How to gain self-love by embracing insecurities
In a society where imperfections are shunned and ‘perfection’ is the standard, it’s no wonder the insecurities are widespread. Nearly everyone has felt insecure about something at some point in their lives. We’re either too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short — the list goes on. Insecurities are not limited to body image, but also apply to personality — too shy, too arrogant, too smart.
But what if we turned those insecurities into self-love and celebration, embracing what makes us unique?
Our differences, or what we perceive as flaws, are what sets us apart. Besides, it’s up to us to determine whose opinion matters most when it comes to how we view ourselves, and what we regard as our own personal beauty standards.
We’ve asked creatives about some insecurities they’ve overcome over the years, and this is what they said:
“Growing up, and well into adulthood, I was insecure about the size of my nose. I felt like it spread across my face way too much. When I first looked in the mirror, it was all I saw. I was never taunted about my nose ever, so it was all on me believing that I had to have a skinny nose as the media images portrayed in order to be considered beautiful. Today, I love and fully embrace my “negroe nose with the Jackson 5 nostrils!” I like how it adds to my exotic facial structure and even went out and got a nose ring! I love me. Every piece of me.” – Valerie (@unapologetic_us)
“Growing up, I never viewed my hair as something special. I counted the days until I was allowed to get a relaxer and always viewed it as something I needed to fix. I finally transitioned to natural hair after three failed attempts and honestly was still a little underwhelmed. Little did I know it would change the trajectory of my life and my career. I started being booked and celebrated for the thing that I always viewed as a problem. Loving and accepting the hair (just as it is) that grows out of my head has been a deepening love affair…I’ve learned not to fight it and let it be it’s surprising, confusing, kinky, coily, wonderful self.” – Africa @AfricaMiranda
“I was insecure about my lips growing up — I didn’t see any other black girls with lips as small/thin as mine. Today I focus on them less because I’ve been told by many that my smile is one of my best features. I love making people laugh and smile, so it makes me feel good that people like to see me smile, too!” – Tamesha
“My shape. For years I hid my shape with too big clothes. Motherhood helped me embrace the softness of hips and junk in my trunk. Losing weight and getting definition in certain areas made me feel a lot better about my self. I loved me at every size, but now I’m more confident and comfortable.” – @foodlovetog @kendence
“I began to develop a complex about my dark skin when I was a child. I didn’t mind my skin, but it seemed to be such an overwhelming issue for the people around me, and society in general. I couldn’t get away from it. And when you watch your friend go to prom and have boyfriends you start to believe that maybe they are right. I would even go so far as to wear long pants and and long sleeves in the summer to prevent my skin from darkening. Choosing to become a beauty and fashion blogger/vlogger four years ago has absolutely allowed me to embrace my dark skin and now wear it as a badge of honor. I make videos and write blog posts for women like me, women who society tells in every way possible that they are ugly.” – Lisa @lisaalamode (IG, Youtube, FB)
“I was always teased for being too skinny. By friends, family, random strangers in the street. I was a sprinter in track in high school and college but never got that thick sprinters bottom half. I was self-conscious about my weight, not going over 100lbs until I was in my mid-20s despite how much I ate. I loved running and working out but stopped out of fear of being judged or people thinking I was anorexic (a common taunt when I was growing up). Eventually, I realized, this is me. I love to run and workout to be healthy and I’m not going to hide or feel shameful about it. I actually became a personal trainer to help others get fit and healthy too. Fast forward to today, 2 kids later and in my mid 30’s I am still a naturally slim woman, but I workout and run with pride. [I] eat as much or as little as I want knowing I’m healthy and happy that’s ultimately what matters.” – @daniellefaust (Twitter) @thedanifaust (IG) @fitnoire
“As a kid, teen, and well into adulting, I was insecure about pretty much every aspect of my personality — the way I thought, my interests, the way I spoke, how I viewed the world… There is not a lot of tolerance for difference in southern small town, USA. I spent a lot of time trying to mute myself and fit in. Now, I absolutely love and own my individuality. I no longer apologize for it. It has turned out to be my greatest and most valuable asset.” – Ebony F.
“Growing up, I was always taller than most. I was almost 5 feet 10 inches in middle school. As women, we are constantly put into boxes of what society attempts to explain as right or wrong based on social norms. I was very intimidating to some and people normally treated me as older than my age, simply based on how tall I was. For a while, I worried about the fact that none of the boys liked me and what people would say about me when I wore heels or stepped off the court. Being picked on at an early age for something that I now love about myself shaped who I am as a business woman. True confidence is built from being broken down and rebuilding the way you feel about yourself — on your own terms and not how someone else feels about you. We have to teach our youth that you should never apologize for your gifts and that not everyone will receive what they deem to be different.” – Kaye Chambers
“As a child I was insecure about my lips. I was a skinny girl with big lips during a time when full lips weren’t in ‘style.’ Kids teased me about them, made up names for them and even a rap song. The very thing I was teased about I incorporated into my brand. MimiCuteLips. These big beautiful lips are my logo in life and business. Did I mention people are spending thousands of dollars for something I was born with?” – Mimi @mimicutelips (Twitter, IG, FB)
“I’m curvy and I’ve always been curvy. Before I came into womanhood I was ashamed of being well-proportioned and it made me insecure. Adolescent boys would brag about having sex with me long before I was ever sexually active. Today, I am proud of my figure and I embrace the power of my sexuality.” – De’Janae Evins
“Here it goes: When I first decided to stop relaxing my hair and grow my textured hair, a lot of people had negative things to say about my short, coily/kinky hair. I didn’t even like it at first because I love big hair, but I channeled my inner fierce and rocked it with confidence. Now I’m able to help other women see the beauty in their textured tresses and my website Naturally-Glam.com is a go-to resource for caring for textured hair.” – Jonna @naturallyglamTV (YouTube & Twitter) @naturallyglam (FB & IG)
“Growing up, I was insecure about my complexion. It was not because I didn’t enjoy the hue of my skin or felt as though it made me inferior, but it was an aspect of myself that confused me. All my other friends who were composed of the same mixture as me (African American and Puerto Rican) had lighter complexions and I seemed to be the darkest of that mix. But now, I love the skin I’m in. I love that my skin tone is not only a reflection of an amazing lineage of people, but it also is a reminder to all those who see me that people of color, all people of color, are amazing mixtures of textures and tones (literally). I am now a proud Afro-Latina, inside and out.” – Shannon Nia (@ShannonNia)
“During my teen years, I was always extremely insecure about my arms. No matter how fit I got or how much weight I lost, my arms never changed. They felt like wide, flabby attachments. Then one day my dad told me that I have arms just like my grandmother, his mother. From then on, I’ve learned to love my arms. My grandmother was strong. She held everyone together. My arms are broad and squishy and firm when I need them to be strong. And that’s alright with me.” – Devonnie B. (@devonnieblack)
“I’ve got a small butt! Even as a young girl, my family used to comment on its flatness. I’ve been teased by friends for it; people thought it was especially odd because I have large breasts and curvy hips, yet lack this particular — for lack of a better word — asset. Although it was all in good fun, I became incredibly self-conscious about my butt. One guy actually used to comment on how much he preferred fat a**es on women…to my face…while we were hooking up. He even told me as I headed home for Thanksgiving to “eat lots of cornbread.”
I don’t know when exactly it happened but somewhere along the way, I stopped caring. My butt is small — so what! I’ll never get to be a member of The Official Twerk Team, but it won’t stop me from celebrating my body. I will always love my little booty because it’s a part of me.” – Samantha A. (@Sam_Antrum)
And there you have it. What aspects of yourselves have you been insecure about? How have you turned it around to your advantage?
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