I get asked a lot, “Ange, how can I be more confident in myself?” And to quote an amazing character from Game of Thrones, “Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.”
If you wanna change your appearance, do it, no one can speak for you. You know yourself best, so, if having straighter teeth is gonna change your life for the better, do it! Get braces! Do what you need to do to feel alright. But you do need to know that having flaws is okay and normal and no matter what, you will always have flaws.
Every single person on this planet has flaws. In fact, I’m ninety percent sure if we hired scientists, we can even find a flaw with Ellen DeGeneres. So, if you can’t change it, throw some glitter on it, wear it with pride.
Like you know what, I have a big nose and crooked teeth and my eyebrows are half draw on, but how can you insult me with it if I own it. Like, “Your nose is huge and it’s ugly.” “I know right?! Ah, it’s like a mountain. It’s like this mountain growing out of my face! That’s why I can smell so good.” “Your eyebrows look stupid” “I know, I draw them on. I know what they look like.” What can anyone say to that? “Well, okay as long as you know.”
The argument behind putting people down for their appearance is always “But they’re just insecure. I don’t wanna look like that. They’re just looking like that so everyone will like them.” Well, bitch guess what, maybe they are insecure. And it doesn’t affect you at all how secure they are.
One of my biggest aggravations is when people accuse people who wear makeup of being insecure. It just seems so misdirected to me. Like even if a person is literally using makeup to hide their flaws, who gives that shit? What does it have to do with the kind of person they are? What does it have to do with the respect they give themselves and others?
And like honestly there is so much artistry involved in makeup and self-expression and aesthetics. You have major acne scars but you look flawless with makeup? I bow down to your skills because I’m pretty sure you’re a wizard.
There is this really fucked -up double-standard where women are expected to be perfect but they can’t show any signs that they have to work to be perfect. We have to be effortlessly effervescent. If you take a long time to get ready, it doesn’t matter what a knock-out you are because you’re deemed high-maintenance or vain.
How can we win? We can’t. So let’s make our own game.
Let’s wear whatever makes us happy. If it sweats and a t-shirt, awesome! If it’s a mini-skirt and high-heels, awesome! You’ll be criticized, sure, for wearing too much makeup or not wearing enough makeup or spending too much time in the front of the mirror or not spending enough time in front of the mirror. So, please do me a favor and defend everyone’s right to look how they want. Even if it doesn’t coincide with how you personally choose to look.
Sometimes dude bros will say stuff like “I prefer girls without makeup so I can see how they really look like. I prefer natural beauties.” And I’m sure that comes from a good, well-meaning place but all I can hear when you say that is, “I am going to pretend I don’t know about the unachievable bar that men and women will hold you to, despite how much or how little makeup you choose to wear and I’m going to invalidate your choice to wear it because what I personally find attractive should be law.”
All I have to say is, honey there is not a single thing that I do in the morning, that’s for you. If I spend five minutes on my looks and wear no makeup at all, it’s for me. And if I spend two hours on my makeup, it’s for me! We don’t do this shit for you!
Also, don’t let your flaws becomes your crutch. It’s easy to say, “Oh well, she doesn’t want to date me because my arms are too flabby or I didn’t get the part in the school play because I’m too tall and gangly.”
For me, it used to be “Oh, it’s because my hair is pink.” Like fuck no! There are so many reasons that you can find me undesirable, besides the fact that my hair is pink. Sometimes I’m too shy and unconfrontational, sometimes I’m too opinionated. And sometimes I can be rude without intending to be. There are so many other reasons.
So the point is to not let your flaws, or what you think the world will perceive as your flaws, own you. If you use your flaws as a crutch, you will never self-evaluate and consider the other reasons why you might not be achieving your goals.
I’d like to conclude by saying that there is no shame in being insecure. We are all at different places in our journey of self-acceptance and some of us have the whole world working against us. None of this is easy, there is no quick fix. It’s not like some be positive kind of cheesy baloney. Sometimes you have to come from a really negative fucked-up place to get to self-acceptance. And even when you think you’re there, there will be so many potholes you’ll think you’re driving in Ontario in February. ‘Cause there are a lot of potholes.
I have days all the time where it is just like “Why even try? You know?” And I feel badly about myself but what makes me feel better in those moments are my friends and family and the network of stunning individuals like yourself who I’m lucky enough to interact with on a day-to-day basis.
So, thank you for unknowingly picking me up. I hope that one day, I can return the favor.
Angelina LB is an illustrator, blogger, and model who has been making videos on YouTube since 2008. Her videos cover a wide array of feminist topics, including girl-love, traditional feminine expression, and gender. Her channel albinwonderland boasts over 120,000 subscribers! Check out her Etsy shop for awesome feminist gear, and follow her on Twitter @albinwonderland.
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