On Confidence and Women

We’ve misunderstood a very important message…

Jack Palance, late in his 60s, did a commercial wherein he dropped to the floor and did a few one armed push-ups, hopped up to his feet, looked directly into the camera and said, “Confidence is sexy, don’t you think?” Yes, Mr. Palance, it is. 

As a child we were instructed to do as Thumper was taught, and remember “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” So being polite little girls, we tried to keep positive when thinking or talking about others.

Then sometime in our youth we discovered Marcia Brady and Seventeen magazine and things about our own bodies began to make us “lay out”, do “crunches” in the hundreds, and buy enough mascara to make Alice Cooper jealous. 

We began wearing make up in Junior High. Think about that ladies; in Junior High. Back when your skin was tight, your eyes were large, your body just a thin girl woman, you felt the need to wear make up so you could feel beautiful. We thicken the make up more each year in an effort to hide the real us, so much so, that now we really do look completely different without it.

We got older and forgot that just by getting older we would have to work (read: work) to keep gravity from doing its job, and that no matter what we try/buy, our skin’s elasticity would begin to relax. We can be fit and “thin as a rail” and that skin will still sag a bit by the time we reach a certain age. Those big boobs we all thought we needed to be beautiful would turn on us in our 40s as they began to say “To heck with it, I’m tired, I’m laying down.” when they are not strapped in a harness.

We ponder which way we look the least hideous, laying on our backs makes our faces look better, but every other part of our body melts and puddles in weird places. We secretly practice posing for “selfies” noting that we look less ugly if we tilt this way or look up that way. 

If we forgot to take care of ourselves because we were busy taking care of the bills or other people, we gained weight, and our bodies and our minds punished us with shame, guilt, and pain. Some of us really do have bodies that require medications that help make us heavier. Wanna feel better? Take your meds; but the bonus is an extra 20 or 30 pounds. If we worked really hard to lose that weight, our bodies still punish us and says “Stinks to be you, all the fat is gone and as a reward you can have all this hanging skin and more wrinkles. Have a nice day!” Or we are too thin and get hassled by people who think we have an eating disorder. We really cannot win.

Somewhere along the way we learned that it was not o.k. to talk poorly about our sisters, but it is completely o.k. to talk poorly about ourselves, and usually on a daily basis. We feel guilty about enjoying our bodies as they are, we feel shame in seeing the slightest sign that we are no longer in high school, that we have bore children, or the weight of burdens, or years of working and being too tired to do any maintenance on ourselves. We loath the face in the mirror, not because it’s disfigured or hideous, but because it’s a habit to do so. 

Someone told us not to be vain, to not love the person in the mirror, to lose ourselves, to serve others, to to to to to…. and we misunderstood that message to mean “You are not worth it. You don’t deserve it. DO NOT serve yourself; instead only serve everyone else. To do otherwise is not prudent, it is selfish.We misunderstood the message!

When was the last time we looked in the mirror and said “You know what? I look o.k. for someone who has led my life. As a matter of fact, I really like this part of my face, my body… who else has features this nice? I’m doing pretty good in this area! Thank you Heavenly Father for giving me ______!”

It’s o.k. to like yourself. It’s o.k. to think you are pretty or fabulous or that you have a body that isn’t perfect, or maybe it is! It’s o.k. to think that although you gained weight and now have worked so flippin’ hard to lose it and now it sags worse than before, “Who the heck cares! THESE SAGS ARE PROOF I AM FINALLY TAKING CARE OF MYSELF!” In fact, it’s mentally healthy to like who you are! There is a very fine line between confidence and conceit and it’s about time we stood on that line.

We need to stop being ashamed of thinking we are ‘it and a bag of chips’. We are daughters of God, who I assume is probably good looking just because He is a God. Have you ever heard of an ugly goddess? NO! So, let’s be Thumper and stop saying negative things about our selves. (Ask the man in your life if he prefers you naked or clothed, and believe his answer. Ask him why he prefers the lights on instead of off, and believe his answer. STOP asking him if you look fat, he doesn’t care that much about it, believe me…he wants you healthy and happy and confident!) Let’s face our respective lives, trials, ages, disabilities, etc., give ourselves an honest break and an honest assessment, let’s search ourselves for the beautiful things we each possess. 

My point is confidence. Confidence is the quality of being certain of our attributes and abilities. It changes the perceptions we have of ourselves, assists our self esteem and positive attitude. Confidence is what helps others see us, notice us, take us seriously, increases our opportunities for success. And yes, if we confidently display our positive attributes, even those physical ones, people may see us as more beautiful, attractive, and or sexy.

I’m “gravitationally gifted”. I have 5 kids and my body is proof that I misread the information I got about taking care of others before myself. But o.k. Here I am now, and I have much much more to offer than my huge body. I am a great mom. I have amazing skin, I’ve never dyed my hair because I like the colour- even now with all the grey! No one has the cute (hang ten) feet that I do. I like my hands, even with the wrinkles they now have -I’m 55, it’s o.k. to have wrinkles! I have nice fingernails 10 months out of the year. Even with my weight, I still have a shape. I’ve got a face that is o.k. to look at. I’m happy most of the time. I can find humour in almost anything. I’ve got a bit of skill and talent. I am courageous and I can do anything I put my mind to.

Here is the challenge to you my friends: Confidence *is* sexy. Even if you don’t care about being sexy, be confident! If you’ve read this far, I want you to go to your blog or status page and proclaim to the world your fabuloucity. Tell the world at least five things that make you physically beautiful… and if you want to throw in some character traits that make you amazing please do that too! But I want FIVE strictly physical attributes that make you beautiful. It’s o.k. to confidently state the good things about yourself. Be confident in who you are, you are amazing both physically and otherwise. GO!


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