Accepting Yourself

What I say has no value because I’m not pretty.

I’m not a size 0, so what do my talents matter? 

If I’m not drop-dead-gorgeous no one will want to pay attention to me.

I can’t be in control – I have no reason to be confident.

If you’ve ever had these thoughts, you’re not alone. I always think these same things. Or at least, I used to. I used to think – geez, I’m a girl. If you’re a girl, no one gives a shit unless you’re a model or an actress or wearing next to nothing. As a woman, I thought my power came from the boys that liked my body, how sexy I looked, how many guys I had under my thumb, how good of an actress and how fake I was. Think about that. Isn’t that sick? Why should what any person with a penis’s opinion of me matter? Because that’s what men are, right? They’re human beings with anatomy, which makes them no different – no better, no worse – than any woman. And why should I make myself into something I’m not just to impress others? Or, what I see as more common in the girls I’m around every day, why should I make myself into something I’m not just to keep others on my side?

Keeping others on my side. That seems to be on the mind of a lot of women. I’ll be honest – so many times I’ve had a different opinion than someone else, but I’ve agreed with them just to avoid confrontation. I’ve brought myself to their level, I’ve changed myself to make myself acceptable. Why am I not acceptable as I amThe truth is, I am! – if only I accept myself.

Sometimes, it’s easy to disagree with someone, to not worry what they think of you. Maybe you’ve never gotten along with them. Maybe they’re a bully. Sometimes, it’s not even that hard to disagree with a friend, because hey, you’re already friends and they’ve already accepted you for who you are. But guys, life is NOT about who accepts you and who doesn’t. You don’t succeed at life because everyone accepts you, everyone agrees with you, everyone LIKES you. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly, open, good-natured – but there is also so much empowerment in feeling that you CAN take care of yourself, you DO have your own opinion along with a right to it, and you ARE ABSOLUTELY ALLOWED to disagree with people. Even your superiors.

Now, disagreeing with superiors. Aren’t we all taught to respect our elders? Let me tell you right now, disagreeing is not the same as disrespecting. I think a lot of people have trouble with that difference. Especially, and here I am pushing the envelope, the elders themselves. Here’s a quick little story about something small that I went through that bothered me, big time:

It was a few months before homecoming, and I was shopping around for dresses. Until this point, I’d always worn short, tight dresses. And that was even when I basically HATED my body. Now, I’m a lot better about caring about my body. Anyway, I decided that I didn’t want to be thought of as slutty, or to show off my body like that. I didn’t want people looking at me because of how sexy I looked or how hot I was. I just wanted to feel beautifully confident and happy. So, I told my mom I wanted to buy a full-length dress. Nothing too fancy, just something a little different. I wanted to stand out! I wanted to show people that I could be just as beautiful as any girl – without wearing next to nothing. But my mom said no. She got mad, even. She said, “You’re going to look different than everybody else! You’re going to look ridiculous!” Since when did being different make me ridiculous? There I was, thinking I was trying to make a positive difference, trying to make MYSELF feel good about MYSELF. And I’d been shot down, by somehow who should have, or so I thought, the same opinion as me. And I’ll tell you, although my dress wasn’t tight (My mom happened to pick out a loose dress) it was short. 

Ok. So, obviously I realize that one homecoming dress doesn’t make a world of difference. But to me, that dress sparked confidence in my passion to give women the power to make their own lives count for something more than what others think of them. Why should we filter ourselves? Why should being like the rest be the norm? Why shouldn’t we be assertive, be different, be taught to be confident in ourselves to the last? We should be taught that way!

So, I challenge you, everyone – especially the ladies! Allow yourselves your own opinions – but more importantly, allow those around you THEIR OWN opinions. You don’t have to agree – but you should learn to respect. Allow yourself to be your own person, and stop worrying about who accepts you and who doesn’t! Life is a road you walk FOR YOURSELF, whether you’ve got 200 people behind you or 2. 

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