Looking in the mirror these days, I love what I see more than use to. I love to see the way I’ve grown into my body and the various ways I’ve learned to love it. The unruliness of my hair, the depth of my skin, the shape of my face, the length of my legs…everything that use to feel like a burden, I suddenly learned how to love. I feel unashamed catching a glimpse of my reflection and admiring it in any reflective surface. Sometimes, I’ll outwardly say to myself, “well you look beautiful today, sis”. I’m cognizant of my posture now more than I’ve ever been. I’ll find myself pulling my shoulders back whether I’m alone or in a crowd, I walk with my head held high knowing in the back of my mind how far I’ve come.
I remember the days when my confidence seemed completely nonexistent and even having the overbearing expectation of others to fix it for me. I wanted people to love me into loving myself. I’d take the preferences of all that I knew of those near and far and try to mold myself into what I thought I was acceptable. I soaked up whatever compliments I received and carried them near and dear to my heart, only to have it shattered when preferences changed. I wanted so badly to be validated, I let others form an opinion of me before I could even form one of myself. For a long time, I honestly didn’t even know I had the power to decide for myself and I, more often than not, let others decide for me.
It was exhausting to say the least, but after a while I learned there was much more to me than I had even allowed people to see. I was consumed with trying to fit into a box. I began to learn and teach myself that what I had was valuable and immeasurable lined up against the standards of others.
Now, I look to find fresh eyes each day to look upon myself with. It is not easy and on more days than not I’m frustrated with my hair matting together, my butt not being big enough, and feeling way too tall. But the challenge of loving every part of myself is one I gladly take on daily. I dress with a certain level of courage that at one point seemed unattainable to me. I built this confidence from scratch and relish in that. I wear what makes me comfortable and I stand tall in knowing, whether alone or in public, I am unabashedly making the conscious effort to love myself.
I’ve been able to teach myself that being confident isn't a matter of what other people think of you, but literally a matter of what you think of yourself in spite of the unsolicited opinions of others. I implore you to compliment yourself, create daily rituals that build your self-worth, and above all recognize your opinion of yourself matters more than any and everyone else’s. So wear what you want, smile at your reflection every chance you get, and actively recognize your own beauty because your opinion is the only that matters.
S/O: This week's post also features the amazing Black/WOC business Pink Plastic Babez. Run by two phenomenal young women from the DC area, these girls are for and all about creating pieces that inspire women to love themselves, and this swimsuit has done all that and more for me. Make sure you click the link and support their growing business.
Until next time y'all
Earrings/Beauty Supply Swimsuit/Pink Plastic Babez Cuff/Urban Outfitters