The struggle to be confident is an age old issue that has only gotten worse with the development of Photoshop and digital editing. While both women and men struggle with confidence issues, I am going to focus on how to manage confidence from a woman’s perspective. Confidence in your appearance and who you are both are a big stress on many young women today. I see this all the time, whether it be myself or others around me. I’m not perfect and I should never aim to be, but I would like to think that I’m pretty confident in what I look like and what makes me myself. 

Body Image

                The need for a thigh gap or to look like an edited photo in real life has definitely gotten into many young women’s minds. It is a horrible thing, but it is how our society has impacted us on a personal level. It doesn’t matter if you live in the United States, England, or Japan, as the epidemic and focus on fake perfection is everywhere in the world. Sadly, the glossy photos in magazines that have been processed and edited are what many of us wish to look like whether it be means of diet and exercise or something more drastic.
                For me, the key to being comfortable in my own skin and confident in my own appearance is realizing that no one is perfect. There are thin girls that I come into contact with that tell me how they wish they were structured more like me because they are small chested and wish their breasts were bigger or wish they had a bigger rear end. Then there are girls I come into contact with that love my clothes and wish they could put things together the way I do and pull it off well for their bodies. These scenarios only further solidify my argument that almost no one is absolutely content with their body and always find a flaw to capitalize upon. 

                Finding things you like about your body and appearance is another key to having that confidence in your appearance. I wear clothes that suit my body type so I avoid low rise jeans and go with a more natural waist or higher rise jean because it evens me out since my stomach isn’t flat and my hips are a bit wide. I wear a lot of long, flowing shirts that drape over my chest to emphasize that I have a decent chest and to hide any imperfection my not super flat stomach could show. When I’m in the office or going on an interview, I stick with flattering dresses that shape the curves on my body.  Focus on what you like about yourself like your eyes, wear eye attracting makeup, or if you like your hair always have it styled.
                My number one thing about body image confidence is that not everything is for you to wear. I cannot tell you how many times people wear things that simply look horrible on them, no matter how skinny or lean or chunky they are. Dress for what looks good on you, not just because it comes in your size. Also, don’t be afraid to try items on at the store. I use to hate it until I began to realize how much more I liked the clothes I dropped my hard earned money on since they suited my body and the look I was going for.  Never be scared of color or prints, they are the best! So remember that no one is perfect and that you are lovely. If you wish to lose some weight, do so healthily with a monitoring of sweets and junk food coupled with exercise and loads of water intake!

True to Self

While I absolutely love the digital age, it has caused a lot of teens and young women to struggle with holding onto their sense of self. It is so easy to access what others are doing, how they are acting, and to compare it to yourself. I’ve noticed a few young teen girls I’ve worked with tell me how they feel like losers because their friends on Instagram have all these pictures with their boyfriends while they are single. The struggle to remain true to yourself while also dealing with relationships, whether it be of a romantic sort or not, is something very real.
I would say that I’m fortunate enough to always kind of know what I’m about when it comes to my fashion sense, my personality, and the person I am with who I wish to become. I have grown, changed my perspective on certain things, but the core of who I am has never really changed. I know that we want to please the ones we care about or like, but there is a fine line between pleasing within reason and not. Having said this, I’m going to focus on the issues that arise within romantic relationships.
We all want to appease, please, and hold onto the guy, or girl, that we like. Sometimes, in order to accomplish this, we sacrifice personal values and lose ourselves. I’m guilty of this and if any person says they aren’t, don’t listen as they are lying! What needs to happen, and I’ve found myself doing this, is a deep breath and to take a few minutes to collect yourself. Obviously, I realize this is easier said than done.

You do not have to ever change who you are to please another. If you have to change yourself then you shouldn’t be with that person. It is really just that simple. Now, little changes like better studying habits or cooking better are of a different animal. As humans, we should strive to be with someone who makes us better than what we already are. We should want to be with a person that coaxes us to not settle but to want to achieve all that we can in this lifetime. Change, without giving up on the core of who you and what you are about, is good. We all grow up, mature, and change aspects of our personality or our view on certain topics as it is normal. What I’m concerned about is the utter comprise of self or your values, like when you feel pressured to wear more makeup or change your clothes to be more revealing or have sex when you aren’t ready. Those types of pressures and changes should not be forced upon you and should come from you. Remember that anyone who cares for you for who you are won’t want such drastic changes or force them upon you!