Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Feminine Urge to Feel Guilty of Our Confidence

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

A confident woman. Many things come to mind when thinking about this person. How confident is she really, though? Does she love herself too much? Is she too headstrong? Is she not soft or feminine enough? Why is she so confident? Should she be so confident? 

The true understanding of confidence has always been something I strive towards embodying. My understanding of confidence is the ability to feel happy and secure with who you are as a person while not comparing yourself to others. I grew up in a family of successful, independent women, so my confidence has always been supported by my loved ones. I had wrongly assumed that most girls felt able to express themselves and felt comfortable talking about their successes with others. It was not until I began to have deeper conversations with females my age that I understood this was not the case for many girls growing up. 

There are a huge amount of different types of confidence that women can work towards. This can include body confidence, confidence in one’s success, and emotional confidence. Fostering all of these types are important in creating a well-rounded understanding of holistic confidence. 

In this 21st century society, great pressure is placed upon women to be more confident, but not confident enough that they fully understand their potential and feel comfortable enough to stand up for themselves. For example, women should be able to speak clearly in the workplace, but she can’t be too assertive. She’ll be seen as a tyrant after.  While we can place blame on the media, we can also find positivity and acceptance in the media today as well. If we focus on the good in the world to foster our own idea of confidence, we can break the cycle of feeling guilty for said confidence. 

I choose to focus on surrounding myself with media, music, and television that supports successful, confident, and happy women. There are so many female artists that use their voices to help women grow into their own rather than make them feel lesser than others. Rihanna and Taylor Swift continue to fight for equality for women while empowering them in many different areas as well. 

In her Netflix documentary Miss Americana, Taylor Swift describes her experience of facing backlash for her success within her field. She says, “there is no such thing as a slut, there is no such thing as a bitch, there is no such thing as someone who’s bossy, there’s just a boss. We don’t wanna be condemned for being multifaceted.” The words “slut,” “bitch,” and “bossy” are all tossed around in daily life to describe women with the intention of fostering insecurity regarding a woman’s personality. 

These words are hardly, if ever, used to refer to men;  women have to fight through these labels more than men in order to grow their confidence. No matter what you do in this life, someone will find a reason to ridicule you. When this comes, we must stand strong in our choices and choose to disregard the unnecessary taunting from others (which is true for all people). 

Rihanna has been a female icon for years, and her confidence in herself in all capacities is admirable. When asked by an interviewer what her trick to remaining confident and fearless consistently, even when she doesn’t feel it is to “pretend.”She says, “I mean why not? It’s either that or cry myself to sleep. Who wants to do that?… That’s a waste of tears.” 

When all else fails, Rihanna’s advice holds true. No one will know if you are faking your confidence, so why not pretend? Even if you wake up feeling insecure, even if your confidence sways drastically day to day, focusing on this growth of self-esteem daily will pay off in the long haul. Changing your mindset into believing you are confident will make you more so in the end. 

So how can we work on fostering this unapologetic confidence? Well, there are small changes that you can add into your daily routine to subconsciously change your mindset. For example, unfollowing anyone on social media who makes you feel insecure or forces you to second-guess yourself will remove any excess stressors on your phone. It is important to make your phone your safe space; you do not owe it to anyone to follow them if they do not positively add to your life. I choose to follow body confidence influencers such as Mik Zazon, Jenny Gaither, and Nicole Landry who promote healthy living and a healthy relationship with their bodies. 

On top of cleansing your phone, there are ways in which we have to actively work towards confidence every day. Taking time out of your busy schedule to journal your feelings or spending extra alone time with yourself can help you to get to know yourself better. Self-care activities such as trying a new recipe, setting aside extra time to do your skincare routine, or taking yourself on little dates are simple but effective ways to focus on yourself. 

Confidence in yourself comes from no one else. It comes from no one’s validation or acceptance. It comes from you putting your best out into the world. When you feel confident, hold onto that. Push past the negative stares from others that put the idea in your head that you should ever feel lesser. If you have worked to gain confidence, do not let anyone take that hard work away from you.

Ryn is a sophomore English and Media and Communication Studies double major at The Catholic University of America.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️