Confidence straight from the source

Confidence. Every person has a different definition, and every person is on a different level of self acceptance and respect. In a world where society is constantly forcing its people to conform to its standards it is comforting to know that no person is left without an understanding companion that understand the struggle. Body image can be a sensitive subject, but the following statements are the true views of various girls at FHC concerning body image and what it means to them to be a confident individual.

Sophomore Kayla Kammermeyer:

Well, I think that when I am confident I feel good about myself. It is like I can do anything I set my mind to, and when I see others who are confident it makes me want to be positive about myself and show the world who I really am.

Sophomore Rachel Braun:

I think that a good body image is not what others think or say of you, but of how you wanna look and what you think about yourself.

Sophomore Melissa Mossinghoff:

Confidence and body image go hand in hand. Confidence is ultimately about being comfortable in your own skin and knowing that you can, and will, accomplish anything you set out to do. Though, yes, mistakes are made, no one and nothing is perfect; you need to have no regrets. There is no need to feel as though what you have done should be regretted. Body image is essentially the same in the sense that you are content with who and what you are. It’s being positive even though you are not perfect. You are the best ‘you’ that you can be.

Freshman Amy Sweeney:

A lot of people think confidence is wearing something no one else would wear, or speaking your mind, or not caring what people think. That’s not true. To exude confidence isn’t necessarily to have confidence. I used to walk around sporting dreadlocks, 3XL sweatpants, and sunglasses with the lenses popped out of them. To me, this was something only confident people did. To me, confidence was regarding only the opinion of yourself, and no one else. To me, confidence was not something I had, but something I wanted to portray.

That’s the difference between eighth grade me and ninth grade me. A year later, having shed both thirty five pounds of body weight and my beloved dreadlocks, I learned what it was like to actually have confidence. Confidence is having a pimple on your face and not stressing out trying to cover it up. Confidence is having a fat day and saying, “Oh well. Size sevens, I’ll see you tomorrow. Hello size nines,” and being okay with it. Confidence isn’t loving every single bit of yourself, or every quality of your being. It’s loving the person you are, as a whole.

You can’t sit and wait for someone to inspire you, or say something that makes you realize that you really are lucky, and beautiful, and intelligent and have everything in the world going for you. That doesn’t happen. You’ve put up a wall in your mind, and spray painted it with all the negative things you’ve ever thought about yourself. There is no time like the present to start tearing that wall down. And there is no feeling in the world greater than the liberation of turning around one day and seeing it fall.

Senior Lindsay Rae Gingrich:

Oh, confidence, such a lovely subject. So many girls are roaming the hallways of school without it. Confidence is waking up and seeing you. The you that no one else sees. The you that maybe has dark circles, pimples, blemishes, moles and any other impurities women feel that they have to hide. You look at the real you in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful. Your confidence should never come from others. It must be something that God puts within you because he knows you are worth fighting for. You are worth the chase and you are definitely worth the time! Once you trust in God he will help you find all of that within yourself you will walk taller, you will smile more, you will have a twinkle in your eye and not one comment of ridicule will tear you down because deep down you will know that its not true!

Freshman Rachel Eikmann:

So, confidence. Up until this year I was not truly confident with myself and who I am on the inside and outside. Because of this, I feel that confidence is finally realizing who you are and being perfectly content with who that person is. Being stick thin and being able to wear small sized clothing plays no part in confidence. Whether you are a size 2 or a size 12, you alone must learn to be happy with who you are and embrace the flaws that you have. And once you do being to embrace those flaws, they begin to disappear in a way. I’ve always looked up to girls who are perfectly content with the person that they are and have no problem just being themselves. I think that a girl who possess confidence in herself is a girl who is truly beautiful. Once I finally realized that you don’t have to be super skinny to be beautiful I began to develop a higher self esteem and gain that long-lost confidence in myself. It really changed my perspective on life and that I shouldn’t compare my body to others I see in magazines, and even my friends’ bodies. When I gained confidence, I felt on top of the world and very worry free. Sure, I still have insecurities about things, but if I’m constantly bashing my body or comparing myself to others, it’s only bringing me down. And why go through life worrying about how you look or what people think of you? Life’s too much fun to sweat the small stuff.

Senior Brittany Hayes:

Well, I think confidence is the most beautiful, important thing there is. When I see someone who is confident in themselves, I am automatically more drawn to them, and automatically have so much more respect for them. And it makes sense; if you don’t love yourself, how can you expect others to love you? And vice versa. There is, of course, a difference between self-respect and pride, but that’s a different story entirely. Trying to avoid that…I’ve been told I was pretty and skinny my whole life, but that didn’t make me confident. Of course, it’s a temporary self-esteem boost when you hear that, but self-esteem and confidence are different; self-esteem is fleeting and fragile, whereas confidence is something that just shines out of you. Anyway, middle school up to about sophomore year was just full of pressure for me, and I hated my thighs and I hated my skin and blah blah blah, but just the other day I was sitting on my bed in sweats and I’d pulled my hair out of the ponytail I’d been wearing so it was crazy, and I wasn’t wearing makeup, and all the sudden I had the thought, “I feel beautiful.” So it’s something you have to learn, but once you do, it changes your whole outlook on life, because you’re not trying to please everyone else for once.

Senior Liz Caro:

Confidence comes from how much WORTH you believe you have and what you are placing your worth in. God is an artist and we are each one of His unique creations. If you have a skill that you are SO passionate about, let’s say painting, and someone came up to you after you displayed your artwork and told you it was ugly or worthless, you would be devastated. That’s how God feels when we feel that way about ourselves. His heart breaks over it because when He looks at us he sees nothing short of perfection and beauty. Every hair, freckle, mole…Our big feet, pointy ears, flat chest…He loves everything about us! My confidence is based solely on Him and my worth comes from Him. Girls these days believe that they will not have value if they don’t look a certain way. They spend an unbelievable amount of time trying to be “perfect” through the eyes of the world, when God already sees them as that. Confidence is not found in your clothing or hair or looks or money. It’s just you being you….exactly who God created you to be. I read this quote today on TWLOHA’s blog: “I’ve spent far too much time on a scale that merely weighs your effect on gravity, not the depth of your beauty.” Focus on the word DEPTH in this sentence. When I read that, I see that as going beyond the external and into your soul. Bare, natural, YOU.

Senior Mary Ferch:

Confidence comes by knowing who you are and being that person no matter the circumstance. It’s trusting yourself, loving who you are, and everyday when you look in the mirror you are not wishing someone else was looking back at you. To me, I feel confident because I have so much joy. I want to share my joy with others, and there’s no possible way I can do that if I’m shrinking back from opportunities and hiding in self pity.

I think the problem is we’re all, especially girls, overly self-aware. We’re constantly critiquing our faults, finding the next thing wrong with us. We’re a culture obsessed with fixing ourselves, and constantly dwelling on our faults instead of embracing our potential. Self-esteem issues will disappear when you start realizing your potential rather than holding yourself back by hating all your faults.

Senior Lydia Rudigier:

Confidence is a collaboration of hope and belief; The hope that others’ will accept you for what you have to offer, and the belief that what you have to offer is worth accepting. Confidence is the ultimate demand for respect because not only does it require others to respect all of you, but it requires YOU to respect all of you.

Confidence is the greatest pretend we ever make. It is the ability to make believe that we are invincible, worthy, wonderful, more so than anyone else no matter what reality tells us. Confidence isn’t solely the acceptance of our flaws, but in a sense a complete disregard of them. Confidence is everyone telling themselves everyday when they wake up no matter who they see in the mirror, that person is someone worth being.

I think that people forget that confidence is a feeling that is created within, not by all the materialistic things we decorate ourselves with. Confidence doesn’t come from how many accolades we’ve received or what designer we’re wearing. It certainly isn’t derived from the compliments of peers or the ability to fit into society’s cookie cutter image. Sure, those things are assurances, they encourage us to be the self we’re aspiring to be. But that’s certainly not confidence. Confidence is looking past the image you see in the mirror every morning and staring at person within. If you’re not happy with that person that you see, then confidence is the denial of learned helplessness that allows you to take hold of your life and change yourself into who you want to be. Confidence is the courage to be what you want to be and do what you want to do regardless of what others think.

Senior Stephanie Russell:

You have to feel good about yourself and how you look. I feel beauty has a lot to do with confidence and people will see your beauty only if you do. Someone could be 600 pounds, and the most beautiful women/man in the world. A good body image for me is if I like the way I look. I could be 20 pounds overweight and if I am OK with that, and like the way I look I do not have to be a size 0 or 2.

Senior Brittany Hudzinski:

Confidence is having the ability to let the haters hate, blow them a kiss, and still like yourself.

Senior Adriana Thomas:

I think confidence is someone’s belief in themselves, and their ability to know their worth without anyone’s help.

Senior Coley Dante:

To feel confident is to not compare your image to women around you. It’s to look around, then look at yourself and feel beautiful because you have qualities no one else could ever have.

Senior Erika Lorenz:

As a model, I feel a ton of pressure to have the “perfect” body image. It’s hard when society has created an image of what girls should look like, but I just embrace what God gave me. Girls cannot have a positive body image unless they’re comfortable with they way they look and carry themselves with confidence.

Sophomore Madison Mendel:

I think confidence is definitely the first step to maintaining a good body image. I think the media has reached the point where the idea of “beauty” is being widely expanded. It might sound slightly redundant (from what you hear in Seventeen, Teen Vogue, etc.), but being beautiful and having a good body image is more than having great hair, that perfect nose that everyone in Hollywood seems to be opting for, and so on. In all honesty, I think I’d have to say that the most beautiful person I’ve ever met was by no means someone that would be cast as the stereotypical cheerleader in a movie. I think true beauty really shines through the way you portray yourself, the decisions you make, and the way you treat those around you. I won’t lie and say that I’m always completely satisfied with what I see in the mirror each day, but the reality of the situation is that real people usually don’t look much like the girls you see in the media. You need to learn to love yourself and accept your physical appearance for what it is because when it comes down to it, unless you have money flowing out the wahzoo there’s not much you can do to change it. Leave little post-its on your mirror telling yourself that you’re beautiful or make a list of all you’re favorite traits. Sounds cheesy, but eventually you’ll start thinking more positively.

Junior Jennifer Faron:

It’s like when someone calls you beautiful, and you finally believe them. Not just because they said it, but because deep down you knew all along that you really were.

Senior Hannah Artman:

I heard once that the most beautiful trait is confidence. And I think that applies to everything from boyfriends to pageant girls models. If you’re not confident, the make up and hairspray doesn’t make up for it. However, if you’re not physically beautiful, confidence can make up for a few zits or imperfections.