An interesting thought was brought to my attention the other day. Why do magazines print articles on beauty, fashion and lifestyle, essentially telling us how we should look and act, but then have feature articles on being true to ourselves? Kind of counter-intuative if you ask me. But let’s be honest, I am a sucker for magazines. I refuse to buy the tabloid-style magazines because I don’t want to help fund such a disgustingly voyeuristic trend. In fact, I pretty much gag when I see a headline that reads something like, “See which stars have cellulite and have let themselves go and OMG HOW FAT CAN SHE GET??” Really?? Are we so bad that things like this sell? Do we like to read stuff like that because we feel better about ourselves or do we like to see other women fall from the spotlight? Whatever the reason, it’s selling because they are doing so much business that they sell weekly editions. I like to buy magazines that focus on style trends because it helps me have fun in my closet, magazines that contain meaningful articles that make me think or magazines that have comediennes I love as the feature article. It is true, even of the magazines that I love, that there are always contradicting messages to us gals.
So how do we work on our own self-esteem so that we can enjoy magazines without being negatively affected by their mixed messages? It’s a hard thing to do sometimes, but we have to love ourselves every single minute of every single day. If you are a good person and can be proud of the things that you do on a daily basis, that is the best place to start. Self-esteem isn’t about feeling good about your appearance. It’s about being confident in the person that you are, down to your core. I find confidence in the fact that I love to help others. I try to treat everyone with kindness and I always try to put some humor into my day.
I’ve had my moments where I wanted to make some changes to my life. For example, I have these conflicting personalities where one half of me is a free-spirited-hippie-feminist-earth child and the other half is a domestic-conservative-old soul. So, on one of my earth child days I decided I wanted to make my outside reflect my inside. I went down to 4th avenue in Tucson and started trying on all of these flowy long skirts and hemp-woven sweaters. I had all these great outfits put together, but then looked at myself in the mirror wearing what looked like potato sack after potato sack layered on top of one another (not to mention everything in there smelled like dirt, ergo I smelled like dirt), and I was thinking, “Who am I kidding?” and I burst out laughing in the change room. Contrary to what you might think I did not get weird looks for laughing uncontrollably by myself–they probably thought I had inhaled a a little too much while wearing the hemp sweater.
I have learned that it’s ok that if the majority of the time I look, in my husband’s words, “way too conservative”. My outside doesn’t have to reflect whatever personality I am feeling that day because I know who I am and how I feel. I may wake up feeling like a bra-burning feminist, but I will still put on my bra because you just need support underneath a sequined cardigan. See what I mean about conflicting personalities?
I know what I am capable of and I don’t need to prove it to strangers who see me walking down the street. I would by lying if I said I didn’t have struggles with loving every part of me all the time, but I have worked on getting to the point where I can appreciate every part of me and love the person it makes me as a whole. If I had walked out of the store looking bohemian when I am clearly more comfortable in a lightweight cardigan, people would know they had spotted a fake. Confidence is the most attractive thing one can wear and the way you achieve it is through being yourself.