The Strongest Confidence Isn't Based on Looks

The Strongest Confidence Isn't Based on Looks

The confidence that will get you through the toughest situations is so much more than that.
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Having complete confidence my whole life would have made everything so much easier. I would not have carefully tailored my middle school wardrobe so I would fit in with the crowd, or been embarrassed to be seen with my mom out in public. Those were burdens I voluntarily tied to my ankles, and with time, I learned that they were not doing me any good. They were holding me back.

I soon learned that the hours of putting on makeup and finding the best clothes did nothing to build the confidence that allowed me to eventually grow into my own skin. Instead of running into the dog food aisle when I saw a schoolmate at the grocery store, I would walk up and say hi. And when high school came around, I was proud to show off that I was a musician. Instead of thinking, “This is what makes me different,” I started thinking, “This is what makes me special.” I appreciated the things that made me me, and became comfortable with myself.

I’m not saying putting on makeup shouldn’t make you feel good, because when I put on makeup and cute outfit I feel like I can dance down the street. But the faith and trust and love you have for yourself cannot be tied to how many likes you get on your Facebook profile picture or how people rank your physical appearance on a scale of one to 10. I think we get too caught up in the lies and facades magazines portray. Megan Fox looks like the most confident girl in her photo shoots and movies, but the same girl on all those magazine covers and posters boys tape to their bedroom walls admits that she is intimidated by the fashion industry and hates how she looks on camera. Zac Efron, too, has been quoted on his lack of self-confidence and how he constantly needs to work with himself to strengthen it. So many people watch movies and say, "If I had his or her body (or hair, face, etc.), I would never be upset." But why can't we have that confidence anyway? The confidence that will bring you back from a breakup, or the kind that will give you strength to take a risk or just be content in your own soul, is based on your personality.

I’m not saying I have Beyoncé-level confidence. I was still shy on the first day of college, and I still stutter when an attractive guy asks me a question. But when I decided to move far away for college, my faith in my personality helped me succeed. I didn’t get on the plane and think, “Well, of course I’ll do great; my eyeliner is on point.” Instead, I thought to myself, “Mere, you treat people well, you are really adaptable, and you’re a tough cookie. And you’ll do great.” That is what gets me through tough situations.

Cover Image Credit: http://etinspires.com/confidence-is-a-choice/

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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7 Ways To Avoid Buying Everything You See On Amazon

Shopping can be a source of instant gratification for many people, but it also puts a dent in your wallet if you aren't thoughtful with your purchases.

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Though I don't do a ton of online shopping, when I do I find it very easy to get sucked into a vortex of "stumbling upon items I never knew I needed." This can include everything from clothes, to gifts, to books, to basically whatever else shows up in my "recommended purchases" column. Shopping can be a source of instant gratification for many people, but it also puts a dent in your wallet if you aren't thoughtful with your purchases. With that in mind, here are some ways to avoid making spontaneous, probably unnecessary purchases on Amazon when you're browsing at 2 am right before going to bed.

1. If you really love an item, put it in your cart and come back to it a day later

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This is a classic "Mom" tidbit of advice: "Honey, why don't you sleep on it and tell me if you still want that toy car tomorrow, and I'll look into it." Seriously though, I've managed to talk myself out of a few almost-purchases just by not buying the item in the heat of desperately wanting it. In the light of day, suddenly those adorable ballet flats don't seem as crucial to your future happiness.

2. Resolve to only pay for things with Amazon gift card money

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This is a principle I generally try to stick to, though of course I don't have such a generous influx of Amazon gift cards that this is really possible. However, paying for things only with gift card money is a good way to motivate yourself to look for the best deals on whatever item you're looking at. It's also a good way to streamline your purchases and make the most of those $25 birthday gift cards that seemed boring when you were younger, but now fill you with excitement about future purchases.

3. Resist the urge to go on Amazon when you're feeling the itch to shop

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It may sound simple, but one of the best ways to temper your online shopping is to just not go on Amazon as much. That way, you won't stumble across as many "can't-miss deals" and won't feel a sudden urge to empty your wallet just to add yet another pair of cute leggings to your closet. For those die-hard online shoppers, this advice might seem like quitting shopping cold turkey, but consciously avoiding the website that sucks away your money might be the easiest way to spend less money on Amazon.

4. If you're looking at clothes, see if the item you're looking at fills an actual need in your wardrobe

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When I browse online for clothes, I try to make sure that I'm only actively looking at items that I really need. For example, if I'm looking to replace my beat-up ankle boots with a new pair, I'll do my best to only browse the shoe section. It can be tempting, especially on websites other than Amazon, to casually migrate into the "tops/blouses" section and stray away from your original shopping intention. Sticking to your guns about what you're actually looking for could help remove that temptation to buy another cute top "just because."

5. Make sure you don't already own a similar version of whatever item you have in your cart

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This more happens when I shop in person than online, but it's important to recognize that a big reason why you may be attracted to a specific item online might be because you already own something just like it. Then, suddenly you end up with two coral-colored short-sleeved shirts, which could have been avoided if you had just done a quick sweep of your closet before clicking the "complete purchase" button.

6. Ask yourself if this item will still be popular or in-stock in three months

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Of course, it's impossible to predict the exact online lifetime of anything, especially an article of clothing. However, stopping to ask yourself this question could help prevent you from buying stuff that's all the rage "right now," but probably won't be popular in a month. There's nothing wrong with buying something that isn't that popular with other people, but if you're looking into a particular style of jeans that you see all around you right now, chances are high that you're just buying them at least partly because you keep seeing them everywhere.

7. Unsubscribe from as many store emails as you can

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This can apply to Amazon purchases as well as purchases from other retailers, but those darn store email chains that give you 10% off your purchase just for signing up can really zap you of your time later on. Even if I love a certain store, I generally shop infrequently enough that my shopping schedule won't be dictated by the emails they send me. Still, getting off of those promotional email chains could have the exact "out of sight, out of mind" effect that you need to curtail your online shopping habit.

Shopping can be a fun activity, but it can also be a useful exercise in mental restraint. Of course, everyone can fall prey to that "have to have it" purchase at any time. But if you are a little more strategic with when and how you shop on Amazon, you're a lot less likely to groan when you check your next credit card statement.

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