I seem to get a lot of emails and comments and articles written about me, and they all seem to have a similar theme: confidence. How can I inspire it in others, how I do inspire it in others and how I exude it.

According to my boyfriend, my confidence is something that is not always present. I can often over think situations and become very overwhelmed, or I can really come into my own and let my personality shine through – often with a crude joke or two! And whilst being confident isn’t solely about looks, there are some correlations between feeling happy in your skin and being confident.

In a world where we are instantly judged and mocked for our appearance, it can sometimes takes balls to walk down the street with your head held high and a few extra kilos on your frame. People seem to have no boundaries when it comes to letting others know how they feel about them, and being a fat person does makes people react with more vitriol than ever. For me I think the most important thing to remember is: people who seek to bring others down are not doing so to be personally rude to others. They would find fault with anyone, and they are not smart enough to pick on anything bar the obvious and cliché. People who give you compliments are the people to listen to, are they do so for no personal gain, and all they want to do is let you know what it is about you that they admire. For me, my main reason for my confidence is simple: I take everything to heart. That means that those mean jibes and digs do get to me, but so do those lovely compliments and comments I get. And what I listen to most are those comments about things OTHER than my physical appearance, because then when I get those knocks about how I look I can counter them in my head with ‘but at least I am compassionate. I am empathetic. I have a wickedly filthy sense of humour.’

I think that that really is the main key to confidence. The most conventional beauties in the world will have their hang ups, whether they are physical or otherwise. And whilst it can be hard to see beyond what the mirror may show you, it is so important to know that you are more than your weight, your dress size, your face shape.

Women will write to me and implore me to help them see the beauty in themselves. Without fail these women will mention their weight – that they’ve maybe gained a lot of weight over the last few years, or they have always struggled with their size, and they ask me what they can do. First and foremost, I am a strong believer in making changes where possible. And so if your weight is bothering you to the point where you hate to leave the house and you CAN make changes then do so. But do not do so in an angry self loathing way.  You wouldn’t try to change someone you hate for the better, and you should treat yourself in the same way.  Don’t look at your body and see it as something repulsive or something that has failed you, see it as something that you love but want to work on to love it even more.  Don’t expect weight loss to be a magical solution to a happy fulfilled life either – treat it as something that will improve your confidence and self love and hopefully great things will follow.
If your weight is something that bothers you every so often (guilty!) then it may be best to focus on how you feel when you are more at ease with your appearance.  By this I don’t mean you should fall into the trap of bashing those who are different to you in order to build yourself up.  Confidence has to come from believing in yourself – believing you ARE smart, you ARE beautiful, you ARE worthy of respect and love.

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