I’m of the (slightly controversial) opinion that people choose to be insecure. Obviously there will be exceptions like if you’re bullied you have insecurity projected onto you or if you have severe body dysmorphia you can’t help but see your body as fundamentally different to what it really looks like, but as a rule of thumb, insecurity is a choice.
In some senses, it isn’t a conscious choice. After all no one would choose to feel shit about themselves, but it other ways, it is a conscious decision as people choose to do nothing about it. They stay insecure and they stay complaining about being insecure and yet they do nothing to make themselves more confident. For a long time, I fell into this category too.
When I was younger I hated how I looked and the people I went to school with seemed to agree (why are kids so mean? Anyone?) so I would skip meals to get thinner- spoiler alert this technique doesn’t have the desired effect and only makes your stomach rumble reallllly loudly so it sounds like a miniature thunderstorm mid-maths test- and research different plastic surgeries to save for. I was miserable.
And then one day, after watching the Katy Perry movie (I’m convinced all the best mental breakdowns happen during the credits of this film) I cried to my mum about how sad it was making me, and after much emotional support she said: there’s nothing wrong with you, and even if there was, why would it matter?
Why DOES it matter? I realised that it doesn’t. So gradually I become ACP (A Confident Person) and now I look in the mirror and I’m not like ‘wow hot damn you sexy thing hit me with YOUR rhythm stick’ but I’m happy, I’m comfortable and at the end of the day it’s just me.
However when I tell insecure friends about this transition in order to inspire their own, it never seems to motivate them and sometimes I think that’s because they just don’t know how. So, here are my little tips on how to like how you look:
I know, I know, talking to yourself in the mirror is cringe af BUT it’s really effective. Tell yourself you’re beautiful a couple of times a day even if you don’t agree and the best thing about it is no one else will know so no one can judge you for it.
Fake it til you make it
This probably (I’m just guessing because I picked philosophy instead) uses the same psychology as talking in the mirror, but pretending you like how you look and acting as if you’re confident (if you don’t know what this looks like then start walking like Margot Robbie in suicide squad and the rest will follow) eventually result in- mind blowing information ahead- you liking how you look and being confident.
Standing up straight not only creates the illusion of confidence but it means you can reach the books on the top shelf in Waterstones yaaaay.
Remember there will always be people more and less good looking as you
This really helped me because society is super competitive so sometimes it’s good to put it in perspective. If you’re making yourself miserable comparing yourself Kendall Jenner then stop- she might just be prettier than you and that’s okay!! They’ll be other people that are less attractive than you too. Just roll with it.
And note that if you are going to compare yourself, at least do it to the people around you, not the super-filtered (even though it says #nofilter) super made up (even though it’s a #nomakeup selfie) models on Instagram who have taken 372 photos and picked the best one. They aren’t your average plum, the people around you will be- unless you socialise with the Kardashians in which case, good luck.
Sometimes looking back at photos you realise how pretty/skinny/insert-admirable-quality-here you were And so use that to your advantage now. When I look at some photos of my younger self (obviously this doesn’t include 2012 because we all looked like absolute trolls with our gala bags and Bieber hair) I wonder why I was so insecure. Therefore whenever I dislike something now I think ‘in a years time I’ll wonder why I worried’ and it’s quite a good way to remember how critical you are of yourself.
It doesn’t matter Most of my teachers at school were married. Realistically most of my teachers at school weren’t particularly attractive (except from Mr Ball who was a slice of yum). So it’s clear that love isn’t exclusive to beautiful people.
Looks are not everything Instead of channeling your sadness into your appearance go and find some hobbies or friends or something to be good at that isn’t just having a nice face! (Beauty is subjective anyway so there’s no point spending all your tears n time n dollar trying to become some beauty standard which in 6 months time will have changed.)
Get ugly friends so you look the best in all the photos (I’m joking!!)
Makeup If you’re insecure about everything on your face then makeup is probably a bad idea as you might want to focus on a more stable, internal solution to your insecurity instead of Bobbi Brown. However, if you have a more specific insecurity like a birthmark that you hate or the fact you don’t have any cheekbones, then makeup could be a could way to increase your confidence quickly.