Start writing a post

Mirror, mirror on the wall: How I learned to love myself

Finding self-love in a world with media perceived ideologies of 'beauty' lead one entrepreneur to start a wellness company to help others feel beautiful in their own skin

Mirror, mirror on the wall: How I learned to love myself

Photo by Gina Holzer

Photo by Gina Holzer

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished your body was slimmer, skin was clearer, face was shaped differently, or just wished you looked different overall?

Yeah, that was me.

Growing up, I wish I looked different, better, and as 'good as the other girls'. Comparison was one of my specialties, and I always compared myself to the perception of what I thought beauty was supposed to be. You know, the elusive perception that society and the media have conditioned us to believe that there is and can only be one definition of beauty.

This feeling of wanting to change how I looked stemmed from me not being satisfied with what my genetics gave me. I dreamed of having clear skin, smaller pores, thicker hair, longer lashes, a taller nose – the list goes on.

Due to these insecurities, I never left the house (or even answered the door) without an ounce of makeup. This was my way of covering up my 'flaws' to have somewhat more confidence (I never let anyone see me in my bare skin). I spent a decade searching for a solution I hoped would improve my skin, grow my hair and eyebrows thicker, and would make me feel whole and good about myself both inside and out.

I tried almost everything, from topical products to vitamins and even changing my diet, but nothing I tried gave me the results I wanted for so long. The type that would bestow confidence in my own bare skin. Almost on the verge of giving up, I was adamant about finding something that had to work, which is when I began to research and experiment with different supplements in my New York City apartment. I bought loads of ingredients, blended them based on scientific research, and tested them on myself over a period of time.

If I didn't see improvements in one to two months, I would go back to the drawing board and blend new supplements to test again. After I blended and started taking a formula that contained collagen, biotin and silica, I noticed improvements in my skin and hair after about two months (I was shocked!).

For the first time in my decade long search, I finally saw results in my skin, health, and hair growth. Not only did my skin and hair improve, but my immune system also strengthened significantly to the point where I stopped getting sick throughout the year, which was something that used to happen at least two to three times per year (collagen helps line your gut, which can improve your health and immunity overall).

Photo by Gina HolzerPhoto by Gina Holzer

That's when I knew I wanted to share my experience and the knowledge I didn't have before with others, to help them improve themselves to reach a point of comfortability and happiness in their own skin. From a young age, we're conditioned to perceive beauty as a standard that seems inconceivable. What we're used to seeing isn't real most of the time, such as photoshop or synthetic alteration.

After my journey, I began to realize that being beautiful isn't about looking the best; it's about looking your best because comparison is unrealistic. Perfection is only an illusion, but working on improving what you do have is real and can lead the way to true happiness and self-love. It was then that I accepted myself for who I was and how I looked for the very first time in my life.

I became proud of who I was and loved everything about myself, including the areas that I still don't like up to this day. You don't need to love everything about yourself to be happy, but you need to accept yourself and respect your body and happiness enough to work on the areas you can improve on. We're all human, and we're all different,which makes us beautiful.

No one other than yourself can define your beauty and how it makes you feel. Beauty doesn't have a definition, shape, or standard. Beauty is defined within ourselves, and only we can define beauty and how that makes us feel. Feeling beautiful isn't about how thin you are, how big your eyes are, or how long your lashes are, but instead, beauty is already in you – you have to seek that out and let that shine. That's when I started Wholy Dose, a company devoted to helping others find happiness and confidence in themselves.

Wholy Dose's products help improve yourself instead of hiding or changing who you are. Our products are rooted in holistic beauty and health, and we have supplements with clinically-proven ingredients that help you feel your best from the inside and out without compromising the means of getting there.

Our mission is to help people achieve self-love by supplementing the natural beautifying properties that your body already creates. We're here to help bring that out through supplementation and the power of nourishing your body with the right ingredients.

Wholy Dose cacao beauty superfood powder Photo by Gina Holzer

Now, when I look in the mirror, I accept myself and appreciate who I am — on both my good and bad days —instead of comparing myself to what I wished I looked like.

Check out Wholy Dose's website and social media accounts for recipes, inspiration and wellness tips.


Social media links:

    people laughing and talking outside during daytime

    As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, many are facing the anxiety of re-entering into society. Over the last year, we've been obligated to remain asocial, and as a result, many of us (myself included) are finding human interaction painfully awkward.

    For as long as I can remember, making friends was never a difficult feat to accomplish. To my friends and family, I've always been the most outgoing and bubbly person in the room. While that remains to be true, lately I've found social interactions to be challenging and somewhat strained. Thankfully, now that I'm fully vaccinated, I've been venturing into the real world more frequently.

    Keep reading... Show less

    Misogyny is a destructive knotweed among queer men

    Progress for the LGBT+ community isn't on the cards until we address the virulent creeper in the room.

    When it comes to gay and bi men's mental health, one of the biggest stumbling blocks we face is internalised homophobia and biphobia – likely from an early adoption of toxic behaviours picked up in the playground and carried on into adulthood.

    Alexander Leon stated on Twitter recently that 'Queer people don't grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimise humiliation and prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us and which parts we've created to protect us."

    Keep reading... Show less
    #StartTheConversation by joining us on

    Join our new platform for free and your post can reach a huge audience on Indy100 and The Independent join