The 6-year-old me was self-confident, assertive, and felt like she could conquer anything that came her way. But the 18-year-old me is insecure, unassertive, and will cry at the slightest frustration. The point is: I’m a mess. But why?
I’m eighteen. Shouldn’t I be more mature and less doubtful about my entire existence? Isn’t puberty technically over? How can the 6-year-old version of me be more confident than the supposedly adult version of me?
I fully accept and realize that the answer to my confidence dilemma lies within my cell phone, the device I open within the first couple minutes of waking up. The device I use when I’m happy, sad, mad, tired, bored, frustrated, lonely, hungry, thirsty–you name it. I’m on my phone a lot.
And typically, just like every other stereotypical teenager, I’m on social media apps that display beautiful girls who couldn’t possibly exist in the real world. Then the questions in my head start tormenting me. Why can’t I look like that? Why can’t I be her? No one is allowed to be THIS perfect.
One may say I care too much, and yes, I know that I do. Yet, I can’t stop comparing myself. It’s becoming an unbreakable and toxic habit that has led to the death of my confidence. So maybe, it isn’t social media that has hurt me, but myself. It’s so hard though, seeing those polished images of perfect people every day.
It isn’t surprising why girls are becoming less confident at younger ages. They see their favorite actresses and models who have had surgery (or at least have professional makeup artists doing their makeup for them on the daily), and think, “This is what’s cool. I need to look like this.”
And while many people campaign to “be yourself” or say that “you’re beautiful the way you are,” it’s easier said than done. I personally question why I even care about those random girls so much. The truth is, I don’t know.
At eighteen, I still struggle with being confident. I’ll admit though, each day, I begin to care less and less about what other girls look like. I realize I can never be them or look like them, but I’ll always be me. I know I need to stop caring, because although I won’t be them, I can be the best version of myself.
Not caring isn’t me waving a white flag and surrendering to picture-perfect people, nor is it me giving up on myself. It’s me realizing I’ve lost myself trying to be other girls. After all, I can’t disappoint my younger self. She thinks I’m awesome… and pretty.