Queen Bey said it best in her under-appreciated, but equally fantastic song, "Check On It."
"If you got it, flaunt it.”
So why, ladies, do we constantly sell ourselves short instead of flaunt our best qualities? I’m not talking about your great boobs or your fantastic butt. I’m talking about our accomplishments, our knowledge, our interests; the parts of ourselves that society has somehow told us we should hide or minimize so that we’ll be seen as being more attractive or “better.”
Daily I hear a friend, girl on the street or woman in the bar saying something that downplays how awesome she is.
“Yea, I speak Spanish, but only because I had to take a language in college.” Girl, who cares why you speak Spanish? The fact that you are bilingual is awesome, especially by American standards where, unfortunately, the emphasis on speaking more than one language isn’t a priority.
Don’t make yourself seem small because you think someone else might have a problem with it or you don’t want to come across as bragging. Brag away!
“I’m just a receptionist.” Cool! You have a job! Okay, sure, maybe it’s not your dream job, but we all start somewhere. You’re on the ladder to success and you’re one of the fortunate college graduates who is employed. Do you know how many recent grads would kill to be a receptionist with benefits? I bet a lot. And hey, without you, execs would have to answer their own calls and then the world would probably end, so don't forget you matter.
The thing is, we’re somehow under the assumption that by downplaying all of these different parts of ourselves, we’ll come across as more attractive to the opposite sex. I mean, no one wants to date a narcissist, but there is a difference between cockiness and general pride in oneself and one’s accomplishments.
Don’t give in to the notion that by being proud of your accomplishments and freely talking about them that you are unattractive, narcissistic or a bitch. Having things to brag about just means you’re living and working hard to better yourself as a person.
“I went home with the guy from the bar last night, but that was only because I was drunk.” How many times have we heard this? Okay, maybe it’s not your crowning moment of glory, but you don’t need to tack on an excuse. Stop selling your sexuality short. You’re allowed to go home with whomever you like. You don’t need to try to excuse a decision you made. It’s your life and you don’t need to explain it to anyone.
By selling ourselves short, we’re denying our true potential. We’re demoting ourselves and pushing ourselves into a tiny little box of standards. Break out of that; live the life you want and don’t apologize for it. Don’t sell yourself short and don’t make excuses.
The next time you feel yourself having to defend a choice or an accomplishment or anything else, don’t do it. Hold your head high while the naysayers do their thing. You are one of a kind and all of the little things you do and have accomplished are meaningful. You should celebrate that!
The truth is, no one else's opinion really matters; what you think of yourself does. And in all honesty, if Beyoncé isn’t selling herself short, neither should you. You're practically the same person, right?
Photo via We Heart It