We talk about self-esteem a lot here: knowing your worth, self-esteem reinvention, and dealing with the asshole living inside your head. We talk about needing to believe in ourselves, love ourselves, and find ourselves worthy of improvement. There is, however, one touchy subject we haven’t really played with yet: being scared to be bold and beautiful because of what others may think or say about you.
I have a naturally outgoing personality and I am a very outspoken individual. Yes, I have had issues with authority. I’m also considered to be a fairly attractive young woman. That’s right, I said it. Go ahead and call the conceit train…CHOO CHOO.
The truth is, when I was younger, my battle wasn’t really to become prettier (although I had my fair share of beauty lessons like not shaping my eye brows into horse shoes and not cutting my own bangs – things I did up until my freshman year in high school). My problem was blending in more, because when the boys like you, you become a target.
‘But OMG, at least boys liked you! I hid in my closet with a side pony tail my entire adolescence.”
Right. What I would have given to tie my hair to the side and sit in darkness instead of showing up at school, having my life threatened, tuna sandwiches thrown at my head, and hit with ridiculous pieces of gossip every morning, claiming I had given 10 guys blow-jobs at the same exact time. Physically impossible? Apparently not, according to my entire school.
Though the days of being bullied are far behind me, I had to go through a lot on my path of self-discovery to accept being ‘attractive’ and to voice my opinion without fear of being ridiculed. I had to keep my tone steady when standing up for something I believed in and had to keep my chest out, even if my boobs showed more.
So yes, pretty people get bullied, too. (And we’ll be devoting a lot of time to girl on girl hate.)
As grown ups, the path to self discovery doesn’t end – it’s just a new, just-as-bumpy road we have yet to track miles on. You are still trying to become someone; whether it’d be in the workplace, on the scale, or to your brand new lover, we are all still trying to improve. Don’t let others limit your experimentation as you go down this road.
You want to test out some crazy new make up, add some fake lashes and perhaps even show a bit of side boob?
As long as you’re doing it for you, rather than to get some sort of reaction from those around you, then go ahead and fucking do it. You owe it to yourself to be bold.
Define the Lines before You Set Sail
Showing a little bit of boob is different than having your tits out. Letting go of the fear that women will hate you because their men are looking at your little bit of boob is different than plopping them on the dinner table while sucking on a banana. You need to set your own boundaries and then make your move. What are you comfortable with? You don’t have to suddenly start wearing make up or speaking up first in a classroom if that’s now what you’re comfortable with. Maybe you just want to be able to show up at a male dominated meet-up on a subject that you’re interested in. Maybe you just want to start wearing heels around the office, and you want to ignore the fact the majority of women wear sneakers. You need to decide what you want and what you’re comfortable with. Period. Then it’s really all for you.
You’re Not Doing This for Them, You’re Doing This for You
As long as you stay true to who you are and your journey, don’t be ashamed of standing out, of stepping on anyone’s toes, and that maybe one time you may become the object of a friend’s boyfriend’s masturbation party. Chill out, it happens.
When I was younger, I decided to hide who I was and the young woman I was becoming because I didn’t want other girls to dislike me and say bad things about me. It didn’t all have to do with my looks, either. My personality was naturally bold and it intimated them so much, they felt they needed to put me in my place by bullying me. So I curled up, looked down, and lowered my personality to a whisper.
The truth is, I should have been devoting that time to accepting who I was, being true to my path, and building the armor of self-esteem I would need for the rest of my life. It took me a long time to realize my life was my own and I was in charge of my self-definition.
So don’t be afraid to look good, to feel good, and to show it. Don’t let someone’s insecurity stunt your self-development.
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