Stop Feeling Guilty For Looking Great
You are not vain, you deserve to accentuate your best features
Have you ever hesitated to wear an outfit that you know you’ll look amazing in due to the fear of being too much? Have you ever found yourself making excuses for wearing that dress that accentuates your curves, or justifying your choice to put on red lipstick? Have you ever dressed yourself down in order to appear more ‘humble’ or ‘down to earth’?
If you’re reading this thinking “hey, that's me”, then stop and listen to what I have to say.
No matter who you are, you deserve to look great. Be it for someone else, or just for yourself, you should never be apologetic or hesitant to show your very best to the world. Somewhere down the line, beauty and self-confidence became associated with vanity and appeared something negative. We build people up, telling them to strive towards confidence, yet when they achieve it they are cocky, they are arrogant and self-absorbed.
Well, I am here to tell you one thing that will change your life: self-confidence is one of the most attractive and powerful attributes you can have, stop feeling the need to suppress it. It if takes wearing a little black dress to your high school reunion to feel confident, even if everyone else in the room is in jeans, then do it.
Recently I had a Zoom call with some friends and as I was getting ready to make myself look presentable, I decided to curl my hair. I rarely have the opportunity to dress up and I thought why the hell not. As I was preparing to join the call, gin and tonic in hand, I wondered if the curled hair was a bit much. I instantly began to think of excuses as to why I’d curled my hair and done my makeup, worried people might question why. I felt the desperate need to justify wanting to make myself look nice for this Zoom call.
I have had many other moments in my life which look exactly like this: fleeting moments of self-confidence that are immediately squashed when I am fearful of appearing conceited.
We are a society that loves to judge, you hear the whispers when a curvy woman walks in the room in a top which accentuates her cleavage. That woman, who by the way looks incredible, probably entered the room feeling like a goddess. However, after the comments of “wow you really went full out tonight”, which are spoken with an edge of criticism, disguised with a smile, she might start to feel her confidence slipping. She might start to question her choice of outfit, feeling vulnerable and exposed after the confidence of only a few minutes prior.
This woman may now feel stupid for dressing up and making herself look amazing, she may take the whispers for distaste, when in reality I can tell you that the incentive for the judgement was probably jealousy. Society hates to see a person who knows they look good. We are taught to be humble, we are conditioned when someone compliments us to sheepishly say thank you or to even deny it. What would happen if when we are complimented on our hair or our choice of outfit, instead of saying “Oh don’t be silly but thank you anyway”, we say “thanks, I feel great today”?
I can tell you what would happen, people would think we had gone crazy. They would be talking about the arrogant girl who actually loves herself. Body positivity tells us to love ourself, people around the globe share cute little graphics with the quote “love yourself” on their Instagram story, but do they actually believe in truly loving yourself?
What I want to ask, is why is it an inherently negative thing to acknowledge the attractive both aspects both physically and mentally of oneself? Why is it frowned upon to outwardly express this acknowledgement?
For many people, moments of self-confidence can sadly be few and far between. When they do arrive, we should revel in them, shout it from the rooftops and bask in all of our own glory. We should not feel afraid to be brilliant out of a certain guilt that we have been trained to feel.
Wanting to look nice and the need to feel attractive is a completely valid feeling. A person is not defined by their looks, there is so much more that is important, yet sometimes it can be very empowering to feel good about the way you look. It can be invigorating to get that new haircut, to wear those killer shoes or to wear as much makeup as you want. If it makes you feel good to look good, then great. You are not shallow, materialistic or vain, you are human.
My goals for the upcoming year is to be completely unapologetic about my strive for self-confidence. I endeavour to wear that shocking outfit in my wardrobe that I feel too scared to wear. Yes, there will be days when I hate the way I look, but on the days I feel great, the world will become a catwalk, and I intend to walk into every room with my head held high. You should never let anyone take away the treasure of loving yourself, it is such a precious thing.