I think I can go out on a limb here and say that Southern California can be one of the toughest places to live when trying to maintain a positive self-image. Of course there are good looking people everywhere and it really comes down to how you see yourself, but I have to say, after having visited Newport Beach, CA last night, there are some places where having a positive self image can be like running head first into a brick wall because there are so many extremely good looking people everywhere.
The one thing that best represented my self-consciousness about my looks and myself over the years has been yes, a pair of shoes. Specifically, high heels. I’ve talked about the Self Help section in the bookstores before and how I once got sucked in to reading way too many dating How-To books once upon a time. Something I noticed a lot of these reiterated was that girls “should” wear high heels on dates because it gave guys this image of being confident and sexy (and something about making your legs look long). Even before I read this, I had always felt out of place in my flats or my very tiny heels, especially in recent years since at most any bar or restaurant you will often see nothing but five inch platforms all around you. It’s weird to say…but I felt like less of a woman because I couldn’t wear such high shoes because my legs wouldn’t be strong enough to hold me up in them or because I was afraid if I fell, that it would be that much further I would fall before I hit the ground.
Even if I was in my cutest outfit, I still wouldn’t feel 100% “hot” or “pretty” because I didn’t have heels on. For the most part, I’ve long since moved past this. As I’ve become more and more comfortable in my own skin, I compare myself less to other girls and therefore, feel just fine in my flats and cute outfit. Sometimes, dare I say…I feel beautiful. It’s interesting too because I’ve talked to two separate guys in the past few months and they’ve both said that !news flash! guys don’t even notice your feet or shoes most of the time. And a lot of guys respect a woman for being able to be confident in flats. I am in no way passing judgement on those who decide to wear heels whether it be sometimes or all the time. We all have different things we do to make us feel good. I’m merely saying for myself, someone who physically can’t wear them for the most part…I needed to realize that wearing heels wasn’t the missing puzzle piece in my self-confidence. That being able to change that one thing wouldn’t all of sudden make the guys swarm and make me feel hot.
Last night I have to say, was really the first time in a while where I was so completely surrounded by beautiful girls with perfect tans, perfectly coiffed hair, tiny dresses for their tiny bodies, nice skin and their equally attractive boyfriends and of course…high heels. I really try to say all this without judgement and that slight sarcastic intonation because I realize this is how I perceived them to be and I’m simply relaying that. Most of the state probably would have perceived them as such too since their looks are what our society typically defines as “beautiful” these days. But as much as that feeling of “you’re not good enough” or “you’re not pretty enough” tried to creep up, I fought it off as best I could. I will admit though, it was very very hard. I went down there feeling great about myself and it was hard to maintain that throughout the night even though I was around equally beautiful girls (and even smarter) girls at my own table.
It made me realize, there are always going to be groups of girls I deem ‘prettier’ around the corner out here, especially if I let myself see them that way and let myself see my own body and my own looks as somehow inferior, just because I don’t find into a certain mold of pretty. Most days I can maintain a positive outlook and body image. I have the wherewithal to say “you know, if I need to change the way I look so completely just to get a guy to be interested, then I would rather be 100% myself and single the rest of my life.” And wearing high heels ties right in with that. If I have to go out and buy 5 inch heels that both look and feel painful just to think I feel good about myself or to “snag a man” then I will happily skip along solo in my cute flats thank you very much.
So whatever your Achilles “heel” may be when it comes to your self-confidence and self-worth, remember that no shoe, no purse, no dress…nothing external can ever define your beauty or how you see yourself. And even if everyone else around you is wearing one or carrying one, then think of how much you are going to stand out in the sea of all of them and how unique and amazing that makes you.