“Confidence is a lot of this game or any game. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.”
– Jerry West
As a brown curve model in a Eurocentric industry, it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the obscene beauty standards that models currently face. It is no secret that women have been placed under immense pressure to live up to unrealistic expectoration imposed by the fashion and beauty industry, emanating from a morbid history of patriarchal gender norms maintained by societies past.
Being in the industry, I struggled with my own sense of identity and confidence. I was always surrounded by beautiful, tall, slender models who were cast for every single job. It led me down the road of anxiety, depression and utter frustration. I kept wanting to try new diets, change my appearance and try to fit in when I was born to stand out.
Eventually, I got tired of being pretentious and having a lifestyle that wasn’t fulfilling enough in terms of my well-being. I realized that it was not just the industry that made me feel insecure but myself as I allowed society to put me into a box. I kept distancing myself from opportunities and people because of my insecurities. It was time for a change and once I stepped out of that box and tore off the metaphorical labels I was handed, things started turning around! These are some tips that helped me through those difficult times, hopefully they work for you as well!
1. Daily Affirmations
As cringy as it may sound, complimenting yourself changes your mind-set. It takes 21 days to turn something into a habit.
- Think of what characteristics you love about yourself or what characteristics you would like to have. For example; “I am a person of substance, I deserve to be treated with respect.”
- Write them down individually and paste them around your room or mirror. Repeat those daily affirmations every single day to yourself in the morning and evenings before bed.
- You would be surprised how an affirmation can change your own perspective and the way you view yourself.
2. Stepping outside of your Comfort Zone
I was once told that “A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there”. I never understood it until I started challenging myself to do something different.
- Get out of that comfort zone and into a new experience.
- Try finding new hobbies, challenge yourself to do what you want to do but are too scared to try. You are more powerful than you give yourself credit for..
- Try something that you may have been fearful of, whether it is sky diving, surfing, riding a motorbike, sports, hiking etc.
- Put yourself out there with an optimistic and positive attitude. You would probably find yourself enjoying these new hobbies and meeting amazing new people.
3. Change up your Routine
We are all complacent with our daily rituals. We have a routine and that can often lead to us settling for what we have and not finding the ambition beyond what we are doing. This can sometimes even lead to more insecurities and frustration.
Be spontaneous. Change up your routine, something as small as changing your eating habits or workout routine could impact on your mood. Change your daily shower playlist, take a bubble bath, read a new book, try a different form of self-care.
Habits are hard to break but breaking that routine could lead to so many new things!
4. Surround yourself with enriching people
It is often said that we are who we surround ourselves with. As much as we hate to admit it, it often ends up being true. We are heavily influenced by society and those we surround ourselves with.
A change in conversation really sparks new interests and perspectives. A prime example is being in the company of a child, they find joy in the smallest gestures that we don’t take note of. It encourages us to see beauty in everyday things we often ignore.
Different social groups formulate different perspectives on life. Surround yourself with people who have the same vision as you. People who see the beauty in who you are. Those who encourage you and find joy in your presence.
So often, we tend to outgrow friends but settle for the friendship because of time. Do not be afraid of finding yourself and outgrowing old friends. If you’re not losing friends along the way, you aren’t growing. Be true to yourself and who you want to surround yourself with.
5. You control how others treat you
We often allow others to dictate our lives and what we do. We become caught up in opinions, criticism and more. Nobody has the ability to make you feel inferior with your own consent. You are in control of what you feel and how certain incidents affect you and your well-being.
You are in control of what you allow. Nobody can hurt you without your consent. As hard of a pill it is to swallow, you are the master of your heart and mind. You have the ability to change the impact that others and their opinions have on your life.
You can choose to disregard a negative comment or attitude or let it eat you up inside. The choice is yours. Remember, someone’s inability to see your worth does not make it decrease in value.
By adopting these five simple factors into my everyday and really changing my mindset, I was able to firstly give myself more credit and respect and able to set the narrative and tone I wanted to achieve in my modeling career. Hopefully, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you too can change the narrative.
You are worthy! Do not ever forget that.
Karusha Pather for The Nifty Attache.
Follow Karusha for more inspiring tips @karushha and @crownthebrown_