Updated: Mar 19
I'm super excited for this post on body confidence because it’s something that like it or not, we ALL struggle with. First, the review of the week…..
As women, most of our insecurities come from our physical appearance. We want smaller waists, bigger butts, flawless skin, perfect hair, the list goes on. It’s easy to feel less than when we compare ourselves to the models and celebrities we see on TV. Which of whom usually pay for all types of plastic surgery and have professional makeup artists and hairstylists any time they are caught on camera. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for most people. Of course, we want to look good but at what cost? And since when does your physical appearance determine how you should feel about yourself as a whole?
Society has shaped our thoughts and mindset of what “beauty” looks like since we were young. You know the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?”. Well imagine if what you thought was beautiful was exactly what you see when you look in the mirror!
Beauty does not come in 1 shape, size or color! But when the world around us puts 1 type of woman on a pedestal, it makes the rest of us feel less than or “not as beautiful”.
Think about it. At one point Nikki Minaj was the hottest thing poppin. Everyone knew her music, all the male rappers wanted to work with her and have her in their videos. Because she pops up with a big oh booty, big tattas and a face plastered with makeup with long dramatic straight hair and lashes that look like bugs, other girls started to do the same. It became the “thing”.
When enough women started to wear their natural curly hair, beauty industries started to take notice and were able to reshape the way people look at natural hair! Now, we embrace the natural hair look and applaud women for wearing their real hair.
Remember the days when plus size women were called fat? The perfect woman was a size 0-3 and girls who were heavier would feel less than because they didn’t see any women who looked like them in the magazines or TV screens unless it was an advertisement for weight loss.
Now, thick and curvy is IN! Plus size women are everywhere! The typical model is no longer a size 0 and 6 feet tall. Models are all shapes and sizes simply because the beauty industries, social media and women all over had decided enough was enough and changed the perception behind being thick!
So beauty is something that tends to trend and has different forms based on what’s going on in the world. But if you’re anything like me, you can ignore that stuff and stay true to what you define as being beautiful. Over the years I’ve mastered confidence but I really struggled with it a lot growing up and during college.
I grew up in a white family feeling like the “ugly black sheep”. My mom is White and my dad who wasn’t in the picture is Black, Indian and Hispanic. This is going to sound crazy but I was so ashamed about my skin color and so badly wanted to look like my cousins. I had brown eyes, my cousins had green, hazel or blue eyes. I had short kinky curly thick hair, they had super long silky hair. It didn’t help that my mom did foster care and all the kids we had were blond hair and blue eyed.
I remember we would go to foster care events and people always thought I was the adopted one. I would get teased at school when my mom picked me up. Kids would say “that’s not your mom”, “she’s lying to you”, “your adopted”.
I think a lot of this had to do with my generation. Nowadays, everyone is mixed so kids growing up would be more custom to diversity. But all of these things put some sort of insecurities in me.
Then in middle school, I ended up going to a school in the suburbs and I was known as the “black girl” along with the 2 other girls who were also minorities. So even though I was starting to get more comfortable with my skin, there were for sure moments of self doubt and insecurity.
I remember being really confident in highschool. I went to a very diverse school so I know that helped with my past insecurities of feeling different or “too brown”. At my school, I was just a part of the melting pot! I fit right in!
But later in highschool I noticed a different type of struggle. When I was younger, I was the “little black girl” because I was always surrounded by white people. But in highschool, I was the “mixed chick or light bright” who was now considered pretty and being compared to girls who were darker than me. I disliked this feeling even more than the feelings I experienced when I was younger.
It didn’t give me a boost of confidence, it just made me feel terrible because I knew what that felt like. A lot of the black girls at my school didn’t like me too much because of the fact that I was put into that category, but it was something I never asked for.
It was at that moment that realized how complicated “beauty” really is. There are so many factors that contribute to what people think are beautiful and how they compare themselves to others based on their environment.
I decided to go to a HBCU for college (really because I loved the style of cheerleading) and this is a perfect example of how a change in environment changes people's perspectives. Everyone at the school was of color so there wasn’t anymore of me being singled out because of how I looked. All the women on campus were diverse in their own ways! Skin color was no longer a determining factor of whether someone was considered “beautiful” or not. And I LOVED that!
When I was introduced to the NBA dance world, it was a whole new ball park. It was like I took 10 steps forward and 8 backwards. Because the majority of dancers were white, I was back to being a minority and it came with its own set of challenges.
Long story short yall, you will at some point feel highs and lows when it comes to your appearance. In a room full of skinny girls, you’re the thick girl. In a room full of tall girls, you’re the short girl. It’s something that will never change.
But the thing you’re in control of changing is your mindset and perspective. Instead of basing your beauty off of comparisons, just know that you are beautiful. You were unequally designed to look just like you. Change your perspective on what you see as “flaws”. Your flaws are the exact things that make you unique, so embrace them!
And then there are things we may not like about ourselves that can easily be changed. My motto is “if you don’t like it, change it. If you can’t change it, love it”.
For example: If you don’t like your weight, you can change it by changing your diet and exercising. But if you don’t like your skin, you can’t change that so better find a way to start loving it!
This brings about the topic of plastic surgery. Because this is also a means of “changing” something. If you don’t like something on your body, you could definitely pay to have it changed. But it’s important to really think about how it will affect you. Most women start with some type of surgery and next thing you know, they’ve had their whole body and face done. Just completely changed themselves and usually still suffer from the exact insecurities they had before getting all of the surgery.
I say live your life and do what makes you happy. Just make sure that surgery isn’t your solution for feeling beautiful! Beauty and confidence is all about your mindset and what you truly believe and feel from the inside.
It’s plenty of women out here who are what society would consider as “beautiful” who are jacked up on the inside, suffering from insecurities they’ve never dealt with.
Don’t be that girl!
Another experience I’ll share is me and my dream bride body! I had this idea in my head of the “perfect Bre” whose body was snatched to the gods, whose skin was as smooth as a baby’s bottom and booty as plump as they come! I knew it was bad when I was contemplating getting liposuction. Now normally when I have crazy ideas that I bring to Dre, he lets me think through them on my own and gives me the freedom of making a choice but when I brought this up, he immediately said no. I was so furious and went into this whole “women have it hard”, “you have no idea” rant trying to defend myself and my reasoning.
His response was simple. He said he loves me just the way I am and that if I were to do it, how could I promote a brand that’s about being shameless and loving yourself flaws and all. He got me there. I was honestly so fed up and furious that I had allowed my values and morals to go out of the window all because I was comparing myself to fitness models who dedicate their whole lives to eating and working out for the body that they have.
I had to run myself through my shame method and find that shameless lady who I momentarily lost sight of. I came to the terms that I will never be a size zero and that’s okay because all shapes and sizes are beautiful. My body was built a certain type of way and I will do my best with creating a healthy lifestyle to be in MY best shape so that I can feel my best on my wedding day and for the rest of my life. And don’t get me wrong yall, it gets hard. Everyone once in a while I can feel myself slipping back to that place but I'm aware, and pull myself back up.
No matter what our outer appearance is, our health should always be number 1 priority. We are only given 1 body and without our health, we can’t do much. One of my favorite quotes is “look good, feel even better”. And that’s the mindset I try to live by. When I take care of my health, I feel better about myself. And because our health is mainly connected to what foods we’re putting in our bodies and the amount of activity we do, it directly helps us be in our best shape.
Now before I give you tips on being confident with your body, I want to make it very clear that the goal is to be YOUR best. That means instead of comparing your body to someone else, you’re looking at what God gave you and taking the best care of it as you can to ultimately feel and be your best!
Here’s my tips:
1. Determine what your insecurities are.
What are they and why do you have them? Where do they come from? Really take the time needed to think about this. Most of your insecurities aren’t surface level, they are buried deep inside and stem from childhood, past relationships and situations.
Journal your thoughts, pray on it and ask for clarity and give yourself the necessary time to truly figure it out. It may take 1 day or it may take an entire month to figure out. Be patient and remember the long term goal. If you truly want to feel confident about your body and appearance, a change needs to happen on the inside.
2. Change it or love it
Determine if each insecurity you have is something you can change or something you have to learn to love. This is super important because you need to come to terms that some things may not be able to be changed. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you can start working on accepting it.
And if the things can be fixed, determine how. What can you do to change or fix those insecurities.
3. Put in the work
Now that you know what the insecurities are and whether they can be changed or not, create a plan and put in the work! Look at all the methods of changing or fixing them from step #2 and determine which method is most realistic for you. Then, put a plan into action and get busy!
The key is to remember that you are totally in control! You’re also human and insecurities are normal. Everyone has them, and everyone struggles with them. Just don’t let your insecurities define who you are and how you live your life. Being shameless means loving yourself flaws and all, so as I close out this episode, remember that you are imperfectly perfect and your beauty shines from the inside out!
Until next time, be shameless!