Today I want to share something personal on a topic I rarely (if ever) talk about… my battle with confidence.
I have always been skinny. The little kid on the playground with legs that looked like bean poles with giant knots in the middle (knobby knees)… that was me. My parents are both tall + thin and their lean extremities were passed along and my genes snatched them right up. I never thought much of my thinness, until I entered middle school where my outward appearance was something other kids became fixated upon. While most kids worried about forgetting their locker combination, I was dealing with a whole other slew of issues. In present day it would be classified as bullying. Kids calling me vicious names, attacking me about my bony elbows and anorexic-looking physique. Let me quickly note, I did not nor have I e.v.e.r. had an eating problem; kids just assumed that my thin frame was due to an eating disorder. I began to feel like something I couldn’t control about my outward appearance, was ‘not good enough’.
Shortly before 7th grade was over, I started wearing jeans + bulky sweat shirts to school every day. Anything to hide my scrawny arms + legs and keep the mean comments at bay. At home I would wear anything a typical 13 year old girl would wear but before school, I would stuff a sweat shirt into my bag to quickly throw it on the moment my mom dropped me off. This carried on for the entire school year. As you might guess, my parents quickly caught on to my antics shortly after 8th grade started up. In desperation to help me, my parents brought me to counseling but intimidation, fear + a lack of confidence had me stuck in my own head about my appearance.
Middle school finally ended and I could not have been more grateful. I enjoyed summer with my true friends; people who liked me for me and never judge me about my looks. Yet, I started getting anxious about going back to school… high school + the mean girls who terrorized me. I didn’t want to suffer another year in long sleeves + jeans, sweating! I couldn’t continue hiding or fearing other people. It had to stop. So, my 1st day of high school, I put on my most favorite light pink t-shirt with a star cut out and a cute pair of shorts and headed to school. I was sooo scared. What would people say? Would I end up coming home crying like I did back in 7th grade?
The craziest thing happened… no one said a word. I was stunned. Speechless. Proud.
I made it through that first day as a 9th grader with no harassment and that 1 day was a game changer for me. No longer would I allow an external opinion to affect my personal view of myself. I was going to embrace + love the body I was given as much as possible. I was no longer going to let a group of mean girls make me feel inferior because of something I could not control.
Now, let’s be real. Kids are cruel and I did not 100% escape high school without some rude + hurtful comments but there was a major change in their frequency. I think a lot of that came from my reaction… or lack there of. My confidence grew stronger when I held my head high, let snide comments roll of my back + when I chose to be strong, even if I felt weak on the inside. The phrase, ‘fake it till you make it’ became my mantra and helped me become confident in my own skin.
Every girl deals with confidence + self acceptance… I mean, how could you not in today’s society where there is so much pressure on outward appearance. Present day, most people say I am fairly confident + secure in myself and for the most part, I am. I’m confident in my own skin and proud of the woman I am today. Is everything perfect when I look in the mirror… no, but I like what I see. Partially because I am also happy with the person I am on the inside too. While I have my moments (like everyone does) I am never going to allow insecurity to creep in like it once did and take over my life. I have scrawny arms + legs… oh well.
Thank you for letting me share this incredibly personal post. I hope that sharing my story might allow you a glimpse into my more personal side, something I struggle at times sharing. I also hope that my story might be a small reminder to never judge a book by its cover and that individuality is a good thing. Likewise, beauty comes in many different forms but none are more superior than another.
all quotes via.