5 Common Things Women Are Insecure About (And How To Feel Better About Them, Right Now)
The world we live in all but creates and incessantly reinforces low self-esteem. When it comes down to it, what's idealized is reducing yourself in every conceivable way, emulating a mold of an ideal under the belief that it will somehow translate to making you more lovable if not worthy of love altogether. It's no wonder women (and people, in general) struggle to feel good about themselves day-in-and-day-out.
Society instructs people — but women especially — to quantify their worth as a means of proving it. This is some deeply ingrained "the male suitors need to select the best female breeders to keep the humans coming" bull, so we need to be moving past it now. Until we realize why we feel compelled to constantly worry about the number on our pants or the weight of our bodies or the size of our social circles, we'll spend our lives trying to supplement something that was never a problem in the first place.
Walking yourself out of the labyrinth of society's delusion is not an easy task, but you don't have to do it alone. The reality is that everybody feels these things, if not worries about them to a similar degree, and there are so many different resources to inspire and encourage you to fully accept yourself regardless of how you measure up to the people around you. Here, the eight most common things women feel insecure about (and how to feel better about them, right now):
The Willingness Of A Partner To Commit
I believe that there is a culturally pervasive seed spread around by society that associates someone's undying love and commitment with safety and worthiness, and said seed was planted by evolution and watered over the generations and exists now as a monstrosity of a tree keeping all of us in the shadows. (Was this analogy dramatic enough for you? Good.)
It's not even about relationship status anymore — it's how "madly in love" you are, at all times. It's how beautiful you look together, how many cute #MCM and #WCW photos you post: it's about how well other people perceive you to fit within a relationship perfectly, even if it's not an accurate representation of how much you actually do. (This is what makes breakups in the digital age so hard – everybody's watching, which comes with the emotional implication that they're judging you for not being "good enough" for real love.)
Anyway: the point is that the end goal of a relationship is not just a commitment. It's how much you learn, change, grow and evolve because of your time with someone else. That's not something you measure with a quantity of status updates and shimmering jewels. That just exists in your heart, and it's far more important than how quickly you find The One, because it makes you the kind of person who will be ready for your "one" when it's time that you find them. Everything else is a game of princesses and Facebook Official Relationships and make-believe.
How "Busy" We Are (Or Are Not)
It's how many extensive projects we've had to take on at work — how many promotions we've gotten in a certain period of time. How few free hours we have and how desperately we're glued to our phones because our work emails are too important to ignore. You know this song and dance, I know this song and dance — it's the good old "I am as worthy as I am distracted" number, and it's rooted in a deep insecurity that we are, in fact, not that at all.
When we imagine our lives as adults, we imagine them to be full and blissful and exciting. When we actually get there, we realize that there are more unexciting days and uninspiring duties and annoying tasks than we'd like to acknowledge. This isn't failure, this is real life. Busying ourselves with work is just a distraction from having to deal with not feeling as though we lived up to the ideas we had for ourselves about how we'd be. You're not only as successful as your planner is booked. You're as successful as it's filled with things that genuinely mean something to you in the long-run.
The Size Of Your Social Circle, Online And Not
We all dreamed that our 20s would consist of dinner parties that linger out into the late hours of the night with our coupled friends who compliment our ratatouille and pepper their jokes with pop culture references. We then actually got to our 20s and realize we were still in our best friend's bed eating pizza and complaining about an ex.
People have a big hang up on "how many friends" they have, and that's mostly because it has to do with, again, quantifying worth. "Here are 100 people who are here to like my status update — see how cool and desirable I am to literally everybody???" We see it as safety. As though we must form the largest tribe, get the most people on our side as we can. It's, again, rooted in a survival instinct, but it's something we should be evolving past at this point.
The only thing that matters when it comes to friends, online and not, is how much love and companionship and acceptance you share between you. When that's genuine, it doesn't matter if there are two people in your life or 200. The feeling is usually the same.
How We Look In Photos
In an age where everything is digitized, how you appear in a photo is the equivalent to how you are in real life. There's little to no distinction at this point. So few of us stop to realize that a photo is a snapshot of a moment in time, not a flawless depiction of exactly how we appear and how our lives are and what we'll be remembered by.
Once upon a time, photos were only a thing you took once in a while, and it was kind of more accepted that you'd look good in some and okay in others and not great in a few too. Now, you need to have your Kim Kardashian contour at all times, because no matter where you're going, photos are being taken, and you might even feel like it's your "responsibility" to look "good" in them.
No wonder so much insecurity is born. It induces this sort of spotlight effect, and all of a sudden, every time we leave the house it feels like an opportunity to either prove that we're attractive or affirm that we indeed are not. Never before was there such an intense social requirement to appear a certain way. The only way to really get past this is to accept that even supermodels have hundreds of outtakes, and no one photo can define who or how you are as a person — and that photos, the ultimate way to preserve moments in time, should mean so much more than looking "good".
What "Other People" Think Of Us
This is such a huge hangup, possibly because as humans we're social and curious and have a tendency to shop around ideas about other people's lives as a form of recreation. I'm not saying this is permissible, but it is reality. We know how other people judge and to what scorching degrees. We know because we've done it, and we know what someone could say about us at any given moment, for any given thing.
So rather than trying to address why it matters whether or not we can convince ourselves that every single person we can think of loves and accepts us — and what hole we need that infallibility to fill — we focus on belittling ourselves so we never have to face that, or the idea that we do anything that's "wrong."
The best way to cope with this is to acknowledge that what people love in themselves, they'll love in you; what they can't see in themselves, they'll hate in you. It ultimately has nothing to do with you, it is a projection of how they feel about themselves. How you feel about their opinions is what matters, it's what you have to reckon with at the end of the day.
Images: Pixabay; Giphy