I’ve been wanting to blog about self-esteem for quite some time, but just haven’t gotten around to it because I know I’ve got a lot to say on the topic. However, this past week’s episode of Glee inspired me to get typing. You can watch the episode entitled ‘Born This Way’ by clicking on the following link:
I think I’ll have to spread this subject out over a few posts because I have so many thoughts on it, but I’ll begin by stressing the importance of good self-esteem, especially in young girls. For whatever reason, I’ve always had high self-esteem (for those of you who know me well, no jokes, please). And in my opinion, it’s my strongest attribute (again, no jokes). How I got it? I’m not really sure. I grew up with a strong mother and was raised by powerful women, but I think there’s something more to it than that. I’ve seen sisters who have grown up in the same home who have drastically different senses of their own worth. Maybe it’s not just about our parents. Maybe it’s a culmination of our individual life experiences as we’re growing up. Maybe it’s something we’re born with. Or maybe it’s all of the above. All I know, is that if I could find a way to bottle up confidence and sell it, I’d never have to worry about money another day of my life.
Junior high and even the beginning of high school was hell. It just is, no matter who you are. You’re awkward, you’re outrageously insecure, you’re irrational, you’re hormonal and the kids around you are exactly the same, so they act like assholes. Seriously, kids are mean. I know I’m going to get flack for saying that, but really, they are. They’re mean little people. And the reason for it is because it’s their own way of somehow keeping themselves from being judged.
We all know what it’s like – you worry about what you say, what you wear, who you hang out with, what music you listen to, how you wear your hair…the list goes on and on. It’s awful! Everyone says that being a kid is so great, and it is, until you hit eleven or twelve – then it’s just sucky. I’ll take where I’m at right now over where I was when I was fifteen any day.
I admit I’ve always been pretty lucky in that I have self-confidence, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t and am not insecure at times. I think I figured out, at a much younger age than most, that it doesn’t matter what other people think. Maybe it was at the end of high school, but probably more throughout college, that I learned to not give a shit. This is me. This is who I am. This is what I’m about and this is what I want. And if you don’t like that? Totally fine. You have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. You have to stay true to who you are, regardless.
And as far as physical insecurities go, I kind of am Rachel Berry. I get comments all the time about how much I look like her. The reason I started watching Glee was because I kept hearing this from people. When I finally Googled this chick (aka Lea Michele) I immediately thought, “Ahhh…it’s the nose.” I mean, yes, we’re both short, have the same coloring and similar features, but it’s the nose. And that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. If you watch the episode of Glee I mention above, you’ll see that it was all about Rachel’s nose and her debate about whether or not to undergo rhinoplasty. It’s funny because I could relate to so much of it. So many times I’ve prayed for a deviated septum! Everyone has that one thing they wish they could change about the way they look. My nose is just my thing. But honestly, if it came down to it, I don’t know if I could change it. It’s me. It’s Christina. I was born this way, and this is how I’m supposed to look.
What I want to know is what is it about my personality that allows me to look at my insecurity from this perspective? What allows me to say, “Oh, well!” about it? I like the way I look. I wish I knew because I want to share it. Throughout college, I would always tell my friends I wanted to write a book about self-esteem one day. It would drive me crazy to see these amazing friends I’d surround myself with voice all these insecurities about their bodies, weight, etc. Why couldn’t they see how perfect they each were? If only we could all see ourselves the way our friends see us.
When you don’t like yourself, when you’re insecure, when you’re not confident, when your self-esteem is low—you don’t make good decisions. You settle for less than you deserve. You don’t grow as a person. You make choices out of fear. You do things that aren’t good for you. You aren’t happy.
Most of all, someday, I want my children to be confident people. People who like themselves. Especially my daughters. Because when you like yourself, you demand respect. And when you like yourself, other people can tell and they want to be around you because it’s infectious. When you like yourself, you’re unstoppable—nothing can hold you back from what you want. When you like yourself, you’re happier and nicer to the people around you. If nothing else, I want my kids to be nice people. Hopefully, I’ll be a good example of that. If I do anything in this life, I want to raise decent human beings that are good to other people. When it comes down to it, what else really matters more than that?
So to wrap up today, I’m going to quote lyrics from the Queen of Accepting Who You Are (Lady Gaga, of course):
I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
You should also check out her video below for the simple reason that it’s frickin awesome: