When I first thought about what “Bold, Brilliant, Beautiful, You” means to me, I immediately thought of all the other beautiful women that I admire. There are so many of them, that I often don’t have time to include myself in that category. Actually, I’m sorry. I just lied to you. The reason why I don’t include myself in the “bold, brilliant, beautiful woman” category is because I don’t think I belong there. Now, this is not meant to be a pity party opportunity, but rather a chance for me to be honest about how I view myself in the world.
From a young age, I never felt like I belonged amongst my peers. I never felt pretty enough, thin enough, or cool enough as the other girls I so badly wanted to emulate. Because I didn’t feel a sense of belonging, I always tried to be someone else. You know, a cooler more sophisticated version of myself that other people might want to befriend. However, it’s not like I didn’t have friends. I have actually been blessed with many close friendships over the years, but this did not stop me from negatively comparing myself to them, physically and professionally. Through years of reflection, I began to realize that I compared myself to other women because I never felt “good enough” in any aspect of my life. Sure, at times I would think “I’m a good person with a lot to offer, so why am I trying to hide who I really am?” but then I would turn right around and try to blend in as best I could with everyone else. My desire to be someone else also stemmed from being very shy. In an effort to make others, and myself, believe that I wasn’t shy, I often acted as if I were naturally an outgoing and confident person. As you can imagine, this became exhausting, especially for an introvert. As an adult, I find that I sometimes revert back to my child-like tendency to pretend like I’m someone else, even if it’s just for a moment. When this happens, I tend to get angry with myself because I would like to think that I have matured past all that nonsense, but sadly, it still creeps in from time to time.
When I first started this blog, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. However, that sense of accomplishment was soon overshadowed by my self-doubt. This was something that I had wanted to do for the past couple of years but convinced myself that what I had to say and show would not be “good enough” and would pale in comparison to the other bloggers that I closely follow. I also worried that my blog wouldn’t mean anything due to how many blogs are out there nowadays. I realize now that I was attempting to talk myself out of taking a risk on something that was important to me. My negative self-talking habits were trying to overpower me yet again. However, this time, I didn’t let them win. My blog was something that I was proud of and it actually helped me feel confident for the first time in a long time. This confidence was also met with insecurity (how am I going to keep up with my posts? How will I keep finding new content? What if no one likes what I show?), which of course led me to feel overwhelmed.
For my very first blog post, I felt like an awkward little girl posing for her first school picture. I was stiff, nervous, and self-conscious in front of the camera and my boyfriend (aka my photographer) was also unsure of what to do. Together, we have found a rhythm that we use during our blog photoshoots, but I have found that I now only think that I can look presentable and “fashion forward” if I have my sunglasses on and/or if I tilt my head in a certain direction. The two of us literally just had a conversation that went something like this:
Me: (While scrolling through pictures on his phone) “I only look good in my sunglasses. I look weird without them.” Him: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Me: “Ugh.” Him: “You’re using your sunglasses as a crutch. You need to start taking some photos without them so you feel more comfortable looking at yourself.” Me: “Oh…”
In that moment, I knew he was right. I was replicating poses that I had seen on other blogs and most of the bloggers I follow only show photos of them wearing sunglasses. Oh my gosh. I was transferred straight back to elementary school where I was trying to copy what all of the other “cool” girls were doing so that I could blend in with them in an effort to not stand out. In an effort to try and be like the other bloggers, I had ignored what I can bring to the world of blogging: Myself! While I may not be as “popular” as some of the other fashion and lifestyle bloggers out there, I need to stop focusing on that and start focusing on how far I’ve come since I first started playing around with the idea of starting my own blog. At this point in my life, I now realize that I no longer want to blend in with everyone else. I want to stand out!
I first heard about the “Bold, Brilliant, Beautiful, You” project from my dear friend and fellow blogger, Blogger BP of Even If Nobody Read This. Blogger BP is someone that I truly admire and find her energy and zest for life to be contagious and inspiring. This project could have not come at a better time. Now that my blog has been off and running for about two months, my uncertainty about my looks has definitely started to play into how I view myself as a blogger. However, as my pledge to try and think of myself as a “Bold, Brilliant, and Beautiful” woman, I am going to try and stop harping on the negative and focus on the positive. Additionally, I want to show you more of the woman behind the sunglasses. I do bring something unique and special to the world of blogging because there is no one quite like me out there. As an attempt to show you more of who I am, I snapped these pictures of myself. No special angles, no fancy clothes. Just me. I can be goofy, serious, happy and fun all at the same time! As the year progresses, I hope to show you more of the real me!
Every person has something that makes them bold, brilliant, and beautiful. Sometimes we know exactly what that something is, and sometimes it takes us awhile to accept and acknowledge it. My challenge to you is to really take a look inside of yourself and find that bold, brilliant, and beautiful part of you that you may not give yourself credit for. I want to invite all of you to become a part of the “Bold, Brilliant, Beautiful” project, which is really a place for us to all come together and show each other who we really are without an harsh criticisms. You can become a part of this project by taking a “real” picture of yourself and posting it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #boldbrilliantbeautiful. In the picture, make sure to include a poster or banner that also includes the #boldbrilliantbeautiful hashtag so that you can discover others that have joined the project. You never know, you could stumble upon something amazing!