Ah, the life of a girl. We are born, and then we rapidly begin hating body parts. I think it’s something that we almost don’t even need to be taught, it’s just innate. But of course, television, the internet, and magazines filled with genetically modified humans don’t help either. The other day I saw that the Victoria’s Secret “fashion” show was on. (The “fashion” is in quotes because, um, isn’t it…UNDERWEAR?) Don’t get me wrong…I’m not hating on it because I can tell there’s some gorgeous, uhhhh, underwear (?) made out of gemstones and feathers and boning and all kinds of comfy things that we all normally wear in our undergarments. There’s live music and pretty sparkly things and girls the size of toothpicks who have all had 16 children naturally and lost all their weight within moments of childbirth…it’s totally entertainment. (Okay, it’s possibly I AM hating on it a tad.) I didn’t watch the show, but the clips I did see made me wonder…”WHY DO WOMEN WANT TO SEE THIS?” I literally saw a few moments of it and I was instantly looking at myself wondering why I look like I do. Oh yeah, that’s right. Because I’M A NORMAL HUMAN. Dang it.
Despite my crazy rant above, which was a bit unintended, I actually have become a lot more secure about myself over the past few years. I’m NOWHERE near secure enough to watch a VS “fashion” show obviously, but I’m better than I used to be. I’ll prove it to you.
I’m an only child, as you know. Instantly however, I entered into a massive competition…with myself. I actually remember standing outside in the mobile home park I lived in (the fact that I can even admit to you I lived in one of those is again proof that I’m more secure!) and telling myself that I wanted to be the most beautiful girl…period. Dang. I think back to this moment and I remember how fierce I was, how harsh I was being on myself, and how much I was setting myself up for failure. Because I’d like to argue that there are many, many, MANY most beautiful women in the world. But that moment definitely started a cycle for me.
I was very sheltered growing up, home schooled, and then I went to a VERY VERY small private high school, so I kind of got what I wanted. I got to be “popular” (when you’re home schooled, you’re always top of your class, get it?) and I got to be “pretty” and I felt fairly secure in myself. Or so I thought. Then I went to Cal Poly State University in my hometown. Oh freaking em gee, you guys. That’s when it all went downhill. Let me tell you a little something about Cal Poly girls. They are all perfect. They’re always a little tanner, thinner, blonder, and have more perfect boobs than…EVERYONE. They have a brand new Mercedes that their parents bought for them and clothes from brands I had never even heard of. I was in a world of hurt when I started. I will never forget how panicky I felt when I started my first quarter of college. Sure, sure, I got a perfect score on my very first college essay. That should have been a HUGE win for me. But instead, all I could see was that one girl. She had long beautiful hair (my hair has always been a sore spot for me). She had BOOBS (I had MAYBE and A cup, on a good day. There was no push up bra that could do that sort of wizardry). She had this perfect tiny waist (see my last post on how I don’t got one of those). And she was PERFECT. She wore her pajamas to class with basically no makeup and, um, I don’t look like that without makeup. Sure, this sounds like I was her stalker, but really, she was the mirror I looked in every morning at 8am Monday-Thursday. And it was not a mirror that told me what I wanted to see.
I know a lot of girls struggle with insecurity at some point in their lives, and some even more severe than I did/do. But I remember there being many, many days when I would hide in my room and not leave the house because I had a big zit, or my hair looked crappy, or I just didn’t like the way my face looked. Instead of going out and having fun with a friend, I would sit in my room and cry and tell myself what I failure I was and how ugly I was and basically tear myself a new one just because I wasn’t pretty enough. Ouch. I wish I could go back and comfort that girl who was so worried about not measuring up.
I’ve grown up a lot since then. Sure, I still try to avoid staring for long periods of time at “perfect humans” because that definitely doesn’t make me feel great, but I’ve started owning things about myself that I fought for so long. My hair. I used to blow dry the crap out of it. It was platinum blonde, and fried within an inch of it’s life. I wouldn’t let it curl or frizz at all (which was a losing battle, FYI). When I finally relented and went back to a more natural shade and then let it just BE…I started actually LIKING the hair I was born with. I started choosing makeup that complimented ME and MY skin instead of always reading what the latest hot celeb was wearing and trying to make that fit me. I realized that if I wore the things that made ME look great instead of trying to wear crazy padded bras and things that were attempts at changing my body shape, that I actually could like the way I looked. I stopped looking at a photo of someone else, then back at myself…I started looking at me, and realizing that I am who I AM and that is what I need to own. Comparison steals our joy. Every single time.
Much like our quirks, our “flaws” and our unique features, just OWNING our style makes it work I think. I think half the battle for most things is just deciding “I’m doing this.” Many of you know I’m in the process of launching a clothing line that’s all original stuff. I had a lot of moments where I was waffling back and forth and then finally, I committed. I decided that this is what I’m doing. That’s the way I approach getting dressed too. I love love this denim duster I got from the beautiful new shop Revamped The Collection in Paso Robles. It’s unique and fun and I put it on and OWN IT. My boots are just the best things ever, made by the incredible @hillbillygypsyboots (I have three pairs and they’re insane, please get yourself a pair).
And regardless of your size, hair color, or body type, please feel the freedom to own it. Because nothing is more beautiful than confidence. Period. Plus, I’m betting that diamond encrusted undies would chafe like a mother.