Ásdís, 21, student

“The best thing [I’ve heard about my body] would be one time, when I was not dressed up, not wearing makeup, and had messy hair, a stranger told me I was beautiful. I felt kind of shocked hearing that. I’m used to getting more compliments when I dress up and wear makeup. It might not sound like a lot, but after that, I started feeling more confident about wearing less makeup in public, not hiding every freckle or imperfection from people. “When I was in elementary school, I hated my pale skin, red hair, and freckles. That wasn’t exactly the beauty standard in Iceland. People calling me ‘ginger’ resulted in me dyeing my hair blonde, but I’ve learned to embrace my natural hair color and have grown it out now. It’s finally all back to the natural color. Today, my hair has become my favorite trait, and I would never dye it again. “I think women can be very judgmental, both about themselves and others. Me, and most women I think, compare themselves to other women. I try to talk positively about other women and appreciate their beauty. I often find myself nudging my boyfriend and telling him, ‘Did you see that woman? She has such beautiful hair, eyes, etc.’ I don’t like it when women judge someone’s appearance. I especially hear a lot of women today hating on other women who have had plastic surgery or wear too much makeup. “You can never really please everyone, so you should just do you and try to be happy without bringing other people down.”