I'M ALLOWED TO BE INSECURE
I'm sure we've all heard it at least once before, "you have nothing to be insecure about". But why? My character isn't flawed just because sometimes I wish my gap was closed or because I wish I had smaller feet. We are all entitled to our insecurities and something that has always irritated me was being made to feel like I am being irrational for feeling the way I do about them.
I'm going to preface this by saying, acknowledging my insecurities doesn't mean I spend my days wallowing in them or hating myself for these few flaws. My self-actuality and level of self-love (in my opinion) comes from the fact that I know these imperfections don't define me as a woman, friend, or partner. Coming out of high school and still not knowing how bomb I really am, I was definitely feeling defeated by how big my feet were and that all my teeth didn't touch. How that would affect my performance as a student, to this day I still have no idea. But I couldn't explain why I hated these things about myself. Well, I guess I do know a few reasons why these details meant so much to me.
Comparison: We all know it as the thief of joy, because it is. It's admirable to set a standard for how you want your life to move. But when you start mirroring behaviors (unhealthy ones included) to reach a certain level - that's when you know you've lost sight of your why, if you ever really had one besides "they have it, so why can't I?" I've said it before and I stand by it, that someone will always have something perceivably better than you do. But you'll only stop noticing and keeping tabs when you're satisfied with what you've been given.
Validation: I almost titled this one "affirmations" until I realized these are two completely different things. I like being told I'm pretty (is that vain? I'm working on that). I like being told because I already know, sometimes you just really wonder if other people are looking at the same person you're looking at when you step out. Would I be okay if no one ever called me pretty as long as I shall live? Of course. I would just think y'all are thinking it but not saying it (ha). It all comes down to the why for what a compliment means to you. If a particular someone not watching your story or liking your most recent IG strikes a nerve, that's when the lack of self-love becomes evident.
Representation: This one is KEY, at least it was for me while I was growing up. Everyone on TV had teeth that looked like Chiclets. If you're not used to seeing people that look like you, you kind of start to see a different person every time you look in the mirror. I feel like I blame a lot of things that "didn't work out for me as a kid" on representation. But it's fair! How much I love my big nose, gap teeth, and wide hips is a daily reminder of why I love being black and my future cocoa bean of a child will be a living breathing reminder of it too. But that's a topic for another day.
So, although it took me some time to love and appreciate the traits on my body that made me a little different than some people around me, being so fixated on them made me also realize I'm not that different than someone with a size 7 shoe - if at all. I've jumped left and right on this post, but ultimately I believe that you are allowed to feel insecure every now and then. Just don't ever feel inadequate.
We like to blame random occurrences in our lives to completely irrelevant aspects of our character. Our mouths hold so much power in dictating how we see the world and ourselves. If I could ever bring myself to say I'm not lovable because my feet are big, that's when I know I have to work on myself.