I have been thinking about the subject of self esteem. Now that I have a little girl I desperately ant her to take hold of her confidence and feel comfortable in her own skin, even when she makes mistakes. Mistakes are there to remind us of who we are and to catapult us into a better being, if we allow them to. I worry about todays pressures being too much on my little lady. With Hollywood dictating fashion and what is or isn’t attractive, I admit that I am not fearless when it comes to my daughter and this world trying to leave it’s imprint on her. Try as I might, I know that even with my encouragment and love, my daughter will be influenced by other people and their opinions of what Beauty is. My job is to reinforce her own confidence in herself.
I took a picture of myself this morning without all the powders and cover-up etc. I wear very little makeup in comparison to what I see on other people. It consists of eye cover-up, powder, mascara and clear lip gloss. Some days not even that makes it on my face. When I was about 12 I started wearing makeup. I wore it a little heavy through my teens and now as an adult I wear very little. I did this purposely as a kind of challenge to myself to be less reliant on my outward appearance for confidence. I have begun to do just that in the last few years. Below are my before and after photos from this morning.
So maybe not to drastic of a difference but enough.
I began noticing people and their appearance as a really young girl. I remember someone telling me that if I could pinch an inch I was too fat. This person was a wonderful person but unfortunately suffered from the same disabling image issues that I would. I can’t pin point my lack of self esteem to any one thing nor do I blame it on anyone as it has been my decision to live that way. I was influenced by a collective of things throughout life. From the outside I was a very confident self assured person. I was active, I smiled, I laughed loudly. I wasn’t (and still am not) afraid to talk to people I don’t know well. I had a supportive system growing up, good friends and opportunities. I trained in classical ballet for 15 years and preformed quite often. I traveled and by age 16 had been to europe, asia and the middle east as well as all over this country. I volunteered at aids hospices and other places. I was the picture of confidence. But I wanted to be more than I was. I began focusing on weight and looking perfect. I was never anorexic or bulimic and I never got skinny skinny but I was always afraid of being fat and I did adjust my diet to a quasy-vegetarian diet to help control the fats going into my body. My husband, who always speaks the truth, called me on my shit and refused to treat me like everyone else did. It was the best thing for me, my eyes were opened and it took about 10 of our 12 years of marriage for me to say that I am, mostly, happy with myself.
The above is also the description of many of the people I have known in life. It really is an epidemic. People are either too thin or too fat, either way it’s an unhealthy view and it’s not about food. It’s a deeper than that.
Sometimes it’s about the “Hip”. There will always be the hip. The pressures of life will tell you to go along with it, that it’s the right thing to do. Right now, off the top of my head, here’s what’s hip; tattoos, tight pants, animal print, the 80’s (explain that to me?), sexuality, drinking and smoking (that’s a constant) and tomorrow there will be a whole new set of “what’s cool” to try and live up to. To be you, you have to get to know yourself. That takes time and commitment and it also takes the courage to tell people to fuck off, if needed. There’s always a hater, you are guaranteed that. Somebody is going to hate you no matter what you do or how hip you are. Christian Bale is amazing in the movie “the machinist” but he’s fucking nuts!I think “green living” is awesome but also a money scam. I think todays main stream music a monkey could have composed and probably did. See, I’m a hater. They are everywhere so why continue caring what others think.
Other times, it’s not about caring what others think but about dealing with your own inner problems and confronting what you have been hiding from. It’s hard but a lot simpler to do and with a better outcome. Iinvest in the time it takes to confront your issues and move on. Life is waiting.
Maybe this blog is better suited for an auditorium of young girls and boys or maybe I am being to presumptuous to think it’s good enough, either way, confidence is waning in todays youth and in today’s adults from what I see. We all seem lost and vacant. I’m reminded of Richard Hell’s “Blank Generation” . It rings true, he knew it then and we know it now.
Confidence is Key
Having kids has made me examine more closely who I am, what I want to pass on and what really matters in life. I want confidence to reign supreme in my children’s lives, I want them to flip off the voices of “what’s hip”. I want them to tell all the groupies to fuck off and to be the best them they can be. Fuck a lot haters. If they can do that and be themselves and stand up in the face of adversity I will consider myself successful as a parent. Until then I will try my damnedest to build, nurture and encourage them so that one day they can grow up and not write a blog about how they had no confidence.
In closing, I am an avid reader and lover of Childrens books. My favorite book is Dr. Suess’s “Oh the places you’ll go!” Below( in the link) is the book written out in it’s entirety. It says what I would like to impart to my kids ( and anyone who was bored enough to read this) about going through life. Enjoy.