Last week’s YouTube video “Beauty and Insecurity” is one of my new favorites. I really try to be vulnerable in a super honest, if not necessarily flattering way about how we can tear ourselves and others down. I wanted to share a blog-version of the script this week in case you’re just a blog follower or you missed the video!
This week’s subscriber question comes from Anonymous and they ask:
Is it hard to be so beautiful?
So when I first read this question I was like:
“Does this person think they’re funny? Making fun of me like that? Why I outta…!”
But then I took a step back and thought:
“Is this actually sincere? Are they trying to tell me they think I’m beautiful in a cute way?”
So it’s probably pretty telling that I always immediately assume someone is being sarcastic or mean to me if they give me a compliment.
And yes, it is the internet where I get some pretty awful comments so it’s a little expected. But really this carries over into my everyday life too.
I’ve been seeing a guy recently and he’s very complimentary and tells me I’m the “most beautiful woman he’s ever seen” and stuff like that, and I just scoff at him most of the time. I can’t help but think:
“Yeah, sure. You say that now. But give it a few months or a year and you realize I’m not some manic pixie dream girl but actually an ugly troll living in a cave of depression like everyone else.”
Basically whatever you might think about me, it doesn’t change at all the kind of self-hate and self-doubt I’ve been trudging through my whole life. So the question really isn’t “Is it hard to be so beautiful?” whether anonymous meant it sincerely or not. It’s “can you be attractive and still insecure?”
I think that’s the thing people don’t understand. We see someone we think is attractive and we assume their life is easy in a myriad of ways because of that attractiveness when in reality they can be just as insecure about how they look or what other people think about them as everyone else out here.
Because believing that we’re less than, that we need a cream or a tea or a diet or an outfit or whatever they’re selling in order to be “beautiful” and “wanted” by others, is how we got to this place of insecurity and dismal self-esteem and so much shame and hate because we always see ourselves as not good enough.
Maybe you’re in the minority and reading this thinking, “What the heck is she talking about? I love myself. I don’t care what I look like or what other people think about me!”
Friend, you are blessed creature. Because most of us are not like that. Learning body positivity and self-love is a journey that we’re all on various stages of.
But I think the biggest problem those of us who are on that journey have is that we tend to be a bit self-centered and think “I am experiencing the worst of this. No one else knows what this feels like.”
Like I did this a lot as a teenager and I still find myself doing it now and it’s so icky, but I’ll basically look at other girls are be like “Am I skinnier/prettier/quirkier/whatever than her?” or “Who’s the most attractive girl in the room?” or “Who will all the boys look at?”
It’s so involuntary too. Which is why even though I know it’s wrong, it still bubbles up in my mind as an adult. Like my brain is trained to compare myself to every other person in the room. And if I find myself lacking in comparison by some magazine or movie studio’s standards, then it’s a check in my self-hate column and a “you just need to be as skinny as her and then your life will be better.”
Or if my brain says “Oh no, you’re definitely thinner/prettier/whatever” then that somehow makes me feel better? Like what? Gross.
And you know what? As disgusting as this thought process is, I know I’m not the only one who does this.
It’s the same reason we don’t believe celebrities when they talk about self-hate and self-medicating with drugs or anorexia because they never feel fully adequate.
Imposter syndrome, you know?
Our brains are trained to tear other people down even when we know it’s wrong so we assume everyone else is doing the same to us so basically we all end up hating ourselves and wishing we were someone else who also probably hates themselves too.
And that’s a lot of self-hate.
These are the kinds of thought patterns that I have to train myself away from. They’re definitely not helping me. And they’re certainly not the way I want to be thinking about others or I would want others thinking about me.
And the most I can do is to try to look at myself and others with love. And hope that other people are learning to do that too.
Giving yourself the benefit of the doubt, you know?
I’m a big proponent of the idea that beauty comes from the inside. Yeah, there are things you can do to make yourself look more like what society deems as “attractive.” I wear makeup. I like dressing in pretty clothes. I take time to style my hair most days.
But I think things like smiling and being kind and listening to others are infinitely more attractive in the long-run.
You don’t always notice those things at first, but they’re what last and what makes a person beautiful, in my opinion.
So to answer Anonymous’ question with that in mind, “is it hard to be beautiful?”
Yes and no.
It’s not really rewarded to be kind or nice or caring to people in society today so that makes it hard. But it’s infinitely more rewarding so that makes it easy.