Self Esteem Does NOT Equal Vanity: It’s Okay to Like Yourself!

*”That’s What’s Makes You Beautiful” plays in background*

Before we dive into this, I should provide some context as to why am I writing this. I have recently noticed how common it is to, well, spit on self-confidence. But people don’t actually realize this. I personally believe this is because it is almost completely internalized. When you look at the deeper meanings of comments like “she thinks she’s all that” or (to be a bit explicit) “she is so far up her own ass”, what are these comments really saying? What are they actually attacking?

Not only do comments like these degrade and derail self-confidence, they are more frequently than not used to insult women and young girls compared to men and young boys. They chip away at our self-respect because (again, internally) being shy or quiet is represented as cute and respectable. And as expressed in the token 1D song mentioned above, women aren’t supposed to think they are beautiful. How often do you hear in books or tv shows about the confident young man falling for the “hidden beauty” of the meek girl compared to the “typical” and “basic” girl, who is written as out-going and confident? For whatever reason, within our culture through translation of these media outlets, we have been brainwashed to feel that confident and self-assured = b*tchy and vain.

This ideal completely undermines a woman’s sense of worth. If this stereotype was used in a y/a novel for example, one of the male protagonist’s “jobs” would be to tell the insecure female character how beautiful and amazing she is, which would then cause her life and entire attitude to change. This common storyline enforces a mindset of which young girls feel the need to be validated by men as  opposed to having their self-worth stem from their own opinion.

Because this is so deeply rooted in our culture it has become unnoticeable. Media has implanted this into our minds and now self confidence is frowned upon. God forbid that we think of ourselves as pretty or talented. That is not our job to decide, we should rely on someone to convince us.

The only way to counteract this is to become aware. By thinking twice before insulting someone’s confidence or making remarks like these, this problem can easily be solved. Remember: having self-confidence does not make you vain! It is okay to like yourself!

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CeCe Shilling
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15 y/o Marvel & Star Wars movie enthusiast. Check out my articles on Affinity's Arts + Culture website under CeCelia Shilling ♫

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