It was my observation of “conventionally unattractive” girls who walked and talked with the confidence of Naomi Campbell.
And, conversely, conventionally attractive girls, unaware of their desirability, hiding in the shadows and moving insecurely through life.
It took years to convince myself that confidence may not necessarily come from being ‘beautiful’ but from being conditioned to believe in oneself. That conditioning, I believed, was from being told from a young age that the world was theirs to conquer. I told myself that, no one ever told me that at home and, that is why I lacked confidence.
Could do nothing to change my childhood; but I told myself I’d be damned if I lived through the rest of my life not telling myself I’m that girl, I’m beautiful, I’m enough, and all that self cav mantra shit.
Oh, I started the story on the wrong chapter… let’s start at the beginning shall we.
I grew up undesirable. I’m talking big, fat, dark, insecure, in a fatphobic, colorist society. Not only that, but I was always surrounded by beautiful people, often intentionally – because I knew if I aligned myself with beautiful people, I’d have access to the things beautiful people had access to. That came with its drawbacks. I was oftentimes the designated ugly fat friend. So not only did I grow up undesirable, I grew up with reinforcements of the undesirability. I’d be the only single friend, the friend guys spoke to first at clubs in order to get to my friends (the gateway friend), the one boys told they wanted to sleep with (but, pssssssssssst, let’s keep it between us because, you know, you know).
Anyway, I kept trying to understand why people like me – conventionally unattractive people – had confidence and waltzed through life. And I eventually convinced myself that it was that they were told time and again they were worthy, and they believed it. I had never been told, so I started to, well, tell myself. And I told myself, over and over and over again. It took some time, and even now there are odd days. Because there are still boys who tell me they are interested (but keep it hush because, you know) and years of insecurity do not go away completely, no matter how often you chant, “believe in yourself, rate yourself highly”.
But I will be damned if I walk another day on this god-fodsaken earth and not cav myself. Because, even those conventionally unattractive girls I used to observe carried with them an attractive, desirable energy about them because of their confidence, and so why would I not partake in that? Why would I not try to emit that vibe, that energy, that aura?
So I envelope myself in songs about self love, I clothe myself in Lizzo, I chant in the mirror every chance I get that I AM that girl. And before I know it, I start believing it all. And before the world knows it, it too starts believing it all. And that’s on self cav.