I don’t need no beat, I can sing it with piano.

2 Mar

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I stumbled across the above image yesterday and it immediately struck me. It struck me because I agreed with it. My boobs are amazing and my music taste IS wonderful. If it had a third bullet point about having a great bum then, personally, I don’t think it could have summed me up better.

Following that last sentence, what did you think? Was your first thought: “Cool”? Was it “WOW, what an EGO, jeez”? Or was it something far crueller?

I am increasingly getting frustrated with how it’s deemed ‘wrong’ to have a little self-confidence. There’s a fine line between having confidence and having an ego – one raises your spirits and the other raises everyone’s haunches (eg: it pisses people off). I often find myself wondering how easy it is to differentiate between the two.

If you’d met me 5 years ago, I was a different person when it came to the image I put out there for people. I was still a liberal – I still had my opinions, however I didn’t voice them in such a blunt way because 1. I didn’t feel like I had the right to and 2. I didn’t think anyone would care. I was VERY down about the way I looked and didn’t feel good about myself at all. For pretty much the whole of my life I have only ever been complimented on my work – I got consistently good grades in school and I was driven to go to Uni, get a good degree with a view to getting a good job.  So, when people congratulated me on a good grade, I accepted it. When someone complimented the way I looked, I curled up or got defensive because I assumed they were lying to me.

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Over the past couple of years this has changed. I’ve always been able to put eyes upon myself – I know that I’m not conventionally pretty, not even unconventionally so, but nowadays I just. don’t. care that much. Of course it would be nice to be a little slimmer, have hair that holds curls or have a perfect complexion. I’ve accepted that I will never have any of these things. But what I have also accepted is that parts of me are fucking AWESOME and I shouldn’t be made to feel bad for celebrating that fact. For some reason, women more so than men, are made to feel like bitches when they pipe up and say “Y’know what? I look GREAT today, my boobs are the absolute BEST”. My last boyfriend, much of an arsehole to me as he was, did give me a lot of self-confidence. Luckily I’ve managed to completely erase him from my life (aside from using him to make a point such as this one!) but the confidence hasn’t been erased.

However, I’ve found that having confidence not only in your appearance, but in your abilities, your taste and your opinions, is also something which people find shocking. One of my Uni friends told me the other day that I’d changed a lot since Uni, and this was said in response to a comment I made about expecting a lot from work (after all, I’m good at my job, so I believe an employer owes you a compliment as well as a pay cheque at the end of the month). I realised that she’d said it because I HAVE changed; I used to have very low self-esteem. I used to think very little of myself and when I did something good I’d sit and wait for people to recognise it and they rarely did – not unless it was an objective ‘grade on a piece of paper’.

These days, I speak my mind, because I’ve realised no one out there has the right to tell me to do otherwise. If I think someone is being a dick, I’ll voice it. True, not always to their face, but these days if they persist, I will. I don’t like confrontation, I simply believe that being upfront and honest is the quickest way to get things done. Think of all those weeks and months you spent pining over someone when it turned out they liked you all along? You could have spent an extra few months being happy, rather than pining, if you’d just grabbed the opportunity by the balls (ladies, this isn’t to be taken literally). And if you get turned down? Then all that happens is you get turned down and you learn how to deal with it – it happens to us all. Once you’ve done it you’ll be less scared to do it again… and the cycle continues and your confidence grows.

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From time to time, I swear. Why? Because I want to. I think I’m good at my job, but I don’t think I know EVERYTHING – there is always something to learn. When you believe you have nothing to learn, that’s when you’re in the ego territory.  I don’t think I’m going to be winning any Hottie of the Year awards – I realise that there may be a guy out there PERFECT for me, however he’ll only see me as a friend because I’m not two dress sizes smaller. I have decided that this is his loss and not mine. And those guys I overlooked because I’d be taller than them in heels? My loss – not theirs.  I have also decided that just because I’m female, doesn’t mean I have to be quiet, self-deprecating and waiting for men to dictate how my life should go. If I want someone, I tell them. If I want something I make a good enough living and I work hard enough to just go out and get it. If I don’t agree with someone, I’ll tell them. Not because I want to cause a fight, but if they’re expressing their opinion why can’t I express mine in a calm and reasoned way? Think you deserve a pay rise? ASK – because absolutely no one else is going to do it for you.

So, as I said: I’ve changed. I’m headstrong and under all the confidence I exude, I am well aware that I am not perfect. But I am also well aware that I have the right to express myself in any way I see fit so long as I am not hurting others. If a friend gets a terrible new dress, I’ll pretend I like it. Because it’s subjective – as is beauty. If a friend wants to try to tell me I have bad taste in music… well, they can try, but by definition you OWN your taste in music, so you should believe it’s awesome (luckily, mine categorically is). If someone is talking about how much they luuuuuuuuurve children, I’m completely within my rights to say that I don’t. By saying I don’t, I’m not saying anyone who loves children is wrong – simply that I do not share that view.

All I’m trying to say is, people need to stop taking a difference of opinion as an attack on their views. It isn’t. It simply means we have different views (unless they’re homophobic, racist, sexist, etc – then yes, I AM attacking your outdated and ill-reasoned views). We need to stop judging people who have a healthy opinion of themselves – if you love your legs, great! If you constantly go round telling people they look like shit compared to you, then that’s crossing the line into ego territory and it’s not cool. This has not been a rant spurred on by, well, anything in particular. I just think that we should celebrate our difference in opinions, music taste, work ethic and we should all just chill and be as happy as we can about the way we look and feel. And if you want to express yourself – go for it. Life is short and your opinion matters. Just remember that.

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