It’s natural for us women to feel insecure at times, but it’s disheartening to know that insecurity can take over a woman’s life and affect her overall happiness and well-being.
It’s human nature to feel unsure about ourselves, but why do we let our insecurities consume our everyday lives? Why do we worry so much about how we look or about what people think of us?
In today’s society, the bar for image standards is set ridiculously high, making it even more difficult for the average girl to feel comfortable in her own skin. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re competing with social media celebrities, filtered Instagram models and famous goddesses like the Kardashians who are constantly persuading an ideal beauty-type to the public eye. Us average girls will never be a Kardashian, nor should we have to aspire to such beauty standards that we may never reach – and that’s perfectly okay.
The most common insecurities young women face deal with their physical appearance like weight, hair, butt, boobs, etc. We wish our boobs were bigger and are waists were smaller, along with many other ideal body preferences.
Psychologist and author, Nigel Barber, Ph.D., wrote a blog post on Psychology Today discussing the psychological concept of “lookism,” and how it affects why women feel bad about their appearance. He said the evolutionary process of sexual selection seemed to favor females when it comes to the psychological evolution of how humans view themselves.
Barber said, “In general, women are much more concerned about their appearance than men are. The key reason for this is that their appearance is central to how they are evaluated by others.”
Therefore, it is natural that we care too much about what people think about us. So, the first step to feeling more confident is to not give a damn about an ideal beauty type to live up to. It’s important to keep in mind that we should always put ourselves first and not live to please anyone else. If you want to look a certain way, do it for yourself, not because someone told you to. If you’re inspired by a look, create it in your own way rather than trying to look like that person. Just be yourself, it’s all you can be.
There’s also much more to insecurities than just looks. Aside from beauty standards, many women suffer from emotional insecurities that are detrimental to their mental health.
Kate Gibson, a 2014 Temple grad with a Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood education and secondary major in theater studies, discussed her struggles of coping with insecurities and mental illness. She said her biggest insecurity has been accepting her mental health issues.
“The biggest insecurity I’ve come closest to overcoming is being okay with having mental health issues as a woman in our society,” Gibson said.
“I have scars from my mental health issues, I take medication and its very stigmatized to be bipolar in our society and that’s what I am – and I think it’s a really big thing to live in our culture with that because people think you should just grin and bear it and fix it easily.”
Gibson was diagnosed as a teenager and struggled through college with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. She’s experimented with various medications since the age of 17 and utilized therapy to help her cope.
“My biggest thing in terms of overcoming it has just been accepting myself for the person that I am and pushing myself – not to be somebody different – but embracing who I am, being full of the person I am, and taking better care of myself,” Gibson said.
“It’s very different from being like, well, I want to change who I am – no, I want to be this person, I like how sensitive I am, I like that I can get emotional and relate to people, but I want to take better care of myself so I’m not so hard on myself.”
As a woman insecurities will always be there, but it is vital that you turn those insecurities into something to be proud about. We all have flaws it’s what makes us human. Learn to love your flaws because they are what make you uniquely you. Whenever you feel down about yourself just look around and know you aren’t alone.