Confidence is a subject we spend a lot of time discussing. How do we find it? How do we keep it?
I’ve always been curvy, and that body type hasn’t been as celebrated as it is now. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years covering myself in baggy clothing, even though I was about 50 pounds lighter than I am today. But I’m not doing it any more. Should I lose some weight? Yes. But I’m not ashamed of how I look. I’m not ashamed of my big butt and thick thighs. I’m not ashamed of my wide hips or thick calves. I’m not ashamed to be who I am. And, quite frankly, I’ve never given much of a shit about what anyone thought of me.
There are two things that other women have said to me that stuck – not because their words upset me (they didn’t), but because they choose to live their lives believing this garbage. At my first job out of college, a co-worker said this: “You have a lot of confidence, which I think is great because you’re a bigger girl.” Oof. A couple of years ago, a co-worker at my current job (she’s no longer there, thank goodness) had this to say: “I think it’s great that you’re not afraid to wear stripes.” Damn straight, lady. I love a good stripe! About 85% of my spring and summer wardrobe includes stripes and I’m not pushing them to the back of my closet because you don’t think I should wear them.
When I talk about being upset about gaining weight, it doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my confidence. Being healthy is my number one priority. I want to be in shape because I want to do everything. I want to fit into my clothes because it’s expensive to replace your wardrobe. I want to live. That’s it. I’m still me. As women, we have to stop tying our confidence to our weight. We’re more than a number on a scale. Confidence shouldn’t be all about your appearance. It should come from feeling good. It should come from doing good. How you get there is up to you.
One of the best comments about confidence comes from Mindy Kaling: “I always get asked ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well-meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?'” BOOM. We’re worth a lot, my friends. Whether you’re 600 pounds or 65 pounds, you. are. worthy. You’re worthy if you’re single or been married 50 years. You’re worthy if you have 15 children or none. You’re worthy if you’re a janitor or if you’re a CEO. You’re worthy of confidence. You’re worthy of having an exceptional life.
Rock on, ladies.