Emily and I are very good friends. We share the same kind of views about feminism and love a good rant about it. I knew that she would have some brilliant views on women’s confidence, so we went on a very lovely, long walk so we can talk a little more.
“I think having confidence is being comfortable in yourself – who you are and what you look like – and being comfortable in your beliefs.”
Would you call yourself a confident person?
“I am confident in myself. My confidence in social situations? Yes? But I think social confidence is possibly more to do with fear of judgement and things like that. I think I have become a lot better at that, but I think there is still a slight bit of the fear there. I wouldn’t say that I am overly confident in social situations but, I do feel like I have confidence in who I am and what I look like.”
Would you say that this has been a recent discovery?
“Yes. Definitely. I think I would say that I had very, very low confidence during school. And during university. I suppose I had a bit of an epiphany when I left uni and I was working for someone whose brother had died quite young. I realised how much time I had wasted and how much could be wasted worrying about what others think of me and just not feeling happy in myself. I realised that if I didn’t want to waste any more time with that, I needed to accept myself be who I am, and let myself be happy with it. I try not to let what anyone else thinks bother me and just be a good person – that is all I can do. And I think that it is since then that I have become more and more confidant. Marrying someone who loves me for who I am has definitely helped with that as well.”
How old were you around here?
“I was 21 or 22. So up until then I was always beating myself up. I think I had an inferiority complex where I just thought that everyone else was better than me. But it wasn’t until then that I saw that that was all a bit of a waste of time really.”
What would you say to someone if they had lack of confidence?
“We are all completely equal as people. Being a Christian helps reaffirm that when need be, that we are all equal to God. You have got as much right to be here, as much right to talk and to say anything, as much as anyone else. A good practice of positive self-talk is to talk to yourself like you would a friend. If you don’t feel like you can do something, just ask yourself what you would tell a friend to do. If you believe that a friend could do it, then you know that you can. I tend to use that rule a lot.”
Later on, we started to talk about the media and how much pressure it puts on women and girls to be perfect – the usual kind of conversation we fall into! We discussed what the magazine industry prints about; ‘Who has not got a beach bod this year’ or ‘xyz has been caught without make up’. Emily then gave a brilliant little bit about what she has discovered over growing up:
“When I was younger, I didn’t like my stomach, or the gap in my teeth, or my nose. But then I realised that these were a combination of genes that has been passed down from my ancestors and that is just life. That is what you look like and it is not wrong. I think that they really need to start making that more acceptable within the media.”