This quirky Roald Dahl quote is my new beauty philosophy because despite any physical insecurities people may have about themselves, it is the goodness within that makes one glow, inside and out. Of course, an attractive face and a fit body may grab our attention, but it is a display of self confidence in our personal worth that makes people want to stay on longer.
However, while some people have a natural flair, others have to shed literal blood, sweat and tears in order to feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Frizzy hair. Acne scars. Chubby sides. Metal braces. Thick glasses. I had the lowest of low self esteems, and for years, I was unable to look people in the eye, hold casual conversations or go to the grocery store without fixing myself up in front of the mirror for hours. Surrounded by other teens with clear skin and thriving social lives, I felt like I had drawn an unlucky hand in life.
But life’s too short to throw yourself a pity party 24/7. Today, I've grown to love who I am, and any of my physical imperfections are like facets on a diamond; they make me look and feel beautifully unique.
While a little make up and a killer outfit can make you feel like a Queen, learning to love yourself and spreading that positivity to everyone you meet, makes you fit to wear the crown.
Here are 5 tips to help you become more self confident:
1. Imagining Future You
My discomfort in myself made me avoid social situations. This changed when I became a student reporter and I had to interview guest speakers and interact with the local community. Ironically, putting myself out there vocally, made me more comfortable physically.
Pin point your insecurity and tackle it head on. For me, it's like a game show challenge where I put myself in situations out of my comfort zone such as make up free outings, conversing with strangers, or ordering take out by myself. Sounds pretty basic, but to me, these everyday events can be anxiety ridden until I overcome them.
Anxiety attacks and self consciousness may hold you back, but always look to a future where you’re socially thriving, blissfully happy, and 100% yourself. Create a mood board for yourself and fill it with what makes you feel happy. Be it labrador puppies, a nostaglic memory, or your favourite artist, that feeling of happiness you get from these images are exactly what you should recreate when you look at yourself. In the end, I hope that you place your favorite picture of yourself at the centre of the board!
2. Post-Its for Body Positivity
When I walked into the trial room at Aerie, a lounge wear and lingerie store, one of the mirrors was covered with hundreds of Post-Its with body positivity quotes and compliments from customers over the years. "You Look Gorgeous," "Slay, Sister!" and "Perfect in My Eyes" were a few of the messages that I had to sit down to read, tears in my eyes, feeling so loved in the moment.
In my high school, students would randomly place supportive messages on the bathroom mirrors and lockers, instantly making the recipients smile. Do the same on your own mirrors by writing love notes to yourself along with your favorite quotes. As a result, the first thing you experience before looking at yourself is a healthy dose of positivity which will influence how you perceive yourself after.
3) Squad Goals
There is no better hype than the support I’ve received from my girl gang in appreciating my curves. As a group, we come in all shapes and sizes, which has made us more more accepting and supportive despite all the road bumps each of us has experienced during our hot-and-cold love affairs with our bodies. We are sincere with our compliments and honest with our constructive criticism of each other. I’ve never felt more confident in myself than when I’m with my friends, laughing out loud and dancing in public. Find yourself a group of people who love you for being your authentic self, no matter how quiet or loud your personality can be. Your squad should be there to brush off any lingering insecurities, empower you to embrace your sexuality, and make you more confident, with or without them.
4) Give Yourself Some TLC
During lock down, I have learnt to show myself some love through facials, nail spa sessions and healthy food habits. I am a huge fan of Vogue's YouTube series called 'Beauty Secrets' which I watch while doing my own beauty routine every morning. Months without wearing make up has given my skin enough time to breathe and to rejuvinate itself, and while I do have a few days of disastrous break outs, I am loving my current fresh faced, clear skin look.
Use this time to take care and pamper yourself. Whether it be bathtub retreats with candles or movie nights in bed, give yourself some TLC during these stressful times. This may be an extended couch potato time for some, but remember to use the free time to work on your body through excercise, whether it be pilates in bed, morning yoga or intense workouts. I'd recommend Alexis Ren's 4-week 'At Home Workout Challenge' on her website, which has shown some incredible fitness results.
5) ‘Fess Up
My experience in overcoming my physical insecurities still haunts me at times, because a negtative perception of oneself is purely pyschological. It was an emotionally draining time, and now, years later, I still benefit from revisiting the past with my mom or my close friends. When I talk about those middle school and early high school years, I feel a sense of pride in my strength and character growth and in all that I have accomplished since then. Find someone to confide in, be it a trusted friend, family member or a therapist/counsellor, because you never have to experience the darkest moments alone.
I wish you luck on your personal journey to empowering yourself, and just know, that while you may not yet have complete confidence in yourself, I have all the faith in the world that you will reach self actualisation!