Insecurities. We all have them and we all love to hide them. A lens and editing features make insecurities a little less risky, right? Sadly, we’ve developed into a culture of effortless perfection. #iwokeuplikethis ring a bell? We’re constantly fed a tangle of images and words, choking us into believing that if we don’t match what’s on our screen, we’re somehow less. Less beautiful. Less worthy of love. Less strong. Less courageous. Less human. It’s a sick cycle and a trap I’ve fallen into far too many times. So, I decided to be a little more real around this space and share about the four biggest insecurities I’ve struggled with throughout my life. I am a normal human being just like you. I wake up with stinky morning breath, I get zits, I have the worst farts from eating fruit. Too much info? Well, let’s just be friends and get real.
First off, cold sores. Oh. My. Lanta. Can we just talk about cold sores? No one ever talks about cold sores. Those aggravating little bumps show up anytime I am overly stressed, have too much sun exposure, eat an abundance of citrus, or gobble down too many walnuts. I’m just gonna throw myself a little pity party right here because sunshine, citrus, and nuts are a few of my favorite things. Friends, I literally prayed I wouldn’t wake up on our wedding day with a tingling bump atop my lip! (Situation averted, thankfully). I fully admit I pretend like I don’t get cold sores then hide myself inside my cave of a room until I feel my face is finally presentable. They sure are uncomfortable, but perhaps if we were more honest about getting them, it would be less horrifying when you wake up with one? If you get cold sores, girl, I’m see you and not that frustrating little bump. I do my best to keep my stress low and am mindful of my triggers. I started using this lip balm a few years ago and it has helped to immensely limit how often I get an outbreak.
Next up, bacne, also known as: back acne. Yes! Yup! We’re going there! Ever since puberty, bacne was the bane of my existence. Winter layers were my friend, but once summer showed up and invited me to a pool party, insecurity began to simmer. I would wear my hair down and only wear tops that rose high in the back. Finally, I worked up the courage to ask my mom to see a dermatologist. I took prescription medication for six months and finally saw clear results. Sadly, this medication was severely drying, and years later, still impacts me (this is where my constant need for lip balm stems from). Looking back, I’m saddened by how many hangouts I turned down because of breakouts. If you struggle with body acne, my first recommendation would be to chat with a professional (my dermatologist gave me an array of options). Other helpful, all natural tips: a l w a y s rinse off after you work out. Cut out white sugar and opt for natural sweeteners, like raw maple syrup. Start washing your face and body with coconut oil!
Moving on to stretch marks. What’s that you say? You never would have guessed? Surprise! I get them too! I have several all over my legs and bum (mostly inner thighs, but even behind my knees). I used to do everything in my power to hide them from view (strategic hand placement while in a swimsuit, yo). I also generously rubbed bio oil all over those bad boys until I realized nothing was actually changing (other than my inner thighs becoming ridiculously soft). Recently, my perspective has drastically changed toward stretch marks. My body is a strong, beautiful creation and has incredible capabilities. My body is constantly adapting to changes and responding to those changes naturally. Stretch marks are a result of rapid growth or stretching. They aren’t bad, and more women and men than you think have them. Loving your body, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult journeys we face as women. Joining together, offering raw, real encouragement, and building one another up goes far, my friends.
Finally, gray hair don’t care! Yes, I get a wee little patch of grays right in the middle of my noggin. My husband calls them my stress hairs and thinks it’s cute (the hair, not the stress). I may be 26-years-young, but ladies, I get gray hairs! Growing up, my mindset toward the gray has been twisted. I can recall watching countless movies or commercials where the gal looks in the mirror, gasps, and immediately calls her hair salon to get that ish covered up. To channel my inner Lilly Moscovitz, let’s start being more concerned with what’s inside our heads instead of on it. Whether you’re a dowse it in color, pluck them straight out, or leave ’em be kind of gal, I think your grays are sexy!
My four biggest insecurities may not even compare to the struggles you battle everyday, but I deeply hope they open the conversation for more vulnerability. Learning to love yourself will not happen overnight, but is completely possible in time. Stand strong, fight for authenticity, and please never give up on being yourself.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt