Insecurity is something we all deal with in life. Regardless of who you are, celebrity or not, everyone is bound to feel negative emotions towards themselves at one time or another, this is completely normal. People can feel insecure about all kinds of things, from their appearance to their voice, to even things they love. What isn’t normal, is for insecurity to take over our lives, and cause us to harm ourselves, or even come to hate ourselves. So, let’s talk about why we have insecurities and where they stem from.
Some insecurities may stem from an event that took place in the past, for instance, a loss. Oftentimes insecurities are rooted in past trauma or childhood events which leave us anxious and expecting nothing less than perfect from ourselves. Having a parent who criticizes you all the time, but never takes the moment to tell you they’re proud, can later cause insecurities in all kinds of daily activities, throughout college or university, or even throughout your career. These kinds of insecurities can leave us feeling out of place, empty and never good enough for ourselves.
In terms of physical insecurities, Victoria’s Secret, tabloids, and magazines have done a fantastic job of setting people up for disappointment when it comes to the way they look. When models are all under 100lbs, their photos are photoshopped and airbrushed and they are styled by 10 different stylists, it’s obvious they are going to look too good to be true, but we can’t ignore the fact that they look perfect. Everyone wants perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect teeth, but what does that even look like? How do we know we aren’t perfect already? Why do we all want to look the same, when each of us are all so incredibly special in our amazing and different ways? Why do we only celebrate one standard of beauty? These are all questions that came to mind when I thought of writing about this topic, and it becomes a bit more complicated when we get deep into the meanings behind those questions.
The whitewashing of cultures around the world and the celebration of strictly Eurocentric features has been the main contributing factor to the beauty standards we have today, and the insecurities individuals have because of those unattainable standards. As per one of my previous articles about the male gaze, that too has a huge effect on how women feel and their insecurities as well.
Another obvious factor that has contributed to more and more insecurities (especially for younger individuals) is social media. The way our lives are construed over social media makes it seem as though everyone’s life is absolutely perfect, when that is not in fact the case. I’ll use the Kardashians as an example since I’m sure most people are aware of the photoshop scandals they have just about every week; what we see on social media is not real. The issue is that to a young, impressionable person, everything is real, and they will wonder why they don’t (and can’t) look like Kendall or Kylie Jenner, forgetting the fact that at their age, and before paid procedures, personal chefs, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, they looked just like any “normal” teenager. Social media has had a drastic effect on young people, and it almost seems as though the pre-teen phase has disappeared because of it.
So, how do we overcome our insecurities and embrace the imperfections that make us special? Stop being so hard on yourself, for starters. Take the time to identify exactly what it is that you’re feeling insecure about and go on to challenge that insecurity and get out of your comfort zone. When you feel insecure, you focus on the worst possible outcome of any given situation, and that causes us to retreat to what feels safe for us. Try and imagine what you’re feeling insecure about and visualize the worst-case scenario happening. This can help you to overcome the fear and anxiety of the situation and instead become more confident in yourself and your abilities. Pep talks are great too, reminding yourself that you are confident, capable, and that you believe in yourself can also help calm the nerves of feeling insecure.
At the end of the day, everyone has insecurities, and no one will be able to live free of them, but we can work towards not letting those insecurities ruin our days. Just know that being perfect isn’t what we should strive for, but being whole and doing what makes us proud.