This post has been sponsored by PMD Beauty. Thank you for empowering me to work with brands I believe in for their product and their social mission and to keep my blog running. All opinions are my own.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of confidence is Dove’s Love Your Body campaign from the early 2000s. I thought it was brilliant and wrote a 40-page essay about it in my junior year of college.
But out of bravely starting conversations about female confidence, a dangerous byproduct has evolved: the notion that women are hopelessly depleted of any self-esteem. I once read the hilarious and relatable Mindy Kaling say...
“A general assumption about confidence is that women, particularly young women, will have very little of it, and girls will have zero of it.”
This posture of pity towards women any time the word “confidence” comes up makes me sad. As girls are coming out of the womb we label them with “no confidence,” and as if they’re defective, we run around frantic: “How are we going to save our girls and teach them to be confident?!”
Are women broken today with a lack of confidence? Yes. But the girls aren’t the problem. They aren’t born broken. Someone tells them a story along the way that they shouldn’t be anything but entitled to being brilliantly confident.
I get concerned that girls hearing about how difficult it is to be confident subliminally tells them that it will be very hard for them to be able to do it. This ironically, strips them of their confidence and sets them up to fail before they even start trying.
Being a woman is not a disease that needs to be treated for confidence.
I’m not going to tell girls (or women) that it’s super hard to love yourself and walk in confidence. Those who know me would claim that’s easy for me to say that as I am very confident today. But what they don’t know is that it has been a long journey. I vividly remember one afternoon when I was 13 crying, yelling that I was never going to have children because I didn’t want to pass down my “ugly” (my acne) to my daughter. I didn’t want her to feel the weight I was feeling.
At 13, I had read the books about loving myself, heard the sermons, grew up loved, and knew I wasn’t alone in lacking confidence. But I was told the media had wronged me, and I felt that pain.
But I wish someone had told me to pull it together, and that I wasn’t a victim to what the media said. I wasn’t a hostage to my peers’ words towards me. I wasn’t chained by the lies I heard in the back of my mind. I had a choice. At 13, learning confidence, I wish I heard less about looking within and more about 3 three things: working hard, being entitled, and creating a you that you could live with forever.
Don’t stop until you’re proud.
Work stinking hard. I continually ask myself throughout the day, “Am I proud of how this morning went?” “If I stopped working now, would I be proud of myself?” And I always listen to the voice inside. On days I feel energized or things are down to the wire, I push even harder. But sometimes life pushes US around, and it’s okay to be gentle. I still work hard, but while listening to my wellbeing. Either way, I work until I feel accomplished, like I went the extra mile, and can lay in bed that night proud of how the day went. This fosters confidence because I know I gave my best.
It’s okay to feel entitled to your right to be confident. You deserve to be honest about who you are and what you like about yourself simply because your heart is beating in your chest. There are things you need to earn: raises at work, vulnerability from others, wisdom from experiences. But you’re entitled to a feeling of confidence in yourself.
“I just realized I’m stuck with me my entire life.”
One time, I got dumped because he just didn’t like me anymore. And I realized, “huh, I can’t do that with myself. If I decide one day I don’t like me, I’m stuck with me. I can’t run away.” That’s when I decided, I will always foster Elisabeth to set ME up to like her. That means working hard, not changing just to make someone else like me, and developing parts of me that I anticipate not liking one day. People will come and go, but I will always have me. I will be the one that is for sure there on nights when things feel hopeless. I will for sure be there when I feel like a failure. I will for sure be there for every mountain top and valley. And because I will always be there for me through everything, I make sure I like the person I am. I believe everyone deserves to take opportunities to make them more the person they want to be: whether that’s personality characteristics, ambition towards accomplishments, or the physical aspects of themselves.
I discovered PMD Beauty through the hashtag #BrilliantConfidence.
And when I realized that their Personal Microdermabrasion could help me heal my scares from the acne 13-year-old Elisabeth cried over, I knew I had to try it out.
For those who had no idea what microderm was before PMD like me it’s a “noninvasive, skin resurfacing procedure that gently exfoliates or polishes away the top layer of dead skin cells, while stimulating collagen growth, to reveal healthy new skin that looks and feels smoother. Fine lines, blemishes, dull skin and sun spots.”
I used to NEVER be excited to try new products that claim to change my skin, but this baby feels like a spa treatment at home! (Talk about self-care and self-confidence!) And it WORKS. Dermabrasion treatments are usually $80-$100 dollars in an aesthetician office. (No body has time for that!)
Instead, I light some candles, turn on peppy Stevie Wonder, and use my PMD once a week in my pink velvet sweatpants. FOR FREE. (Hello!) Not being able to work or check my phone at the same time makes it the ultimate unplugged pampering time!
It’s been 3 weeks of consistent use (once a week), and I’ve already seen virtually no build up on my face, way less breakouts, and the plumping of fine lines. And with more uses, the results improve!
pmd brings my best self out for the world to see!
If your current skin situation is NOT something you like about yourself, let me tell you that you completely deserve to take opportunities to bring out the you that you want to be. Confidence shouldn’t be based on appearances, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t matter to you. You know I walk with sass when I am FEELIN’. MY. SELF. *lowers shades and winks*
Check out PMD, and I would be happy to answer any questions about it. And then we can bond over our fabulous skin after together.
I would love to hear from you: What part of yourself do you LOVE?
With relentless ambition + passion I live intentionally to take my dreams from plans to reality + empower other women to do the same. I'm a Trades of Hope founder, public speaker, and designer living in Washington, D.C. When I'm not following fashion trends, catching airplanes, or playing with my redhead pup, I'm offering up fashion shortcuts, life lessons I'm learning, and free wallpapers to remind you of how much you've got this.