We all want to be more effortlessly confident. Unfortunately, as many of us know, this is much harder than it sounds. Girls especially have been taught that we need to be “perfect” from early on. Lately, one way we’ve been taught to combat those hateful voices in our head is through self love. I’m sure you’ve seen that phrase pop up on the Internet a lot, especially on social media sites like Tumblr or Twitter. While some self love advice is inspiring and motivational, some of the advice on how to be confident is just really annoying to hear. Self love is simply actively valuing your own wellbeing and happiness the way you value other important things in your life. Maybe I’m just friends with a ton of misguided hippies, I don’t know, but self love sure isn’t extreme vanity, halfway there applied Eastern philosophy, and making yourself out to be the best person ever.
Honestly, people get so extreme about their enthusiasm for self love that if you want to actually try and do it, it can just feel like one more thing you have to be nailing in life. It’s just another, different way to engage that nagging perfectionist voice in your head. But the truth is is that no one is loving and perfect and confident one hundred percent of the time. I love the concept of self love, and I know how important it is to teach women to be more confident, but I don’t like how it turns some people into the actual worst, or how it can be really hypocritical sometimes. Here are a few of the most annoying pieces of advice about being more confident that you don’t need to listen to:
1) Saying, “You don’t need makeup to look or feel good.”
If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t use makeup. But some people need it to feel confident, or they might just like it. Why has some weird branch of the self love movement decided that this kind of expression and creativity is bad? Also, not for nothing, but those #nofilter #nomakeup selfies that rack up likes mostly feature flawless skin and symmetrical faces anyway, so…
2) Pushing the idea that if you don’t adhere to mainstream beauty standards, you’re somehow better than the girls who do.
Have you ever heard girls who love themselves talk about how it’s sad that other girls feel they need makeup and fashion trends and highlights to feel good? They imply that those girls are “fake” and you don’t want to be like that. I don’t care if you’re throwing Kylie Jenner under the bus, but saying that you’re somehow better than other girls because you’re more evolved in existing outside of mainstream beauty standards – whatever that means – is still annoying and definitely part of the problem.
3) The idea of drowning yourself in inspirational quotes.
Yes, I need more people misquoting the Buddha photoshopped over pictures of clouds or something. Please continue to contribute nothing to the conversation other than out of context proverbs from a religion you don’t practice, that sounds great.
4) The push to be overly grateful for everything.
This one is hard to describe. Do you guys also know those people who act like they’re trying to out-zen everybody else in perspective? Everything can be boiled down and reduced to a simpler argument and an even more weird esoteric question that means nothing. For example, in high school I said that ‘nice’ was a generic word and I had a friend come back with a big diatribe about the value of that word, and kindness, and… you know what, I honestly stopped paying attention because that’s exhausting.
5) Posting stretch marks… that are almost invisible.
Yes, Real Girl bodies (AKA all of us) should definitely be more visible, and of course that includes stretch marks in all shapes and sizes. If they’re major sources of insecurity for you and you feel empowered by not filtering them out, yes girl, do you. But it seems like we’re only seeing the skin-toned almost invisible ones that kind of look cute if you think about it. Give me more big red and purple ones, please. Let’s reclaim those! As someone with dark stretch marks, it’s frustrating to see someone with barely existent ones talk about how hard it is.
6) Only showing cellulite when it’s cute.
I would fall over with gratitude if we got somebody posting the bad lighting in a dressing room freak out because, oh my god, that’s cellulite covering your entire body, isn’t it? Everyone has cellulite, some more than others. Everybody’s legs mash up in weird ways when you sit down. What about the stuff in weird spots you can’t hide from?
7) Dipping too far and getting too self-centered or vain.
Yes, love yourself. And to quote some scripture, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gon’ love somebody else,” (RuPaul). We all get that. But, odes to yourself should maybe be a private practice not public document. At a certain point, it becomes bragging.
8) Failing to recognize the beauty in others.
This goes along with putting yourself and your beauty first and making everybody else secondary to the goddess-ness that is You. We all know those overly confident people who claim being superficially self-centered is reclaiming the male gaze or some other crazy excuse that makes literally zero sense.
9) The idea that big problems have easy solutions.
Oh my god, if one more person tells me to manifest something I’m gonna die. You can’t wave a magic wand and get anything with an Accio spell and not actually going to go get it and work for it.
10) The idea that you shouldn’t acknowledge your own weaknesses.
Because they’re all part of the perfect whole which is inherently flawless. You aren’t Beyonce and even Beyonce has slip ups and blind spots.
11) Treating all negativity as bad.
No, sometimes it’s constructive criticism that you need to hear. People who don’t completely see eye-to-eye with you aren’t “haters.”
12) The idea that everything is a SIGN from THE UNIVERSE.
13) The idea that bad days don’t exist.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean it has to be unconditional. It’s an ongoing thing. It’s okay to get on your own nerves, not think you look cute today, or actually work on improving yourself as a person. Acting like you never have a down day is fake and not genuine. Really practicing self love means loving yourself even on your bad days.
Which one of these do you think is annoying? Do you actually love some of them? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.