If you’ve been following our blog posts for a while you’ve probably noticed a trend. Wear Your Confidence only addresses women! Confidence and self-love aren’t just women-centered trends, they’re for everyone! So today I want to talk to the guys out there about wearing their confidence and understanding the difference between cockiness and confidence because I’ve noticed that the two are often confused (at least in my personal experience, they are). I want to use two celebrities to illustrate my point and acknowledge the differences between being confident and being arrogant; Kanye West and Jaden Smith.
For as long as he has been in the spotlight, Kanye West has been regarded as a very talented rapper and musician, but he has also been categorized as a cocky and arrogant celebrity based on the statements he makes about himself and the way he carries himself. I think it is important for men (just as women) to carry themselves with confidence and a sense of self assurance, but in my opinion, Kanye crosses that line. In the limelight, he believes himself to be God-like and often portrays himself as religious and spiritual figures. While many of his fans find his persona to be alluring and praise him for his actions, others could argue that Kanye possibly lacks humility and modesty. Of course, one has to take into account the fact that many celebrities behave a certain way in front of paparazzi and cameras for notoriety and are not, in fact, the way that Hollywood has made them out to be, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Kanye West truly thought of himself as a higher being than the rest of the world. No matter how talented you are, and obviously Kanye is talented, you are no better than anyone else and shouldn’t treat yourself or others as such.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jaden Smith who has recently been featured in the Louis Vuitton Women’s ad campaign. While this new addition to their campaign has received mixed reviews from consumers and non consumers alike, I personally think that it’s awesome that Jaden is confident enough to tear down gender norms and express himself in a way that he feels comfortable. There is no real rhyme or reason as to why most clothing has been designated “mens” or “womens” wear given that gender is socially constructed. With recent campaigns to deconstruct the gender norms surrounding toys, I am excited to see that clothing companies are following suit and taking baby steps to say, “Boo gender norms” and allowing people to confidently express who they are. If Jaden Smith can literally wear his confidence, so can other men! I’m not saying to go out and buy dresses necessarily, but do what makes you feel confident and feel like the best version of yourself!
I think that sometimes as a society we focus so much on building women’s confidence because women are most often victims of low self-esteem (due to society!), but there are definitely guys out there who could use a confidence boost. So if you’re a guy reading this, you, too, are beautiful and fearfully and wonderfully made. If you know a guy who struggles with self-love, encourage him! It won’t be a cure-all, but I can guarantee it’ll make him feel good about himself to hear that he is awesome and loved. Wear your confidence, guys!
Ever have those days where you just do not feel like you're “on fleek"? As much as I try to promote positivity and self love and confidence, I still have days when I feel the exact opposite. I’m not perfect, obviously, no one is, and we all have days where we don’t feel as great as we should. But there are things you can do to help yourself so you’re not wallowing in your own misery and pity and I wanted to share three of them!
1) Take Selfies
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. “How shallow and millennial-like of you to list this as your first thing, Gigi!” Let me explain myself! I had a horrible day recently. Like, terrible. I was crying a lot and really could not pull myself together. My hair was a hot mess, I refused to get out of my pajamas and my eyes were puffy and red. I couldn’t allow myself to continue feeling and looking the way I did. Although I had no plans of going out or seeing anyone, for my own sake, I wanted to feel better about myself. So I took a shower, washed my hair, put on some makeup that made me feel pretty and decided to take a bunch of selfies. I had my own little photo shoot right in my dining room and honestly, I must say, they are some of the nicest pictures I’ve taken of myself. After physically getting myself together, I ended up feeling much better psychologically. This may not be an ideal solution for everyone, but sometimes, getting dolled up just for YOU can change your perceptions and attitudes about yourself, even if only for some selfies.
2) Pamper Yourself
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to pamper myself! I think I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but I believe self-care is extremely important. Self care can be anything from yoga or meditation to eating healthily (or indulging), to taking solo trips, to shopping! My friends know I am a huge fan of the latter. Sometimes just purchasing a special pair of shoes or a really pretty dress can turn my day around and make me feel like the queen that I am. Another frequent way that I help myself feel good about myself is getting my nails done, but self care doesn’t always equal spending money. Sometimes just putting on your favorite outfit or baking something for yourself can be fulfilling. Pampering yourself, in my opinion, is just another way of loving yourself! Treat yourself!
3) Do What You Love
Feeling good about yourself isn’t only feeling good about how you look, although for some, that is a huge part of it. Feeling good inside can also permeate on the outside. Doing what you love to do can be a great reminder of my talents and a reminder of the reasons that you were placed on the Earth. Personally, I love to sing, and it is one of the few things that I can confidently say I’m good at doing. A friend of mine once suggested that whenever I’m feeling down or anxious that I should sing because I love singing! Recently on my sadder days, I’ve turned on some YouTube karaoke and sung my heart out of its funk. Other times, I’ve taken out my paints and brushes and created a piece of artwork or I’ve danced around my room with my music blasting. Whatever it is that you love doing, do it! Whether its something that gets your blood pumping or something that helps you unwind and relax, if its healthy and makes you feel good about yourself, I encourage you to try doing it when you’re having an off day.
Take care of yourselves, readers! You are valuable and worthy of love from others, but most importantly, from yourself!
By now, almost everyone with access to the internet has read or at least vaguely heard of the Rachel Dolezel story/scandal. If for some reason you have not, the basic thing to understand is that the now-former chief of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP was a white woman living her life as a black woman. As expected, much of the black community was/is in uproar over this situation, some taking sociological stances, others taking a more comedic approach to dealing with their emotions regarding Dolezal. While I’m going to try to avoid dissecting this case from a political or social standpoint (because at this point it has already been done), I mainly want to use this story to remind you to love the skin you’re in because all skin is beautiful skin.
“Being able to look in the mirror and love what you see is a privilege many people don’t have” - Alexis Walker
I love this quote that a friend of mine stated in a social media post because it speaks volumes to society’s ability to shape one’s self-esteem and confidence based on something as trivial as their skin color. Our country was built upon structures and institutions of racial hierarchy and oppression that, unfortunately, still affect so many black Americans who have been told that they are “less than” simply because of their skin color. By the time they develop a sense of racial consciousness, many black children have an understanding that their skin color is NOT celebrated in mainstream media. Time and time again, psychologists conduct “The Clark Doll Experiment” (Clark, 1939) where young children are presented with a black doll and a white doll and asked a series of questions about the integrity and beauty of the dolls. And each time, children unanimously decide that the white doll is pretty and good and the black doll is ugly and bad. From the 1940’s to 2015 (meaning the other day with one of my black students), black children across America are not being taught to love the skin that they are in, unlike their white counterparts that see themselves represented in almost all forms of media on a daily basis. There is still a lot to unpack here, but the center of this current situation is Rachel Dolezal did not love her original skin. The levels of privilege one must have in order to take on another racial identity and deny their own heritage are very strong here and that is perhaps another reason why black people are so upset about this. We (Black Americans) live in a world that subliminally and constantly reminds us that our skin is not beautiful nor is it societally desirable. Then a white woman, Dolezal, who IS reminded how desirable her skin is, decides to reject her whiteness and attempt to imitate and live the struggle that is blackness in a white America. Who does that? I can only speculate someone who is deeply confused or someone who truly feels a level of self-hatred for themselves, much like some non-white Americans who wish they were born into privileged skin. “Never in her natural born life did that woman have to feel self hatred and wish she was white” (Alexis Walker).
I could probably write a short thesis on this whole ordeal, but what I wanted to ultimately get across is my constant message of loving yourself and loving who God made you to be. Light skin, dark skin and everything in between is beautiful! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
What good is a nice looking sports car with no engine? What’s the use of a pretty face, nice clothes and no substance? What good are you if you’re a Barbie? Yes, she looks good on the outside; some might even say that her body is “perfect” yet she has, no brain and no personality! If you ask us she is pretty useless. What are we trying to get at? Being confident is more than just looking good! You can look good on the outside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and be dying on the inside because you feel horrible about yourself. That is not a good thing at all. If you want to change the way you feel about yourself there are three things you must know before you can truly Wear Your Confidence.
1. Know Who You Are.
Before you can be confident in your abilities, you have to know who you are! If someone were to ask you, “Who are you?” What would you say? Would you start naming things that you do? Would you tell them that you’re a student or that you’re an employee for a certain company? Who you are has nothing to do with what you do, what you wear, or the kind of car you drive. You are not things! Knowing who you are has to do with your personality. Are you smart, funny, outgoing, shy? Make a list of your personality. Think of some adjectives that describe you. If you need help, ask your friends, they will be more than happy to tell you who are. Just be ready for what they have to say.
2. Know What God Says About You.
When you have a negative view about yourself and the people around you don't understand you; that would be a perfect time to remind yourself about what God says about you. Just in case you didn't know. God says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)! God created you in such a special way! He did not just throw you together like a last minute project! Instead, He took His time and had you develop in your mother’s womb. He knows how many hairs you have on your head and how many times your heart beats in a day. He created you and you are perfect just the way God created you!
God says that you are loved! Did you know that God loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to die for you so that you could live with Him forever in Heaven (John 3:16)? It is true! You are special! Who else would die for you after you treated them wrong? Not many, but Jesus did! God says that you are royalty! Yes, you! You are a princess. God is the King of the world! If God is King that makes you a daughter of a King, a princess! You are His chosen possession (1 Peter 2:9)!
God also says that you are brave! He gave you power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)! You are able to love, love yourself, your friends and your family because God gave you the ability to love. You are not weak and you are not crazy or dumb! How could you be when a perfect God created you?
3. Know That You Can Do All Things Through Christ.
When you need help you ask, right? In order for you to Wear Your Confidence you are going to have to ask. God is the only one who can help you. Philippians 4:13 says you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! That simply means that with Jesus Christ you can do everything! It seems to good to be true, but it is the truth. The only catch is you have to have Jesus. Pray that Jesus will be with you and He will! He will help you believe that you can be truly confident!
*Don't forget your confidence.