Why Being Self-Conscious Is Nothing Short Of Normal At Any Age
Right now, our world is all about self-positivity. We’re told to embrace ourselves.
We need to love our curves, smiles, laughs, be happy and not care about what anybody else thinks.
As long as we’re being true to ourselves, nothing else matters. The message we constantly hear is:
“Be 100 percent confident in 100 percent of yourself.”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with self-positivity. It’s awesome we are trying to fight back against a culture which has made us strive for impossible perfection, has already beautiful and handsome celebrities photoshopped to look unattainably gorgeous and has encouraged female models to be tall and lean and male models to be muscular and hyper-masculine.
There’s nothing wrong with fighting a culture where women are told smart means intimidating and where men are told emotional means weak.
When looking at the standards our society perpetuates, it’s really no wonder people are feeling inadequate and self-conscious.
So, it’s important to have messages in the world telling people to love themselves.
Yet, I can’t help but think there’s a problem with the way we’re giving that message.
When we say, “Be 100 percent confident 100 percent of the time,” we make people self-conscious about more than just their bodies or personalities.
We make them self-conscious about being self-conscious.
I’d like to think I could look in the mirror every day and think, “Wow, I am 100 percent awesome.
I am loving 100 percent of the things I see right now,” but I know that’s not going to happen.
Instead, when I look in the mirror, I see things like my bushy eyebrows.
I see my stomach and thighs. I see acne. I see laugh lines. Sure, I still see a pretty cute person, but I see flaws.
I’d also like to think when I hang out with people I can be 100 percent confident in my personality, but that doesn’t happen either.
I constantly think about how I’m acting and portraying myself. I hear my laugh and wonder if it’s too loud.
I hear my voice and wonder if I’m talking too much or too fast. I wonder if I make too many hand gestures.
I wonder if they understand my sense of humor. I constantly worry about these things, the things I see as flaws.
And you know what? That’s okay.
It's okay to not like things about yourself.
That’s the message being lost with all of these “100 percent you” messages we receive.
We are never told it’s okay to be self-conscious.
And it really is okay.
Being self-conscious means we’re human. As humans, we are always going to see things we don’t like about ourselves.
We’re going to look in the mirror and see acne. We’re going to laugh and wonder if we’re being annoying.
We’re going to put on a top and change immediately because we don’t like the way it looks on us that day.
We’re going to do this because we’re human. And no human can be 100 percent confident in him- or herself.
We shouldn’t be telling people they need to be 100 percent confident because that is just another impossible standard to live up to.
Instead, we need to be saying it’s okay to worry about our hair, our stomach, our thighs, our laughs.
It’s okay to not like things about ourselves, so long as our insecurities aren’t holding us back.
As long as we aren’t letting our acne stop us from going out, aren't letting our laughs stop us from making jokes or aren't letting our voices stop us from talking, then we’re fine.
Therefore, I say: It’s okay not to love yourself 100 percent. It’s okay to be self-conscious.
We’re human, and being self-conscious makes us normal.