They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, I have a problem with that. Who gets to deem themselves your beholder? Why have we all accepted that the only way for us to feel beautiful is for others to see us as their perception of beautiful? Hell, what exactly is beauty? All over the world people will tell you their version of beautiful, but which one is the truth? Here’s the answer: none of them. None of them because that’s their opinions, not yours.

It’s currently 1:58AM on a Saturday morning. Instead of going out with my friends and getting a little tipsy (and by tipsy I mean black out drunk), I chose to stay in my dorm with my boyfriend. We’re eating lo mein from the local Chinese joint. I have no makeup on, I’m in my pajamas, and I feel beautiful.

But what is beauty? I have an idea of what beauty is, but I definitely know what beauty isn’t. Beauty isn’t a body shape. Beauty isn’t a good hair day. Beauty isn’t makeup. Beauty isn’t an eye color. Beauty isn’t physical. Let me repeat that. Beauty isn’t physical. I know this is something that you have probably heard time and time again. At some point in time your mom probably sat you down and gave you the “you’re pretty inside and out” speech that we all get, like it or not. However, mama is always right.

Pretty hair, expensive foundation, and a solid wardrobe are definitely nice, but they will only get you so far. The hairdo will become undone, the foundation will wear off, and the outfit will eventually be out of season. So what’s the point of spending so much time and money to be physically appealing? Why do so many people strive for “perfection”?

Well, the answer is simply this: as young adults in today’s society we are told we have to look beautiful. Society defines beautiful for femmes as a model, with long blonde hair and effortless beach waves, blue eyes, perfect skin, perfect teeth, a warm smile, a cute button nose, big natural boobs, tiny waist, and a large natural ass. I can’t help but roll my eyes as I type this. Because to achieve all of that is nearly impossible. So, SCREW THAT.

I find society’s definition of beauty overrated. I don’t want to see a sea of people who all look the same. I want to see a plethora of unique souls; that is beauty. There is something beautiful in being unique. YOU are beautiful because you are different. You’re different. Embrace that. You may not think so, but there is something about you that nobody else in the world has. You don’t need makeup to fit in or the perfect hair to feel pretty.

I mean, when Prince Charming went to Cinderella’s house to try the shoe on her, he saw her at her worst. She probably wasn’t bathed, she definitely didn’t have any makeup on, and she was wearing raggedy clothing. Prince Charming didn’t look at her and say, “GUARDS! Fetch me the Urban Decay foundation, Too Faced mascara, and Sephora concealer! This girl needs it!” Actually, if he would have done that, he would have been the world’s biggest dick, fictional or not. Instead, he took one look at Cinderella and saw her for her natural beauty. He saw her for what she had inside. He fell in love with what made her different.

I feel beautiful even when I have no makeup on. My natural frizzy curly hair looks slightly like something that needs to be tamed. I have spilled lo mein on my leg (oops). I have slight dark circles under my eyes because of the long school week that has just ended. I’m completely natural, and to me that’s my definition of beauty. Right now, I don’t look like anybody else. I look like a tired college student and how I look tells a story. It’s my story and it’s exactly what I want it to be.

My wish is that you can have that same feeling right at this moment. I want you to be able to look in the mirror, completely natural, and see your true beauty. See what you have to offer. I know you have an even more gorgeous soul to match that beautiful natural face of yours. Stop listening to society’s definition of beauty, and find your own. It might take some soul searching, but it’s worth it. (Helpful hint, vodka and yoga help with soul searching. Another helpful hint: don’t try both of those things together.) Don’t wait around for Prince Charming to come to tell you your worth. Be your own royalty. Find your own self worth, and when you do, that’s a guaranteed fairy tale ending.