Confidence is seen; not heard.
When you enter a room, it should always proceed you. Strangers should be well acquainted with your confidence before they have a true grasp of its source. Egypt! I don’t have confidence like that. Eh, you will survive, I survived 22 years lacking true confidence. So, if you want to live up to your full Queen potential, but you lack confidence, then I suggest you stop following your lead and please don’t take the road I traveled. . . Instead, fake it until you make it!
Hard to believe looking back, but I grew up with many voices— family, friends and strangers alike— telling me how beautiful I was, from my eyes to my skin tone to my thick-ass tree trunks I’ve heard it all. Many of those compliments fell heavily on deaf ears. I couldn’t look in the mirror and say wholeheartedly to myself “Girl you are beautiful.” Nope it just wasn’t there, trust, I tried.
So where did this Negative Ninny come from? From inside of me! I could sit here and place all the blame of society’s bias expectations, and the media’s propaganda and beauty tricks, but I’m too mature for that these days. Yes, society and media did influence how I looked at myself in comparison to the idols of the 1990’s and now 2000’s. Yes, the media still screams “thinner is sexier”, “longer hair is what men want”, “smaller hips, and nice thigh gaps” . . . and a host of other confidence-diminishing “You’re Broken, Fix Yourself Tips”
Nevertheless, it was only I who chose to listen to these misguidances. It was to no one’s fault but my own that 22 years of subconsciously hating myself was not reduced to six or less.
I remember, like they all happened yesterday, each moment that made me feel as if I was not already perfect. Like really who tf I was kidding.
Growing up, I was always the odd girl out. My Maa has always preferred peculiar. I like, Monic, was taller than all the other children in elementary school. I was also a lot thicker. Did I mention by first grade my red hair was cut and styled in a mushroom bob? . . . I had slanted eyes and in the terms of Virginia country folks, I was “high yella.” None of the other girls looked like me, spoke like me, dressed like me, acted like me, thought like me, fxckit—fought like me, or was an introvert like me. Needless to say I made more “friends” with my teachers and the K-12 librarians than I ever did with the boys and girls I shared those basic hallways.
Then Came the Boys, Boys, and more Men!?
High school, I was not that chick. Funny how then I cared. Then I was hurt because the guys were always chasing the slim, skinny girls, the more popular girls and often the more active girls (if you catch my drift). I found my self-torn between, caring and not caring.
At the end of the day, I was just the wacky-thick-theater-geek who was no one’s cup of tea
. . . or so I thought. At 16 going on 17 even my vivacious colors and eccentric style choices couldn’t keep the knuckleheads (so says my Didd’a) from blowing up our landline. And boy, oh boy was I feeling myself. Probably smelling myself too as my great grams would say. Ironically, very few of these caller came from my high school, many weren’t even in our county . . . and some, well let’s say I started to get lots of attention from older guys. . . seventeen to twenty-twenty-five’ish . . .*reflection point*
It was at that point in life, and so on, that I know God was showing me for the first time as young woman I wasn’t made to fit in. I was not created to be the apple of every man’s eye. I didn’t pay much attention to it then, but I was way more mature mentally and spiritually than 90% of the males I selected to share my intimate space with. Where there was intimacy, there was no chemistry. Chemistry, no intimacy—and where there were sexual passion very seldom was either of the latter present . I look back now Knowing I fell through a lot of those relationships, because I went into them in search of the confidence I did not possess growing up. I was trying to validate my beauty by being someone’s arm candy. On the other hand, I was attempting to invalidate my quirky innocent personality by going steady with the “bad guys.” Thus, break up after break up, after break up led me down a broken road, but at the ripe age of twenty-two with the help of Me, Myself, I, Monic, Pearl and a host of other Queens (unbeknownst to them until now :-* ) – I began to nurse my confidence back to health.
So today, in light of International Women’s Day, and so on –be confident, be radiant and above all be YOU; with great vim and vigor.
Fake it ’til YOU make it!
- Mirror Mirror! – Every time you encounter a mirror say to the Queen on the other side “I am beautiful. We are beautiful.”
- List of Love – For 7 days, write down one unique feature YOU love about yourself (hair, smile, legs, talents, gifts, mind) and don’t forget to write down why you love your feature and what you are going to do to maintain it or naturally enhance it.
- Spread the love – Make a goal to pay at least one person per day a genuine compliment.
Do it again! This time with great vim and vigor!
—Frances Hutcherson Grant
(DR High School, sunset 2006)
Love You All! —♥ Egypt