Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Hub SignsoftheTimes Hero 1?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
Hub SignsoftheTimes Hero 1?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Wellness > Mental Health

How I Took My Insecurities And Punched Them Straight In The Face

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Growing up, I wanted to be Taylor Swift. Not because of her beautiful voice, adoring fans, or incomprehensible popularity, but because she was pretty. I wanted her obvious perfection, the unconditional love she garners, her confidence. I wanted her perfect blue eyes, perfect blond hair and perfectly proportional body. My dreams were a tad bit out of reach considering I was a 7-year-old Indian girl, but that’s when my insecurities really started taking root. I felt like my brown skin and thick black hair made me stick out, and I would have done anything to change those things about myself. 

A few years later, upon finally reaching middle school, I stopped wishing I could paint my skin and dye my eyes because I found friends who, like me, weren’t white. It was almost gratifying how my culture went from a weakness to the very reason I could connect with these new friends. We danced to Bollywood songs and traded secrets about our parents that no one else would understand. They became my home away from home and I always was comfortable being myself around them, so this is the first step I took while fighting insecurities:

Find your people

Not everyone you keep close will look like you, nor should they, but I’ve found that it’s always nice to have someone like me around so I feel less like a sore thumb. These are the people who understand my struggles with hyperpigmentation of my knees or sunscreen giving me a white cast. They deal with similar struggles and we are able to help each other through it. Even if “your” people don’t look exactly like you, find people who are honest and supportive. My friends don’t hesitate to tell me when my eyeliner looks more like strangers than sisters, or when my outfit just isn’t working, but they also help me fix it and tell me I look beautiful. We all deserve friends like that.

Self reflect

Whenever I come across a new insecurity within myself, I try to figure out where it came from and whether I still care about it. For example, I became self-conscious of my acne scars when I was told that I looked like a connect-the-dots. But the day I take advice from a 12-year-old boy is the day I give up my pride. Similarly, I don’t think a picture of Jennifer Aniston with legs smoother than a baby’s bottom should confine me to years of razor burn and cuts all over my legs. Discovering the source of my insecurities takes the power out of them because I either don’t care about the person setting expectations for me, or I find that the expectations are completely unrealistic. 

Live in discomfort

In high school, I noticed I had been wearing my hair down every day despite being constantly frustrated with it, and some self-reflection led me to the reason: I was ashamed of my cheeks. I had been made fun of for having chubby cheeks and they were dotted with acne scars, so I took my long hair as an excuse to hide this insecurity. I got so mad at myself for letting myself give in to my insecurities so easily, so I did something drastic. I shaved my head. Gone was the curtain that gave me the feeling of anonymity and comfort, and it was my new status as the bald girl. I relished in it; I had never felt so free and bold. My cheeks were on full display every day and I had no hope of hiding them, and no one said a word about it. My insecurities had only ever existed in my head, and this was proof. I admit that shaving my head was a drastic move, but I will say that nothing has been more freeing than completely ignoring the little devils in my head. I feel incredibly powerful when I let go of those arbitrary restrictions and live in discomfort. 

Accept Yourself

My legs carry me through the world so I can climb to new heights. My arms hold the strength that lets me pull myself up and keep fighting. My eyes guide my path and my hands work me through every problem. Whatever problems I have with myself, I try to recognize that this is the body that has carried me through the first 19 years of my life and will carry me through the remainder of it as well. I can escape my mindset, my apartment, my classes, my home, and my friends, but I cannot escape myself. Understanding this was the first step I took towards learning how to love myself. I may hate the way my arms look in a certain shirt, but I am still grateful to have this body to carry me through life.

Be Kind and Forgiving

There is no way to understate the importance of being kind to yourself. This is not just something you can learn and employ, it’s a daily battle of recognizing when you are being unnecessarily cruel and calling yourself out. Whenever I say something to myself that I wouldn’t say to a friend, I think “Hey, that’s not how to talk to someone you love”. This has helped me recognize how very cruel I am to myself for no reason and pushed me to be softer and kinder with myself. Not only does this change how I talk to myself about myself, but it also makes me nicer to others and less judgmental. I can’t change my body in a day, so while I’m working on myself, I try to be understanding of the process. 

I haven’t been magically cured of all my insecurities. I still overanalyze myself and have unrealistic expectations for myself. But I hope that now that I have started the journey of battling my insecurities, I can keep fighting and learning new ways to be boldly myself. 

Hi there! I am a sophomore Biology major at UT Austin. I am super interested in research and science, but I also love writing about my life and what I see around me. I love cat videos, weird science facts, and cooking new food. Thanks for reading!