Last Thursday I attended the screening of an empowering documentary, Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image. The event was hosted by Jamiee and Shayla, the voices behind Plus in the DMV podcast. The film was so inspiring as it documented famous supermodels- both straight and plus size, and captured their thoughts and experiences in the fashion industry, related to size. The message of the film was a universal promotion of self love and body positivity and I am so happy that I was able to witness this film, thanks to Plus in the DMV.
After the screening, I was invited to speak on a panel with makeup artist influencer Bianca of FN2S Artistry, where Shayla and Jamiee asked us questions about being self-confident and body positive. It made me realize that I personally have come a longgggggg way with my own self-confidence. I remember days when I was so ashamed of my body or myself that I would retreat to self-destruction as a way to cope. I think a lot of my confidence came with age. As you age, you become wiser and you have more experiences- good and bad- that can help shape you.
Today I’m sharing my top 5 thoughts and ways to boost your own self-love, which I hope will speak to you in some way.
1. Like Maya Angelou says about being a feminist- “I'm a feminist. I’ve been a female for some time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side,” the same goes for our confidence as well. We are who we are and we can’t change that. Sure we can evolve and grow, but at the end of the day we have traits that we will have our entire lives and we only have one body to live in. It’d be pretty stupid to not respect ourselves and be on our own sides. I guess what I’m trying to say here is- be your own best friend. You can’t rely on anyone else to love you if you don’t love yourself, either. So own who you are no matter your size/shape/color/religion/age/or anything else in between and always be on your own side.
2. We are our own worst critics. I have been through it too: self-doubt and self-criticism. Know that you will have days you don’t feel confident or you doubt yourself- but guess what? The day will end eventually and tomorrow is a new day. Don’t expect every day to be great, but know when you are feeling down and know what makes you feel better to get you through that rough day, sulk a bit, practice some self-care, and then move the f*ck on tomorrow. Life is too short to live it feeling bad about yourself.
3. On the above note- sometimes there are tools that help us when we are feeling down. Mine is red lipstick. I spoke about this on the panel last Thursday. For me, red lipstick is like an armor. It makes me feel bold and confident like I could run the world. You will see me in red lipstick 80% of the time and it has become my personal trademark that I’m proud of. Finding something like this doesn’t always have to be materialistic- it could be an activity or even a quick chat with a friend or family member that makes you feel powerful. Find a tool or something that makes you feel great and use it as a means to empower you!
4. Don’t accept negative energy. If something or someone is bringing you bad juju or bringing you down- move on. When we surround ourselves with negativity, nothing good can come from it. Negativity clouds our minds and restricts us from performing at 100% and makes us second guess ourselves. Respect yourself enough to realize when negativity is in your life and remove yourself from it at any cost.
5. Realize that confidence doesn’t come over night- it is a journey that takes time. I could tell you tons of stories about myself years ago that I couldn’t image re-living now. It took me years to build my self-confidence and to be confident in who I am and my body. Know that this is a deep personal relationship you have to have with yourself and it can take time to finally get there, but when it does- it is a beautiful thing.
Photos by Arielle Lewis Studios.
Blonde in the District