All posts tagged: Confidence

Looks, Likeability, & Constant Worry

I used to worry so much about being liked. I wouldn’t admit it to myself at the time, but I spent much of high school, college, and a few years after undergrad stressing out about being a universally well-liked person (though I now realize that person doesn’t exist). Unlike most boys, girls are often brought up to be likable. Being “ladylike” has social capital – if we look and act pleasant, we’re taught we’ll move ahead. Be too loud or bossy or unkempt and you may create some enemies. I’ve spent most of my life feeling that my likeability (including how I’m perceived physically) was what mattered most. These were feelings that I internalized and battled with constantly. I didn’t want to feel that way, and I knew that it went against all that I felt I stood for. But time and time again I gave into my insecurities and felt that I wasn’t enough. Not pretty enough…not thin enough…not cool enough…not clever enough…not fun enough…not smart enough… After years of wasting so much time worrying …

Growing Into My Tallness

Once my greatest source of discomfort, my height is now my shield, my strength. In kindergarten I towered over my peers – both boys and girls. My shoe size grew every year, correlating with my age until middle school. Most women will never wear size ten or eleven shoes, let alone many prepubescent girls. By sixth grade I was nearly the height I am today – 5’11”. As a result of my height bracket, I never thought I was cute. My bigness made me feel void of femininity. Now I find great beauty in my stature, but as an adolescent all I wanted was to be smaller. To blend in. To be what boys at that time thought was pretty. It pains me to think of how much time, even as a young girl, I spent worrying about what others thought of me. Feeling too tall, too big, too uncommon. While I’ve grown to love my height, there are still days when my size feels daunting. Overpowering. Not pretty. Unfeminine. Almost eight years ago I …

Don’t Have a Valentine? Don’t Fret

It took finally finding a Valentine for me to realize just how unimportant Valentine’s day is. Who needs to eat more chocolate anyways? And I’d like to think that no adult out there genuinely wants a new teddy bear – or at least, I hope. But don’t get me wrong – I think that you should take every chance you get to tell the person you love that you love them. As with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthdays, Valentine’s day is a time to appreciate your loved one. But no one, and I mean no one, should feel left out or unappreciated just because they happen to be single and it happens to be February 14th. If you’re single, then Valentine’s Day should be looked at as a day to love yourself. I can recall being bummed about V-Day as early as first grade. First grade! I was taller than all of the boys and had no chance of anyone ever having a crush on me (whatever crush really means at that age). I …

Spectacular Short Doc About Beauty & Perception: ‘There She Is’

Am I beautiful? It’s a question that each and every woman will ask herself at one point in her life (or more likely, several). Women are constantly being bombarded by images and advertisements that define beauty within the context of American perfectionism. These ads tell us what’s attractive, interesting, or even acceptable – making it nearly impossible to ignore these standards and love ourselves for who we are. What’s particularly disturbing is that the women in these ad campaigns don’t live up to such standards themselves. They must be covered in make-up from head to toe, lit perfectly, and photoshopped before they exemplify the very measures of beauty they were hired to represent. It’s a problem. Filmmakers Emily Sheskin and Veena Rao set out to examine the perception of women’s beauty in their short documentary, There She Is. The film follows best friends Allison Kopach and Jenny Flores as they compete in the 2011 American Beauties Plus Pageant, which is open to women sizes 14 and up. Short documentaries are such fascinating forms of storytelling because they require …