Nowadays we live in a scary world where we are constantly being judged by ourselves and everyone else around us, especially on social media. Sometimes it feels like we can’t do anything without someone calling us up on it.
One of the main struggles girls go through currently is self confidence and body image. This is something that I have also struggled with recently and some would say that I still am. Even the happiest of people can still not be 100% confident in there own skin and even sometimes start to hate what they look like or feel like. To say this is normal would be telling a white lie, but a lot struggle with this feeling.
One of my friends messaged me the other day asking for advice about this topic, and I’ve known for a while now that she has been struggling to cope with finding self confidence on her own, and so she asked me for help. At first I didn’t know what to put. Usually stuff like this would come easy to me because I can relate – I’ve gone through it too. However this time, it’s different.
I think it’s because right now everyone can hate you on social media, even if you don’t know the person. And it’s because of this constant concern that we put pressure on ourselves and judge ourselves more than others judge us. In a way, this could be seen as “good” because it discourages hate towards other people (to an extent), but obviously this creates self hate and self deprecation which is no better. Actually, it’s worse. You have to learn to love yourself if you want to make it out alive in this world, as throughout your entire life the one person who is going to stick by your side is yourself, so learn to be nice to her.
This friend told me that she can’t go to school without makeup on, or can’t leave the house without feeling anxious about being around people. This didn’t come as a surprise to me, because I’ve known this about her for a while, but I’ve tried to allow her to figure it out on her own (she has known herself about her anxiety for a while before I did, it’s ok!). Nonetheless, this upset me. In my eyes, she doesn’t need to put makeup on, and there is no need for her to feel scared to talk to people because she has no imperfections! This girl is truly amazing and it’s sad that she doesn’t see it, but it’s how the human mind works: we bully and torture ourselves to our deaths, that’s just how it is. But we can learn to deal with that and grow from it. Even though I think that she shouldn’t be anxious about this all, I know that from her point of view she thinks that she will die unless she wears makeup around other people etc. Why? Well, I think a big reason for that anxiety is the group of friends she’s with. Time after time I have tried to tell her my opinion of them, but, loyally and rightfully, she supports them and tells me not to talk bad about them. I’m just trying to get her to see that they are making her (not just them, though) feel like this. Obviously a big part of it too comes from her own mind.
I think that one of the best things to do to start feeling more positive about yourself is to start distancing yourself from negative people and/or surround yourself with positive people who will help you find yourself again. This could be a hard process but it’ll also help you find out who your fake and true friends are.
It’s really hard to start to love yourself again after you have fallen out of love, but that’s when we find ourselves so you have to learn at some point! Something which everyone must know is this: whatever you are going through, you are not the only one!!! There’s a million other girls going through this cycle of love and hate with their body right now, so really, this feeling is “normal”, in terms of the world today, but I just wish it wasn’t classed as that. Instead I’ll use the word “common”. Despite this, one day you will wake up and wonder why you ever hated the way you look or how your hair doesn’t straighten and there’s always a kink in it: you’ll learn to love your imperfections. That’s the first part of self love and growing up. I’m not saying that the “one day” is going to be a random one, it’ll come after a while of battling with your love and hate demons, after many breakdowns and ugly crying, but it’ll come. You will realise that it’s silly to care about what others think, even though it’s natural to do so, because we all seek approval from our peers. This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with the good type of people, the ones who care about you truly, so that they won’t judge you for your flaws.
At the end of the day, no one really judges us. It’s the paranoia we give ourselves about that which makes us judge ourselves and want to make ourselves look “perfect” all the time in order to “fit in”. It’s us who are those demons: we judge ourselves. And no, it’s not right, but this is normal. Battling your own demons is a crucial process in order to seek out who you truly are (and who your true friends are). It’s all part of growing up.