Shark Week, Aunt Flow, The Crimson Wave, The Red Sea, YOUR PERIOD! Or whatever you want to call it. A lot of us get it and if you’re anything like me, the week leading up to your period, as well as the week of your period is just awful, but not anymore! Obviously everyone’s periods are different in every way and form, but many women can agree that it’s not the most pleasant of experiences. I don’t claim to be a period expert or some sort of menstrual guru who can cure all evils surrounding that lovely time of the month, but I have a couple of insights that I want to share about how those of us who struggle around that time can still have confidence!
So this blog post is about to get real personal, if you couldn’t tell. I didn't get my period until I was 15. Yes that’s right, 15! I was the last of my friends, probably the last in my grade to get my period and boy was it traumatic. I had to come to grips with the fact that one, I was actually biologically female, and two, I was no longer a baby. I had a very difficult time coping with this news, especially because I had convinced myself that I was actually a man or that I was some sort of magical creature who would never get her period. Needless to say, I was less than pleased about growing up in this way. My parents will tell you that 15 year old Gigi was the worst version of Gigi to ever exist. I was a hot mess. I was extremely hormonal and I couldn’t control myself or my behavior. At least, that’s what my parents would tell you. In all honesty, I was so sad and upset and angry all the time and didn’t understand why. Now I know that the horribly hormonal human running rampant in 2007 was the result of all the changes my body was going through.
Fast forward to 2015, literally last month, when my hormones got the best of me and I flipped out at work. It was very unprofessional, but I couldn’t explain to my boss that I was PMS-ing and not in control of my emotions so I just apologized and tried not to let it happen again. This past month, I decided to mark off on my calendar when my period would be coming next so that I could prepare myself for a possible “freak out”. Lo and behold, actually being more self-aware and keeping track of my emotional state helped to prevent me from becoming upset over trivial things that normally wouldn’t bother me. So if you’re someone who becomes overly-emotional or irrationally angry leading up to your period, do a self-check-in. Stop and think, “Am I upset about this because it is rationally upsetting or am I upset because my period is coming? Or both?” I’m only speaking from personal experience; I know that not all women become irrational during shark week and I also know that many women, including myself, take offense to people (men) asking, “Are you PMSing?” when you’re legitimately angry about something. So just a tip, don’t ask anyone that question unless you have that type of relationship.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that those of you reading who consistently get your period, and perhaps those of you who don’t, already know a handful of tips about dealing with the physical pains that come with periods. Drinking tea, exercising, good old Advil, the list goes on, but how can we still be confident when the lines of our uteri are shedding and causing a ruckus? Realize that, unless you have some sort of medical or medicinal intervention, getting your period is normal! There’s a huge stigma and shame around having your period. We whisper, “Do you have a pad or tampon?” and go through extreme lengths to hide feminine products because so many of us are so ashamed of our bodies when it’s completely normal. In some other countries, girls and women are banned from public spaces while menstruating because it’s considered gross, impure, and shameful. And that makes me upset! As a society, we have to relinquish this idea we have that periods are “gross” and understand that periods are a regular part of life for the average woman. Women, it’s up to us to start this de-shaming process because men won’t do it for us.
So how can you be confident while surfing the crimson wave? Continue loving yourself and your body for ALL that it does and stop acting like getting your period is equivalent to having the black plague. Have a sense of self-awareness, stay active, and don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Happy Menstruating!
The holidays are right around the corner! Is your shopping done yet? No? Do you feel like you just don’t have enough money to buy all of your loved ones gifts? Well then listen up because I’ve got an offer you won’t be able to refuse and if you act now, it can be yours, free! For a limited time only, the “Gift of Confidence” can be yours, but only if you keep reading. The Gift of Confidence is a great stocking stuffer for those friends and loved ones that you can never seem to buy anything for. The gift includes confidence boosters, self-love quotes, and a list of ways to make someone feel special. If you keep reading, we’ll send you not only one Gift of Confidence, but TWO! Give the gift that keeps on giving. Give someone confidence this holiday season. Call now!
Enough of the cheesy commercial plug! Wear Your Confidence isn’t really having a holiday promotion about Confidence gift-sets, but that little spiel isn’t completely untrue. I have often written about what it means to have self-confidence and to love your OWN self, but what about helping others with their insecurities and self-esteem? I believe that is just as important as helping yourself. I also believe that uplifting someone else can help improve your personal confidence as well. So how do we do it? While commenting on our best friends’ selfies and telling them how good they look is a quick-fix for a lack of confidence, what does it really accomplish? They may take the compliment, throw it away and go right back to dealing with their insecurities or they may not actually believe the compliment because it’s coming from someone who is supposed to tell them how pretty and attractive they are. Giving a friend the “gift of confidence” is going to be a bit more extensive than “Omg you look so good!”.
If you have a friend who legitimately has issues with self-love and self-confidence, do something special for them like hand-write them a letter. In today’s age of texting and snapchats, it seems as if we’ve lost the art of letter writing and for many, that particular medium can be meaningful and impactful. Tell them how special they are in the letter. Write to them about what makes them unique and beautiful. Don’t focus too much on the superficial; write about what’s in their heart. Explain to them why you love them and how great of a friend they are to you and others. The best thing about letters is that they’re FREE! I guarantee they’ll appreciate such a heartfelt gift and can look back on it when things are tough.
In the same way that you would remind yourself to be confident, remind them! Leave them notes of affirmation, show them that they are worthy of love, and encourage them! If you hear them say something negative about themselves, change it into a positive! Encourage them to hang out with positive people who are going to build them up and not tear them down. Be that positive person for them! Buy them the Boost Your Confidence with Compliments on the WYC website! (hint hint) If you don’t have the money to spend, make your own compliments booklet specifically for them. Be an open heart and ear to listen to them when they’re having trouble loving themselves. If you’re a good friend, you probably do these things already, but this just serves as a reminder that everyone could use a pick-me-up every now and then, even our friends.
As you grow in your confidence, help someone else grow in theirs. You may be the only person to say something nice to them in the span of an entire day or week, and you may be the reason that someone makes a choice to love themselves, even if for a single moment. Give the gift of confidence, someone will be glad you did.
**Trigger Warning-Self Harm/Eating Disorders**
This should go without saying, but no one is perfect. Of course we are all made in God’s image and He is perfect, but we are inherently born into a flawed being. We are human! We make mistakes and that’s okay! As humans, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be this perfect person, and we idolize these celebrities that we perceive as the epitome of perfection, when in reality, they deal with issues just like we do and they make mistakes, just like we do.
I mentioned Demi Lovato in my last post briefly, but I want to talk a little bit more about her because I think she’s amazing and she’s a great example of a celebrity who has been able to let go of idealized perfection and be her authentic, flawed, human self. As many know, a few years ago, Demi Lovato opened up about her struggles with bulimia and self harm, two taboo mental illnesses whose victims often suffer in silence. Many celebrities who have dealt with eating disorders are often blasted in the tabloids and often deny their illness because they are still trying to maintain a false air of perfection; however, Demi Lovato was open about her issues and checked herself into treatment. By admitting that she did, in fact, have an eating disorder and an issue with self harm, she sent a viral message to every young (and not so young) person watching her that it is okay to have flaws! It’s okay to not be perfect. We all deal with individual problems and if we don’t confront those problems because we’re too scared of not seeming perfect, we’ll find ourselves in great deal of trouble. Today, Demi is generally regarded as an inspiration and amazing role model for girls because of the message of self-love that she preaches. She wrote a book in 2013 called Staying Strong that includes various daily goals and promotes self-love and self-care. Hats off to you, Demi Lovato!
My entire life, I have fought an internal battle of perfectionism, which has certainly reared its ugly head in different aspects of my life. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better now, but I definitely understand and can relate to people when they express that they have control issues due to perfectionism or anything of that sort. Society certainly doesn't make it easy on us. We are expected to have everything together and in order in our lives and look perfect all the time! It’s unreasonable and unrealistic because no one is perfect. Even the most seemingly put-together people are unhappy with something in their lives, including celebrities! Celebrities struggle with low self-esteem and insecurities in the same way that we do, and I personally believe we see so many celebrities “going off the deep end” because they are forced to hide their problems due to an overwhelming fear of public scrutiny and losing their “perfect” status.
So stop trying to be perfect! You will only upset and disappoint yourself because perfection is an impossible ideal. No one can legitimately attain such a status and it’s okay! You should love you for you, flaws, mistakes and all! Embrace YOU because no one can do you the way you do you, boo.