I was invited by my sweet friend Brooke Kupcho to collaborate with a few other women in the blogging world to talk about self image, struggles, accomplishments, and lots more. She sent me a list of 5 questions to answer with a note to ** BE RAW**. Those words scared me. Be raw? I'm a fashion blogger.... am I ready to share such personal and emotional words with the internet world? I was immediately convicted by my own fears and brought back to remember why I started this blog. I wanted to participate in a community of like minded women who could share, confide and relate with each other. though fashion is a bit of a shallow subject, it is definitely a subject that a wide demographic of women can relate on, so I started there. It's easy, impersonal, and less intimidating than bearing my soul's deepest insecurities and flaws with my peers. But I have come to realize something...
There is power in sharing physical and emotional insecurities with the world.
I hope my words can comfort those who feel alone, empower those who feel defeated, and hopefully inspire those who want to be better versions of themselves.
1. Share your favorite feature of yourself and why you find it important to recognize your positive features?
1. This question is a little funny to me, mostly because my favorite feature about myself is my hair… which isn’t all mine haha, (we can address that one in a different post ;-)). But really, I think my favorite features (that are 100% mine) are my lips anddddd my butt (yes, I said it). It’s interesting, if you would have asked me this question a year ago I would have said that my butt was my worst feature. I used to have this picture in my mind that thin Victoria Secret twig like figures were the standard of beauty and I just didn’t fit (literally). Over the last few years I’ve come to learn that curves are a beautiful thing. I’ve embraced them rather than complain about them. Honestly, I feel the real beauty is the confidence I’ve gained about my figure. Which is why I believe it’s a good and healthy thing to recognize your favorite features about yourself!
I used to be really, really insecure about my appearance, and still am now from time to time. As women, thats like a thing we’re cursed with - random irrational spurts of insecurity. As Ive gotten older I’ve realized that beauty isn’t defined by how big your boobs are and ugliness isn’t defined by how many dimples you have on your thighs, but rather the state of your heart and attitude. I know, SO cliche! I’m almost tempted to delete that last sentence because I fear it sounds so empty and redundant. I mean it though. Years from now, your girlfriends won’t remember how beautiful or ugly your hair was and your boyfriends won’t remember how toned or flabby your body was. They will remember how you treated them, how you spoke to them, how you served them; they will remember your heart, which is the hardest thing to train and tone. If you dedicate yourself to constantly work towards having a selfless, controlled and humble heart, I promise you will be the most beautiful human being this world will ever see.
2. What are you most self conscious of, physically?
2. Before I go into detail in answering this, I just want to point out that this particular question was the reason I wanted to collaborate on this post. I think people often assume bloggers lives are always positive and perfect and picturesque (definitely didn’t mean to make that an alliteration just there). We blog about the beautiful things, the happy parts of vacations and the good in our lives because it’s easy and safe to share about the pretty things; it’s tough to share about the ugly, unpleasant, and often real things that go on in life. I wanted to do this post because I wanted the challenge of being raw and real on my blog. To be open and honest about the ugly insecurities in my life because I think they are relatable and important to mention so that others don’t feel they are alone in their own.
That being said, my biggest physical insecurity is my temperamental acne prone skin. I’m pretty sure that every person, guy or girl, that suffers with any level of breakouts just absolutely HATES them. Breakouts can be painful and embarrassing and just such a pain in the butt. Throughout jr. high - high school I tried every prescription cream and serum, even the really intense ones like Retin A Micro and (almost) Accutane. I thought after high school & college that my skin would mature and be freed from the random break out battle. Though it’s gotten SO much better over the years, it’s still something I definitely deal with around that time of the month.
My acne can severely change my mood & self esteem, if I let it. I remember complaining about my breakouts to my best friend (who I shared a room with in college for 4 years) because I felt they were soooooo noticeable. Has that ever happened to you? You get a pimple (or 4) and you think EVERYONE will be able to see it and for some irrational reason you fear they will all automatically think you are so ugly and then proceed to talk to each other about how bad your acne is behind your back. Ok, so maybe thats just me haha, but I’ve had times where that was my exact thought process. In reality, all of those people also probably have a pimple (or 4) that they are irrationally fretting over and therefore, are way too preoccupied to even notice the few spots on your face! As hard as it is to deal with acne, just know that you’re not alone. I try to be positive and not allow my breakouts to have control over my self esteem by remembering that most of the time, it’s way worse in my own head!
3. What are you emotionally struggling with?
3. I love this question because it’s real but I also hate this question because my answer might show a not so wonderful side of myself. I’m a very passionate person. Now that adjective sounds attractive and exciting, and though there are definitely a few positive things about it, there are two very negative outcomes that result from having a passionate nature. I have an attraction to pride and a tendency to join in confrontation, and the worst part is that I didn’t even recognize it in myself for a long long time. When I believe in something I believe in it strongly and passionately, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It's not until my strong passions are displayed through argumentative conversations and my “always right” attitude that those passions turn into negative characteristics. Pride is tricky because you don’t really notice that you’re being it until someone points it out in you, and if you are it, that criticism usually won’t go over very well. I’m learning that a prideful attitude hurts people, it causes dissension within groups and makes individuals ugly. Even when my heart’s intentions are so pure in what I am passionate about, the way I share my beliefs and passions can sometimes come across too strong. I’m learning that I can’t change people, which is really hard for me. I’m a fixer (totally like Olivia Pope, ;-) jk) and when I can’t help or fix people I get frustrated and take it personally. Im learning that people don’t want help unless they ask. And by help I mean things like offering information to change an opinion, encouraging an improved lifestyle, or even just giving advice about a relationship. I need to learn to express my love for people louder than my ideas on how to help, improve or change them. It’s been a challenging lesson to learn, but a life changing one none the less.
4. OK so youve established what youre physically self conscious about and emotionally struggle with. Why is it so silly? What are YOU going to do to change your mindset?!
4. So, what am I going to do to improve my mindset? What am I going to change to be a better version of myself? Im going to remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God. He has given me the body that I am in and the mind that I have. Though I am susceptible to silly insecurities and moments of pride, I know that I am ultimately in control of how I think, talk and act. I want to be a woman of love and patience who is remembered by the way she serves people, not by her cute outfits or how good her conversation points were. The Bible has a simple solution on how to achieve the positive things and how to avoid the negative ones. Serve people and esteem them higher than yourself. When you serve others you tend to forget about your own problems and insecurities. When you esteem them higher than yourself you learn how to love them better and in turn, they learn how to do the same to you :)
5. What do you want to share with your female readers?
5. Although I touched on this a little already, I want to finish with this: though it’s fun to get dolled up and wear cute clothes (there’s nothing wrong with that I might add), the exterior appearance means very little in the long run. There are lots of people who strive to be externally gorgeous in one way or another, but there are only a few people who strive to be internally beautiful, focus your efforts on how to be internally stunning and you will be a unique and beautiful force to be reckoned with :)