Dear Insecure Girl, Why You Gotta Be So Insecure?
As I was sitting down watching The Red Table Talk, a Facebook show that has caused many moments of self-discovery this Summer, I realized that there was one thing holding me back in so many aspects of my life. It was affecting my sanity, my peace, my relationships, and most importantly my growth. I came to the realization that I am living in a constant state of Insecurity. I am insecure about so many things that I couldn’t bring myself to admit it out loud until I realized it was my roadblock. In a world filled with social media, YouTube channels, and public figure influencers, I am never not reminded that my life isn’t “perfect”. At first glance, it was simply the internet that caused these insecurities, but in reality, it hits much closer to home. In college, specifically at my university, we build an image from the moment we step foot on campus. Sometimes we even develop it before we finish our senior year. I’ll never forget the first time there was a magnifying glass put on my insecurities when I started at Hampton. When I got to school, I listened to four of my guy friends talk about how many girls were “catfishes” on campus. They talked about how the girls they wanted to D’M and “cuff” on Instagram, weren’t the same ones they got when we got to school. My outward reaction was to smile and continue the conversation but on the inside… I was letting Insecurities take over. Was I only pretty on social media because of captured moments, good angles, and Instagram filters? If I was, did that mean I wasn’t beautiful at all? Why did the guys get to comment on girls as if their Instagram pictures weren’t an illusion too? I was looking at other women with a smile when in my head I was coveting everything I thought they had that I didn’t. I was preaching women empowerment on the outside while feeling belittled by someone else’s shine on the inside. It made me question my friends, my boyfriend, myself. Was anything I was doing good enough if it wasn’t what someone else was doing? These insecurities only got worse as I progressed through my first semester. I didn’t have a weave, I never had my nails done, and I don’t think I’d even heard about the company Fashion Nova until I took my first college midterm. I thought it was these things that made me a “Hampton Woman” when in reality there is not one true definition of what it means to be a woman at Hampton except for the term educated. I found myself questioning my self-worth because I was letting other things define me. I was letting organizations, friends, grades, and other superficial measurements determine what I thought it meant to be worthy, successful, and even beautiful. I know girls who change their outfits because of a color choice on certain days of the week so they don’t come across as “desperate” to be a part of an organization. Hell, I am one of those girls. I know other girls who call those girls desperate for wearing the same colors they are or once were afraid to wear themselves. Why is it that we as women, not just at Hampton, but anywhere, think that tearing down, commenting, and ridiculing other women helps us in any way.
We take our insecurities and project them into pseudo confidence in the hopes that we find someone who’s just as insecure as us. But instead of empowering those soul sisters who we share those insecurities with, we tear them down. When we tear someone down, gossip about them, make fun of them… we get nothing in return but a pure minute of self-satisfaction and gratification. And sadly, it doesn’t make us any more happy or successful than we were before. I found myself starting to be insecure about how I dressed, what I said, how I looked at parties. I began to say in my head “Am I being innocent enough to seem wholesome, but edgy enough to not seem prudish.” Does this Instagram picture that only got 107 likes mean I’m not deemed worthy in the eyes of people who have no control over my actual worth? It was and still does tear me apart. It tears me apart when I see people succeed and I think “well why isn’t that me”. It tears me apart that I embody authenticity but can’t authentically accept true happiness for my peer’s successes. After my boyfriend became Greek, someone came up to me and said: “Oh you’re the Alpha’s girl.” And I think I almost flipped a gasket. How could I be happy for someone when I felt I was losing my identity in the process and losing it in them? I began to feel overshadowed. Then, I realized I only lost who I was at that moment because I let someone define me as my boyfriend’s accessory and not as the anchor that pulled him through. I realized that even though I recognized my insecurities I let them take control of my life, even when I was convincing myself I had found inner peace. I let the statement “Well it’s not my fault that I’m Greek and your regular” said by one of my dear friends turn me inside out, I let another person’s Instagram post with 600 likes on the night of SOJU make me feel inadequate, I LET a test grade define my intelligence…but I can no longer do that. I can no longer let insecurities steal and destroy my joy, my peace of mind, my relationships, or my journey. I know they will take over sometimes. They will always be with me, but I need to stop faking happiness and women empowerment and actually indulge in it. I’ve learned that making other people feel good doesn’t make me feel bad. Focusing on someone else’s shine doesn’t take away from mine. Someone else’s light is another star in the galaxy, not a stolen spotlight from me. My insecurities are my biggest roadblock, but they also have inspired the most growth. We get so afraid to speak the honest truth in fear of losing our “image” but, I hope this inspires somebody, anybody to stop living in a crafted world and start living in the creator’s world. We don’t need to be afraid to speak our mind, be different, or be proud of our individuality. We are not defined by anything but ourselves! So take it, relish it, own who you are and what makes you, you. Cause the only way to conquer insecurities, is to own them.