A Message To All Women About Confidence
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As some of you know, my beautiful girlfriend has been fighting a (winning) battle against breast cancer for the past few months. She, thankfully, will be fine and have a full recovery, but the journey has been challenging.
One of the biggest roadblocks has been her (perceived) change in appearance. Chemotherapy, as we know, takes away your hair. Fortunately, on the outside, for her it hasn’t changed much else.
As any woman knows, a drastic change like this can be a massive blow to your self esteem. Besides the physical effects of such treatments, looking in the mirror is no longer the same, either.
I tell her, daily, that she is beautiful. I would do this no matter what, not because of her challenges. And I say it, because I mean it. But again, as women know – if you don’t feel sexy or beautiful, nothing anyone says matters.
Her hair, though not her own, looks amazing. Her eyes and smile shine the same as they always have, and she looks fantastic. She doesn’t look fantastic ‘for someone going through chemo,’ she just looks fantastic – period.
She of course, disagrees. As do many people who do their best to cover their insecurities for appearance purposes.
People who want to lose a few pounds. People whose noses are ‘too big.’ People with skin problems…everyone, male or female, has something they wish they could change about themselves.
What I tell Margot, just as I am telling everyone reading this, is that as hard as it is – sometimes you have to step outside of yourself and truly look in the mirror. Don’t see what you feel. Don’t see what you’re worried about. Don’t see what you wish you could change.
Just. See. You.
See the woman you know you are, and see how others see you. Your mental health and self image depends on it.
I guarantee you are being harder on yourself than you have to be.
I guarantee people don’t notice the tiny things that you’re dying to change.
Insecurities live one place only: In your head.
If people who meet Margot for the first time have no idea she’s battling cancer, then people you meet don’t see those five pounds you “have to” lose.
So, let your personality shine. Let your smile brighten someone’s day. Let go of the worries and insecurities that unrealistically photoshopped celebrities and models force upon you.
Dress yourself up, put on your makeup, do your hair, and above all…
Smile, dammit, because you are beautiful.
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EXCLUSIVE ADVICE & OFFERS RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX (NO SPAM)
Easier said than done. I would believe that Margot has heard your advice before throughout her life in relation to other matters. Telling her every day she’s beautiful really wouldn’t help with self-esteem but only make the person suffering feel worst. Just as if telling a girl you love her every day, she won’t believe it because it becomes too routine and loses it’s genuity and realness.
Nice blog anyway.
Interesting point of view – the idea that supporting someone and reinforcing their self image would actually have a negative effect.
While I used Margot as an example in my personal life, the idea of this blog was to show ALL women, that they are often too hard on themselves, and allow small imperfections to drag down their confidence.
I appreciate your feedback though, thanks for reading and commenting.
I see where you are coming from with this idea but I can’t say I agree. I do not think there is anything wrong with expressing how you feel if it is the truth, even if it is only to reinforce something you have already said in the past and you happen to do it on a daily basis because it is something you truly believe and feel the other person ought to know that too.
I think for some people it might become repetitive, an almost daily mechanism that kicks in, but if you truly believe what you are saying and are doing it from a loving place I don’t think there is anything wrong in that. If you mean what you are saying the truth should ring true in your words, if not then you might fall into the hole of them not believing you and that you are saying it to just say and not actually mean what you are saying. So perhaps what should be looked at here is why am I saying these kind words, do I believe them myself or am I just going through the motions, etc.
I am all for positive reinforcement and not just when it comes to looks I think it is great to have your other half, friends, family and those closest to you there to support you and be that person who will remind you why it is you are great in their eyes be it 2 months in, 3 years or 50 – it is important to share these things.
Keep it up, Margot is a bombshell and I wish her all the best in her recovery.
Good blog. My husband battled cancer for 18 years….and passed away 15 months ago. What I miss most about him….is his unconditional love and support. The little things that he told me throughout everyday that reminded me he loved me for me. The comments on being beautiful, or that he loved when I smiled, etc definitely had a positive impact. Every woman, man and relationship is different. Knowing your partner and lifting them up in any way is a good thing. At least in my mind and experience. I’ve never relied on a man’s (or anyone’s) opinion of me for confidence…again, each person is unique and special. Your message reminds us that find what does make her, him feel special and continue to focus on that. Especially in tough times. Happy to hear your lovely girlfriend is fighting back and doing well!! Please keep the Movement for Chivalry going….it’s needed. Enjoy your blog. Krissy
Hello James; Margot should put less important things aside and just
be happy that her prospects for a long and fruitful life await her. best of luck and profound wishes to you both. Love nono.
Brought me to tears, as I can feel the emotional connection to what you are inspiring to everyone this blog reaches. Unfortunatley, not everyone will get it, and that’s the work that needs to continue. As the comment from Socialkenny, he is being “too hard” on himself as well, I feel it in his comments. Try listening to Joe Vitale, Ho’oponopono Healing, with Dr. Hew Len. Keep writing you are inspirational. Thank you, I love you, Sat Nam!
As a 13 year breast cancer survivor, I say keep telling her she is beautiful and most importantly show her that you still find her sexy! At 33 and a week after my honeymoon, I was diagnosed and two months later had a mastectomy and reconstruction. While my ex-husband was supportive, what I needed most was for him to show me that he still found me sexy. He was never the aggressor in our relationship so he was unable. My boyfriend of 3 years has always made me feel sexy and loves both of my breasts. I might not have believed him but his actions tell the truth. He insists that I don’t cover myself up.
Socialkenny, I totally disagree. The worse thing would be to stop telling her she is beautiful. She will get back to her old self eventually but right now she needs some help getting there.
Silvio, While I agree what is most important is surviving, once that scare is over and you know you are going to live, you can’t help but worry about feeling beautiful again. Hearing the words that you should be grateful and not care about such stuff is very hurtful to the person going through it.
She will find her confidence again and possibly be even more confident after. I know I am. Surviving breast cancer has made me realize just how strong of a person I am and I feel sexier than before my mastectomy.
I photograph women and I am one. I know how difficult it is to look at yourself in the mirror and just love everything you see.
You are right, we project the way we feel onto our image and we get lost in tiny – and insignificant – details of what we DO NOT like. I believe we have lost focus and connection with whom we really are, because we have forgotten that we are not only body and not only soul, but the sum of both. And body and soul should work in harmony. When we are disconnected, our perception gets distorted. And it happens to pretty much all the women I know and I have photographed, me included.
Your fiancee’ is beautiful and you are right in telling her what you feel and what you see when you look at her. Maybe it will not change her mind on how she sees herself, but it makes a huge impact on how she feels, because she will feel loved, appreciated, supported and liked. It is incredibly important. Especially when life gets tough.
Good luck. I love your blog. Beautiful. One of a kind.
Okay, for the record, Margot is GORGEOUS. And in my experience, a woman never gets tired of hearing how beautiful she is (especially from the man she loves) though she may certainly dismiss these kind words along the way. It’s a bad habit that I share too. But part of the fun in life is learning how to be a better person. Best of luck to you both.
Okay, for the record, Margot is GORGEOUS. And in my experience, a woman never gets tired of hearing how beautiful she is (especially from the man she loves) though she may certainly dismiss these kind words along the way. It’s a bad habit that I share with many people. But part of the fun in life is learning how to be better, isn’t it? Best of luck to you both.
I love this. I had a mental breakdown two years ago. I tell people it was the best thing I have had happened to me it brought me closer to God and it made me deal with a lot of self esteem issues. I hit rock bottom and God was there. I realized that I never going to be a size zero but I can be healthy. I am beautiful because God made me I may be sick all the time but like my mother says when you have a bad day put on something pretty and smile. I will praying for your girlfriend and she is beyond blessed to have you because your not even a husband but a boyfriend and you stayed with her. you are a real man. God bless
Having gone through chemo myself, and now battling with cancer a second round, I know first hand how it can alter self perception in a very big way. I think you are right though. The one thing I realized, the one thing the truly changed through the journey cancer has brought me through, is that confidence coupled with kindness is the key to the hearts of those around you. I was asked out more during chemo than I would have ever imagined. It is because I had internally given up on making an impression- I was too busy fighting for my life to worry about what others thought. I had an inner joy that feeling appreciation for life will naturally bring. The joy shone through my positive attitude, and huge smile. Thank you for your blogs, I have enjoyed reading them. My heart goes out to your girlfriend and all those who battle with her. She is beautiful, and thank you for being there to support her.
How about you write about men being confident? Oh wait, you’re a hypocrite and instead wrote a blog criticizing them and saying they aren’t a “real man” if they don’t act a certain way.
Matt, you are exactly the type of person that could learn the most out of James’ “10 Ways to Know You’re Dating a Real Man” article. (I assume this is the one you are referencing in your comment). Why don’t you try losing your ego and actually reading that blog for what it is? You might be surprised. Your comment is nothing more than an unfounded opinion from a flagrant narrow minded boy, not man.
@Dior…your comment needed a “like” button.
@Matt….It’s the attitude of a boy that calls other men disgusting. Grow up and learn how to be a real man.
My SO has texted me every morning since we met saying “good morning beautiful.” I don’t take this as a habit or anything, just a statement of what he believes. It’s a good way to start my morning because it always makes me smile. I think if it’s truly something you believe, then how often you say it shouldn’t matter. If telling Margot every day how beautiful she is is what you choose to do, whether she believes you every day or not, is important. We all have days where we feel ugly, and fat, and unattractive. It’s more often for some of us than others, but having someone there to tell us we’re pretty, even if we don’t believe it all the time, rocks. For me personally, it puts a smile on my face, and sets the mood for the rest of the day. I miss it when it doesn’t come early enough lol but as soon as I get my “good morning beautiful” I smile and feel ready to take on my day. It’s like coffee 🙂
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