Not trying to be anyone but yourself

PUBLISHER'S NOTE - July/Aug 2018


By Louise Sukle

I remember being young and hating being taller than all the other girls - and most of the boys. I used to slouch for group photos and dread slow dancing (on the rare occasions when I was asked.) But then, as I got older, I realized that being tall wasn’t so terrible - even if it made finding slacks a challenge.

We all have something we don’t like about ourselves, but that “flaw” is often what makes us interesting. But actually embracing so-called flaws is often easier said than done.

“It was hard for me,” tennis pro Serena Williams told Harpers Bazaar UK. “People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong. I was different to Venus [her sister]: she was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular - and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different.”

But when people judge you or criticize you for something that comes naturally - like a loud laugh, an inquisitive mind, a quirky fashion style - you typically start to feel ashamed and apologetic about who you are.

Being comfortable with yourself means not comparing yourself. Accepting how you look, being OK with how much you weigh, liking where you’re at in life... is at the core of it all. You are fine just as you are. When you’re truly comfortable with yourself, you don’t feel the need for comparisons, and you don’t feel the need to do things simply to keep up with others.

The constant barrage of images on social media of people’s so-called “perfect life” can make you feel like your own is lacking. Inevitably someone’s house looks a little better, their kids a little brighter, their vacations more exciting. And without realizing it, you begin to question yourself.

The best cure for this is getting past the comparisons, figure out who “you” really are. You’ll be less likely to feel unsettled up by what other people are doing. Get to know yourself.

After the birth of her daughter, Williams said, “I can show Olympia that I struggled, but now I’m happy with who I am and what I am and what I look like... Olympia was born and she had my arms, and instead of being sad and fearful about what people would say about her, I was just so happy.”