I want to copy a part of a comment I made on yesterday’s post and play around with the idea a little more. I’m not sure I’m making much sense yet. It feels a little like swimming through jello.
The confidence thing is interesting. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to feel more confident wearing lipstick or certain clothes or whatever, but it’s the polar opposite of what I think of as the goal of being more confident. On the one hand, we’re saying be more confident in your body, don’t not-do-things that you want to do because you fear what people think of how you look. For example, go dancing if you want to go dancing. On the other, Sarah seems to be saying that it’s “so important” to dress up and wear lipstick and so on in order to feel more confident.
I think I feel more comfortable around people when I’m wearing something I feel comfortable in – and I feel more comfortable in my usual comfy jeans and loose tee than “dressed up.” Not that I don’t like to dress up under appropriate circumstances but going to the grocery store is not a dressy occasion for me. In fact, the whole idea that there’s something wrong if I just wear sweats to run down to Local Grocery seems to be counter to this whole be confident in yourself goal we keep talking about.
I think that being dressed appropriately for the circumstances is probably part of the confidence equation. My comfy jeans would probably not feel appropriate at a formal occasion. I therefore probably wouldn’t feel confident wearing them while the people around me were wearing cocktail dresses.
Is that the right reaction? If I were really confident in myself should I feel confident and comfortable dressed in jeans at a formal event?
We’ve all seen those “funny” pictures of people at Walmart. A lot of them just look like normal people to me, but some do seem to be inappropriately dressed. Is that confidence? What about fat people at the beach? I’ve certainly seen pictures of fat people appropriately dressed at the beach that people think are “funny.” I have always kind of admired them for their confidence. But what about the pictures of fat people in tiny bikinis? Is that confidence or a lack of awareness? I am uncomfortable looking at those pictures – but where’s the line? If they feel confident and comfortable wearing tiny bikinis why should I judge them?
And isn’t that what our fears are about? Isn’t it the fear that we are the ones wearing the tiny bikini that people are laughing at that worries us? Where is the line between being confident in how you look and meeting some arbitrary ideal that requires you to wear certain clothes or lipstick or whatever?