We all have physical insecurities: things about our appearance that we don’t particularly like. No matter how much family, friends, or random strangers assure and affirm us that the basis of our insecurities are unnoticeable, the insecurities often persist. Part of it may be because those affirmations are contrary to what society and culture tells us (directly or indirectly). Another part may be due to perceived bias; regardless of their true motive we believe that those affirming us are doing so out of some social obligation.
It can be hard to talk about these insecurities because to do so would be to draw attention to them. Plus, there’s the added fear of judgement; there’s fear that people will think you’re shallow or that you’re making a big deal out of nothing. But the things is people don’t choose to feel insecure.
One of my big insecurities is my skin. My acne was kinda bad in high school and I was super sensitive to it then. There were days when I didn’t want to leave the house at all because I didn’t want people to see my face. Now my face is clear for the most part, but I still have scars. Everytime I see myself in the mirror that insecurity is right up in my face, literally. I’ve gotten better about not being so fixated on it. And it’s not like people shove it in my face or make obvious comments about it. The things is, it’s the “bad” comments that always will stick out more, no matter how skewed the ratio is towards the “good.” I don’t want to feel this way and I know it’s a stupid/ insignificant thing to worry about, but I can’t control how I feel.
I believe in my heart that we are so much more than our appearances. Though at the same time our culture and a portion of our biology is obsessed with it, so we can’t just ignore it. So what do we do? Self-acceptance is the best and clearest way to go, but at the same time I think forcing ourselves into self-acceptance can be unhealthy. If you can find a way to embrace the insecurity and make it a point of strength, that’s great. But denying or invalidating your own feelings is not a healthy way to go. Some things can’t be helped and feelings aren’t easily changed.
It’s interesting, though perhaps extremely obvious, that I am most focused on my insecurities when I’m looking in a mirror, completely focused on myself. It’s times when I get out of my own head; when I’m with good friends or when I’m doing something I love, that I hardly think about it at all. It’s not that I’m actively trying forget my insecurities, but in a sense it’s a subconscious reminder that I’m more than my insecurities, and the people around me and the things I have accomplished are a testament to that.
And if all else fails, remember that everyone is insecure about something, and they are probably more focused on their own than they are of yours.