Monday, 2 December 2013

Self Esteem.

Hello my lovelies,

Today's post is going to be a little out of the ordinary, but I really felt the need to write this, and as I'm lucky enough to have this platform in order to do it - I thought I may as well take advantage of that. Now, for those that know me, they may think that me writing about self esteem is a little hypocritical, basically because although on my YouTube and in everyday life I'm confident in the way I present myself, however under that exterior, I have some fairly deep rooted insecurities. People that know me well will know that I have parts of me that I'm really not okay with, although for the last couple of hours I've been really giving this some thought and have found the courage to come out and confront these (dare I say) misconceptions I have with myself and perhaps get some more of you to do the same.
First of all, I should explain how I came to this moment of clarity, and how my thought process has been since then. Being fairly restless and downright bored this evening, I decided to hit up Reddit. For those that aren't aware of Reddit, it is basically a website that has forum pages on just about anything and everything imaginable. Some of my favourite /r/'s (an /r/ is a subpage) are the Paranormal, NoSleep and Books. However, this evening I was feeling adventurous and decided to click the Random button at the top of the page. This magical button takes you to a random sub-reddit, some quite disturbing, some very boring. One of my many clicks on this button led me to the /r/Rateme page. For those that are interested, you can look it up, but I'm not linking it here on my blog, it really upset me to be honest. Now, on this page, people post pictures of themselves, sometimes with a bit of backstory, for example:
 This post has 26 comments, examples of these include:
Now, it's not like I don't understand the concept of constructive criticism, I really do get it. But what I don't understand is why a beautiful 21 year old girl is seeking validation and improvement advice from the Reddit community (a site that has a primary readership of (sorry to say it but...) often misogynistic men aged between 20-30, need proof of that? Just check out the number of comments on the /r/gonewild pages.(NSFW)). Whilst looking through more pages, I started to see comments about the size of girls noses, the colour of the hair, the size of their boobs. The criticisms just went on and on. Now, before anyone starts telling me "Oh, but they put themselves out there, the commenters are just telling them their honest opinion!!" - I get that too, however, what caught my attention was when I clicked onto some of the harsher commenter's profiles, what I found was post after post of negativity. Nasty internet trolls that have nothing better to do than to insult fragile 20-somethings about their appearance. This really really really grinds my gears.
The reason behind my moderate frustration was not wholly at the nasty trolls themselves, but the attitudes that many people have started to adopt nowadays through tumblr, reddit and instagram. Many people have taken on the idea that rating sites and improvement pages are a way of gaining and maintaining confidence, when really - as I have recently discovered, is certainly not the right way to go about it.
Being confident and having self esteem are very different things. Being confident is more of an external representation of yourself - what you'd like the world to see. Whereas self esteem is your internal acceptance of yourself. Whilst sometimes sites such as the Reddit /r/rateme page may give you that little boost, until you face your own little insecurities and realise (as fooking cheesy as it seems) that we are all beautiful in our own ways, self esteem will never really be achieved.
Now, I personally have two really big insecurities, my teeth and my arms. I've had braces for donkey's years and was constantly bullied growing up because of them. I remember being in Year 5 and being accidentally added to a group chat on MSN where some boys were talking about me and I clearly recall a 10 year old boy saying "ye m8, could prob fit my dik in tht gap in her teeth LOL" and it breaking my heart. Partly as I wasn't sure why he'd want to do that, but secondly because it was the first time I'd realised just how gappy my teeth were. Nowadays, that insecurity isn't so much of a big deal as I've had braces and they're coming off in two weeks time (yay!), but really, the nervousness about opening my mouth, or smiling with my teeth on show has never really gone away. However, upon realising this is becoming a real issue and I have actually changed my behaviour in order to gain validation from the idiots that made me insecure about it in the first place, I'm going to make a conscious effort to ignore the voice in my head telling me "Shut yo' damn mouth gurlfrann, aint nobody wanna see dat" and simply get on with life and grin as I please.  My second insecurity is another one I picked up because of bullying and that is my arms. I've always had really bad eczema and I have always tried my best to hide it in order to avoid funny looks and crass comments, however more recently, I've been trying to a) get it cleared up (which is a lot easier now it's not hidden away and forgotten about) and b) forget it's their and just wear whatever I fancy wearing and not let it dictate what I can and can't do. It's taken me a really long time to work out why I hated these parts of me, but once I thought about it, then subsequently confronted these niggling thoughts - I'm now able to just accept that they're part of me and there aint much I can do about it!
I just wish there were more people that could wake up, a bit like I have, and stop seeking validation from a load of strangers and just see that they're gorgeous in their own way. I'm hoping that even just one reader of this post can look in the mirror, work out something they're insecure about a confront it, cause I know that when I did, I felt a massive weight off my shoulders and well and truly gained a bit of self esteem.

Ah, I'll stop ranting now.
Night night amigos