I find it very hard to write on topics that are not bubbling out of my brain. Last week I tried to write about something that was not bubbling out of my brain, and it ended in frustration. In order to write effortlessly, I need to go through something, have an epiphany about life, about myself or be inspired by others behaviors. These events and feelings develop as they bounce around my brain, then I create a topic and I write it about it. Today’s topic is all about Insecurities. So let’s talk about them.
We all have Insecurities
It’s limiting to think another person without my particular insecurity is not insecure in another area. Everyone is insecure about something. I say that because I have seen others act shocked when they hear I struggle with insecurities while not being overweight. Yes, a trim petite person can have insecurities too. We all have areas we are not confident in, insecurities come in all different shapes and sizes. With time and wisdom, hopefully, we will learn to accept them with love.
I am 29 and I still deal with self-image issues. Last week a few situations made me feel less attractive, and I am embarrassed to admit they did because our outer shell is far less important than what’s inside. But I still felt it, processed it and I am now writing about it, so it was sizable enough to cycle through my brain.
Too many wrinkles
Last week was hot. To stay cool, I put on a cute pair of high-waisted shorts, a white cotton, vintage button down shirt, and paired it with my vans and my trusty straw basket as my handbag. This is my comfortable look that says “I am trying, but I don’t really care.” I didn’t want to bother with my frizzy hair, so I slicked it back into a bun with coconut oil and a floral scrunchie. I also knew I would be walking outside in the thick heat, so I opted for no makeup, sunglasses and my red tinted chapstick. I felt sexy, cute and passable. I even asked Calvin to take a picture of me in front of a colorful mural wall. I wanted to show off my effortless style and look cute. Snap, snap, snap, he took the pictures, then we went off to a explore a decor shop.
Later that day, while dining with family, we started talking about wrinkles. I said something like “yea, we are getting older – it seems like the amount of wrinkle you get depends on your face shape, etc, blah, blah, blah” Then, as we are all smiling and examining our facial lines, the other woman I am dining with insults her husband by saying “you have a lot of lines on your face.” Then her husband looks at me and says “Not any more than Esther!” I would like to coin this as the “hot potato insult” It’s when someone cannot take a fiery insult, so they rudely pass it off to the next person.
At the moment, I kept the hot potato and took it like a champ. I mentioned that looks are only so important in life, there is more to care about, like how you are contributing to this world, and living out your passions. Even though I obviously care about looks, I do truly believe they are not everything.
Insults are like a sprained ankle, it swells up and gets bigger with time, then it goes away after you walk it out. That night, I looked at the pictures Calvin took of me, I was sorely disappointed. I didn’t like the way I looked. Where are my eyebrows? My slicked back hair does nothing for me – all I see is my weird ears… Then the wrinkle comment started to sink in. Do I really have the same amount of wrinkles of someone several years older than me? I don’t even spend that much time in the sun, I wear sunscreen all the time… It must be my bone structure… Then I felt really bad about my looks, while also trying to be strong and not care.
unrealistic expectations to no expectations
I don’t know about you, but my insecurities are all across-the-board and they stem from my unrealistic expectations and my no expectations. For my “no expectations” side, I leave the house in random clothes, with no makeup on and my frizzy hair back in a ponytail. I feel like I am invisible. No one cares if I look cute, no one is watching me, I just go on with life while I live in a world that I am acceptable in. The way I look simply doesn’t matter. Then I catch myself in a reflection, I am in seemingly passable. All is OK in the world. My looks are not the main topic or issue. I somewhat ignore them.
For my “ unrealistic expectations” I try to look cute, but I don’t care enough to go all out with a full face of makeup. My hair is better than normal, and I have a cute outfit on. I try about halfway. Then, I see a picture of myself and I am stuck by “What was a thinking?, I need to wear makeup, do I think I am a supermodel who can look good in anything? I need to hide my white legs, I should have filled in my eyebrows and style my hair better.” This reaction spirals me into what I feel is the reality of my beauty. “I am in fact not OK, I am not passable. I need concealer and a hairbrush ASAP! I am 65% less attractive than I thought I was.
For the rarer times when I do go all out and look my best, I also have this sad feeling that this is as good as it gets. I am showing the world all I have. Like, when you have a more than normal amount of makeup on, it’s like, well, this is it. This is all the trick I have in the bag. It’s somehow more comforting to think I have not given the world all of my tricks. That I am withholding some back. Therefore people will always be impressed I can look passable with little to no makeup on. Someone might think: “Imagine how she would look with contour and highlighter?” Somehow that is more comforting to me. When I do go all the way, I get lots of compliments and people tell me “you look cute all the time”. I always wonder, where are the compliments when I look unkempt?
I am OK
Despite all of the back and forth, I tell myself I am OK, I should not be so concerned about how I look. I am not a beauty queen and never will be. Just live with it. It’s OK to not look like Gene Tierney the goddess. It’s OK to not have a sharp jawline, I can handle having weird ears. I should be thankful to have a fully functioning body. Be confident with what you have. Do good work. Care about others. Love yourself. Be the best version of yourself.
I am working on having a better outlook on the way I present myself. I need to find my own balance with it. Find my routine. With any area of your life, it’s good to lead with the truth. Put it all on the table and let the truth lead the way. These are my truths.
- When I look more put-together, I have better self-esteem.
- I like to create cute outfits with vintage clothes because I appreciate fashion and older eras of clothing.
- Taking time to take care of myself is therapeutic.
- When I get rushed in life is when I get in a slump of looking lousy.
- I don’t love doing my hair. So get an easy haircut to style.
- I want flawless skin. I just started on Retin-A again.
- I want better eyebrows. So fill them in.
- What is inside is more important than what’s outside.
- Men should never insult women on their appearance.
- Don’t go out in public with coconut oil in your hair, you look better with your hair down. 😛
The pictures above are the ones Calvin took of me. I am posting them because I don’t really care anymore. My hypothetical sore ankle has gone away. I have the power to change my insecurities physically and mentally. I am moving on from worrying about myself. By putting it out into the world, I am also letting it go while growing as a person.
If someone was to ask me “How should I get over my insecurities?” I would tell them to do what I just did. Tell someone about it, see what you can do to improve the issue, then set it free and move on.
I hope this was helpful. Make my day and let me know if it was in the comments below or on Instagram.