Although there have been many divas and gay icons, Christina Aguilera’s song seems to resonate with all the ‘misfits’ the most. Yes, whether you’re gay, straight, bi, trans, gender-fluid, or even straight, there will always be narrow-minded people who will either shame you for your body, your orientation, your lifestyle choices and your opinions. These people don’t need a reason to make you feel less worthy, that’s just who they are. Small, bigoted, and narrow-minded. Perhaps they’re unhappy with their own lives so they pick on others and put them down to feel better about themselves. But today is not about them, it’s about you. If you’re filled with doubt, have self-confidence or body image issues, it’s time for all of that negativity to be cut out of your life! You have to realize that you’re perfect just the way you are, and this is not a cliché. You only have to see it and realize it, and that’s what our goal today is.
Fighting the big fight
Not fitting in is something I am more than familiar with. I have fought depression, experienced self-loathing, denial – all the stages of my gayness were there, and it was rough, but I got through it. The first thing you need to do in order to perceive yourself as beautiful is to be true to yourself. Coming out of the closet isn’t easy, and we all have to find our own way and the right time to do it. However, the longer you postpone it, the more it will eat you up. Self-deprecation and beauty are inextricably linked, so you have to find a way to be honest with yourself and those around you if you have any chance of thriving. Hopefully, my story will provide a bit of help, and perhaps even give you an idea as to how to start living your truth.
Find your signature style
A great outfit is far more than the sum of its parts. What you wear speaks volumes of who you are, so don’t you dare hide behind clothes that don’t show your true colors. Find your signature style and wear it with pride! You will be surprised, regardless of how superficial this may sound, with just to which extent the right clothes can impact your level of self-esteem, confidence, and even body image. Wear clothes that fit you well, that show off all your assets. Examine your figure; try different things and see which ones are the most flattering. Most of all, don’t shy away from wearing clothes that the society tells you aren’t meant for your gender. You are the proud owner of your body, so if you feel good in a girls’ sweater, go on and rock it. Just look how well these guys rock androgynous looks, and they couldn’t care less what the society thinks. Those people aren’t there in your room, they’re randos on the street, and who cares what they think?
Love your body
We are all different – some of us are taller, others shorter. Some of us are skinny, and others chubby. We like our nose, we don’t like our tummy, we love our arms, we hate our lips. It’s time to stop criticizing yourself. Now. If you were meant to be born taller or with a more perfect nose you would have been, but you were born this way for a reason. Your features are what makes you one of a kind. However, there are certain things we do have the power to change, especially if they’re a cause of insecurity. You’re not happy with your ‘muffin top’ or your belly – the solution is easy – find a great clinic and decide on the popular and common tummy tucks. Cosmetic and corrective procedures are amazing as they allow us to fix the things we don’t like, and no one should judge us for it. If it will make you happier and more confident, just go for it. But don’t go overboard – remember, there are things about you that are beautiful, and you would regret changing, for instance, your facial features as you would lose part of your identity with the loss of that perfect imperfection.
This may sound like another cliché, but you have to be your own number one fan. This is where the power of positive affirmations comes in. You may think it’s silly, but just try it for a week or two. Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself three things you love about your body and your personality every day. The more you say it the more you’ll believe it, and before you know it, all those external shaming voices and judgmental glances will become white noise and blurry shapes that have no meaning whatsoever.
Cut them out
If there are people, not strangers, but friends and family members who are essentially toxic, you need to cut them out of your life, or at least limit your contact with them. It’s much easier to believe the bad stuff than the good that’s being said, and words sting, especially when they come from people who are supposed to be cheering you on. So, find a good support system in the likeminded people, and cut loose everyone who tries to bring you down, because as Aguilera says – don’t you bring me down today, or ever for that matter.
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