves to other people.
PHOTO Fox Searchlight ART Naomi Torrecampo

"There's this girl. She's smart and witty. She's funny as hell. She's sexy and smart, and I'm trying my best not to look like an idiot in front of her."

"There's this girl. She's in my class. I want to talk to her, but I don't even know how."

"There's this girl. I saw her from across the room at a party. I got her number and I can't really text her because I'm not sure what to type."

"There's this girl. She's gorgeous. Her smile can light up a room like all the stars and the sun combined."

There's this girl. But she's not you. She was never you. And you're sure you know why.

You're a "Not As"—an entire list of "not as" qualities that fit into a single girl.

You're not as tall as that girl who plays volleyball, that girl who has legs for days. You're not as smart as the girl who gets the highest grades and aces every single subject she takes without even trying. You're not as funny as the girl who has the whole class laughing at a single side comment. You're not as witty as the girl who always has a quick comeback. You are not as flirty as the girl who knows what to say to a guy who says she's cute. You're not as friendly as the girl everyone says hi to. You're not as active as the girl who belongs to 10 organizations and a sorority. You're not as cultured as the girl who's well-traveled, that girl who can speak more than two languages.

You're not as creative as the girl who can paint and and do spoken word. You're not as talented as the girl who can dance hip hop, sing ballads, or recite powerful monologues. You're not as eye-catching as that other girl who wears the same shirt and jeans as you. You're not as interesting as the girl who knows how to speak French and Star Wars inside out. You're not as exciting as the girl who goes out all night and spends her days hiking or climbing mountains. You're not as fun as the girl who's invited to everything. You're not as sexy as the girl who works her butt off in the gym. You're not as dedicated as that same girl either.

You're not as amazing. You're not as attention-grabbing. You're not that girl. They're just two words that make up a phrase that doesn't even qualify as an adjective. It's a diminutive.

It's cliché to stop someone from comparing themselves to other people. It's what you do best. Someone else is always more, is always an *insert adjective*-er. Someone else is always always, always that girl and you know exactly who she is. You know what people say about her. Her Facebook likes and Instagram followers say it all. Even those tiny trivial things matter, because she's that girl. 

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It's as if all you were ever born to hear was that you're okay. You're fine. You're alright. You're the middle of something. Too much of one thing and not enough of the other. Just about but not quite. You're never an extreme and it's like that's a bad thing.

"She is more," people tell you. As if you were a benchmark that people constantly pass. As if you were meant to set the standards for mediocrity. As if you were supposed to be that before girl that people never settle to be.

You're not as fair-skinned, but you're not as morena as someone else. Your height is fine, but your legs are not as shapely as hers. Your smile is okay but not as bright as hers. Your ideas are cute, but not as inventive as hers. You're not as informed, not as inspired, not as interesting.

You're girly, but not as much as she is. You're a movie buff, but not as much as she is. You're a good cook, but not as much as she is. You're a not as. But who says she isn't either?

There's this girl. She's not as quirky as you. She's not as petite as you. She's not as curvy as you. She's not as animated as you. She's not as introverted as you. She's not as in love with romantic comedies and ice cream as you. She's not as obsessed with makeup tutorials or new books. She's not as lazy as you. She's not as random as you. She's not as unfiltered as you. She's not you.

She's just that girl. She's a "not as," just like you.

And maybe that's not enough for you now. To be a not as or to see someone else as a not as. But as far as you're concerned, you being a not as is enough for someone. You're just not as ready as you will be in a few years from now, maybe not as ready as you will be a few months or a couple days from the moment you're reading this.

But here's the thing, you're not as a "Not As" as you thought you were. You're so much more. Even too much more. You're a little bit less. And that's okay.

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