The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Growing up, one of the biggest things I struggled with was my body image. On top of my self-judgment, social media piled on. Social media tells us we have to be thin to be pretty, but when we’re too thin, it’s seen as unhealthy and unattractive. It has become a part of our culture to normalize criticizing our bodies, leading to the never-ending cycle of judgment.
Besides my insecurities, I grew up hearing relatives or people I knew say things like, “Put some meat on your bones,” because of my thin physique. Even when comments like these aren’t meant to be hurtful, they still caused damage to my self-image through the years. These comments hurt the most when they came from my friends — the people that were supposed to be supporting me instead of putting me down. Every time we hung out, they would tell me to eat more than I could because I “could use the extra weight.” I hated how they were able to make me feel bad about my own body. I was constantly worried about how thin I looked and was tired of people pointing it out to me. I was always comparing myself to other people and wondering how I could look like them.
A little over a year ago, I came across a TikTok creator whose focus was helping people feel confident in their bodies by sharing her own eating disorder recovery story. Brittani Lancaster has over 900k followers on TikTok as she promotes intuitive eating and combats diet culture. Following her rising popularity, Lancaster created a podcast called “Balance is Key” to enlighten people about creating a healthy attitude towards your own body. In her episode, “When you find your confidence,” she delves into the definition of confidence and how to start exploring your confidence. Within this episode, she describes how appreciating yourself is a significant part of having confidence. Being able to appreciate all your body does for you and how much you have accomplished with it gives you self-assurance and builds confidence. When attempting to build confidence, you have to ask yourself, “do I like myself?” It is impossible to be confident in yourself if you do not truly like yourself. Oftentimes, this is a problem for people pleasers. A part of confidence is taking the time to please yourself and figuring out what you stand for and what makes you happy.
I have learned a lot of valuable lessons from her podcast. She has shown me that I do not need to be insecure about the way my body was built and that I am beautiful the way I am. Her page has become a place of light and positivity that helped me understand self-love, and I am so grateful for that. I was able to find my confidence by discovering the things that make me happiest in life and not caring what others think about them. Doing things because I enjoy them and not because others want me to is so empowering.
Finding confidence in myself is one of the greatest achievements in my life. With that said, there are certain days where I don’t feel confident and find myself slumping into old habits of self-deprecation. The road to finding confidence is going to be rocky, and it is going to be hard to get there. But, if you put in the work to know and like yourself, confidence will find you. It’s okay to not be confident 100 percent of the time and to have bad days, but like Brittani Lancaster says, “balance is key.”