Updated: May 4
Okay guys, here's the thing. I have a lot of soapboxes and I like to stand on all of them; you know, the hypothetical ones used to share my opinions on topics like, how you should use the Oxford comma, and how the $5 and under section in Target is where you can find some of the best items, and how Joanna Gaines should make a collection for that section (#yaaasplease).
We all have our soapboxes that we like to stand on to give our opinions. Well, I have been doing nails for 5 years now, and let me tell you, people love getting on their soapboxes about their "flaws". Things I often hear are: "I have such old lady hands", "Ugh, I have the whitest legs ever", or "I have the ugliest feet". And, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative self comments I hear on the daily.
I am 100% guilty of making these comments about myself too. Sometimes these comments become such a habit that we don't realize we are saying them. They become our go-to comments when we are self-conscious or nervous, especially about others noticing our "flaws". It's almost like we want other people to know that we know that we have a "flaw", that we know we're not "normal".
"True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world."-Brené Brown
But what is "normal"? A popular comment I've heard from clients
is, "Just so you know I have the tiniest toenail on my pinkie toe, it's so weird, I know." Well, I've seen a lot of pinkie toenails and having a really small, barely there toenail really isn't that uncommon! So all of you out there who relate can relax and have peace in the fact that you're not alone! Love that tiny toenail!
I think we'd be surprised by how many people we can relate to when we open up about our insecurities. Let me share an example with you. When I was in 6th grade I began to have a lot of underarm sweat #thankspuberty. I would always sweat more than the other girls at recess and would often wear jackets (even in really warm weather) to cover the dreaded armpit sweat marks. One day I was talking to my friend about how hot it was that day and she said: "Well take your jacket off." I did a little nervous laugh and told her I didn't want to. When she questioned why I told her that I didn't want anyone to see my sweat marks. She then told me that she got those too and would also wear jackets to cover her armpit sweat marks.
It was something so simple, but finding someone who shared my same 6th grader insecurity was A BIG DEAL. It was someone I could relate to and talk to about it and not feel embarrassed. And guess what? Most people get sweaty armpits, it's not that weird! I'm sure we've all been there; we've discovered a commonality within insecurity. It's a magical moment where God gives a reassuring thumbs up that you aren't the only "weird" one and that it's okay to be YOU.
We all have insecurities, so why not talk about it? "Because it's scary and people will judge me and I'll probably throw up and then pass out from nerves!" In the wise words of Brené Brown (I totally want to be her when I grow up), "true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world." I believe that with all my heart. On the other hand, we need to be willing to accept people when they are their authentic, imperfect selves. Put simply, we need to love one another (*cue Primary song*, if you know, you know haha).
A lot of things happen when we open up and talk about our insecurities. We give others the power and opportunity to talk about their insecurities. We realize that other's might be dealing with the same things, and that cellulite isn't something to freak out about, and that together we can debunk myths that the world, the beauty industry, or what past generations make us think are true. Like how wrinkles are ugly and you should do everything you can to stop aging (so I don't need Botox?). But imagine a world that celebrates wrinkles and skin spots? And one that says don't freak out, it's OKAY that you found a gray hair and you're only 25! And one that applauds stretch marks!
When we find commonalities within our insecurities *and talk about it* we take back the power that was stolen from us to BE OURSELVES while allowing others to BE THEMSELVES.
It's going to be hard, but together we can do it. We can work towards changing the culture around feeling shame for having insecurities and create a safe place where people can come together, talk about them, and provide support for each other!