OPINION: Achieving body confidence is more complex than one might think



Confidence is the key. But I know personally that achieving confidence can be tricky business. 

See, I can’t be too confident. Because then I’d be full of it. But I can’t be too insecure either, because then I’d be fishing for compliments. 

For example, if someone told me I looked good and I told them that I agreed, to some or even many, that would come across as being full of it or having a big ego. So instead, I might take the “humble” approach and disagree with them, stating that I did not, in fact, look good that day. Then, it’s almost like I’m asking for them to compliment me even more.

As a result of this thought process, society as a whole has accepted the “smile and say thank you” approach which I have no problem with. It’s nice, it’s polite and it gets the point across. There are no lines to read in between and there’s almost no way someone can distort its meaning. 

And yet, we are told on a daily basis that we should know our worth and we should own our confidence. So, how far do we go?

That’s a question I have yet to find an answer to. If I had someone next to me looking at themselves in the mirror and I heard them say, “Oh, I look good today,” I couldn’t help but have some sort of thought cross my mind that they might be full of themselves. Is that true, or is that just what society has taught us?

Before I continue, I am very much aware that there is a difference between being “full of it” and being confident. Being “full of it” can mean someone flaunting their looks to make other people feel bad, while being “confident” means to be comfortable in your own skin and be proud of who you are. 

But, sometimes, especially for young girls and boys, it can get confusing when trying to achieve their own confidence. 

When you’re growing up, everything is black and white. But as you grow older and mature in perspective, the lines begin to blur and distort into different ways for each person. Body image and confidence are a couple of these things.

Social media, movies, television, magazines, and many more all play a part in the complexity of body image. In a world where society sets the ideal of beauty, it’s already hard enough to reach it. This fear of being considered “over-confident” only adds to the already flaming fire that we all have to walk through every day. 

So, how do we decide what is “too” confident and what is the “perfect amount” of confidence? 

I say we don’t. 

I think there are other more important issues we could spend our time and energy focused on instead of discussing with our friends about if that one girl who said she looked good in her Instagram caption is full of herself.

Instead, I propose this: we all stop competing with each other. And when we feel the need to make assumptions, we should ask ourselves why. Why are we spending valuable time making assumptions about people who have nothing to do with us? Aren’t their better things we can do with our time?

I propose we all help each other along the journey to finding confidence. I propose that we all support and compliment one another. I propose we all start being happy when someone starts feeling good in their own skin. I propose we all choose kindness.

Kindness is the most beautiful trait, after all.