• Kenzie Hebert (she/her)

Feeling Comfortable by Being Yourself...And Flaunting it

Photo drawn by: Kenzie Hebert

Growing up, I have always been told to act like a lady, to dress like a lady, and to learn like a lady. I’ve gotten stared at simply for dressing in “boys clothes” instead of clothes that should be worn by a “proper young lady”. But why does society have this standard that we all need to dress one way, act one way, and be one way for our entire lives? Truthfully, I’m not sure. But I’ve made up my mind that I will not be defined by any stereotypes or judgemental people. I will start to learn to be more comfortable being myself, starting with the simple step of dressing and appearing the way that I want.

When I was a child, people often would tell me how beautiful my hair was. How it was so long, shiny, blonde, and well, ladylike. But did I like my long hair? No. No, I did not. But people seemed to love it, so I should learn to love it too! Or at least that’s what I used to think. I was following other people’s standards of beauty instead of my own. I thought I had to have this long hair, be as skinny as I could possibly be, and wear the same clothes as everyone else. Except then, I realized something, something that changed my outlook on society’s beauty standards. That something was that absolutely nobody in this entire world was perfect. The mere idea of perfection was incorrect. Everyone has problems, everyone’s insecure, and every single girl on this entire planet was beautiful in their own way. From then on, I decided that for the rest of the time I had on this earth, I was going to be myself. The first changes I made were small. I got rid of the clothes I wasn’t comfortable in and started thinking for myself about what I should wear, instead of what everyone else was wearing. Just like that, my comfort with myself got a little bit better. The next change was a tad bit more drastic...I chopped all my hair off. My hair was down to my lower back but after a few haircuts, it was too near the middle of my neck. I even have bangs now, which I had wanted to try forever. One more step closer to being comfortable with myself, but not the last.

When I realized that being myself and overall being comfortable with myself was key to loving myself, I learned that I was unstoppable, and so was every last girl to walk the planet. I’m not saying you have to be like me. You don’t have to chop off all your hair, change your clothes, have your go-to outfit be basketball shorts and an oversized shirt, or that you have to hate shoes as much as I do. I’m saying you should start being comfortable with yourself because you’re beautiful, and you’re going to change the world someday. So if being yourself means long hair and crop tops, you go girl, cause you look amazing and no one should ever tell you any different. If you like to rock that skirt and boots, you flaunt that, cause you look astounding.

Learning to be comfortable with yourself can look different to different people. You could be like me and start by appearing and dressing the way you want. Or, you could already be comfortable with yourself, and just be reading this for the fun of it. But no matter how you do it, know this; society’s standards don’t have to be your standards, you could have an entirely different view of the world. Know that being comfortable with yourself is just one of the first steps to loving yourself, and know that you’re going to conquer the world someday. You’re beautiful and anyone that tells you any different, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. What you do with my advice is up to you, but I hope that sometime, in the future, you learn to love yourself. Now go girl, go be amazing.

- Kenzie Hebert: Co-Editor of TeensForWomen

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