By Jess Reedy, Guest Blogger July 29, 2015
I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. I’m bare faced 98% of the time and I try my best to be the most authentic version of myself at all times. I like to be and feel comfortable.
For a while now, when it comes to image, I’ve treated “authenticity” and “plain” as synonyms. And so in my attempts to reject the pressures of beauty standards, I opted instead for fresh skin, casual clothes, #nomakeup & #nofilter, and building my inner self worth and confidence. These are all great (like, really great) things, but what about the things I didn’t do?
What about the red lipstick I didn’t wear because I didn’t want people to think I was too feisty? Or the heels I didn't wear because I might look too glamorous? What about the times I didn’t dance the way I wanted because it might seem too appealing? What about all the moments I didn’t allow myself to feel sexy because I didn’t think sexy could be genuine?
Here’s the thing:
No one said that in my journey to authenticity, I had to abandon sexy. I just assumed I couldn’t be both. I was wrong and I was holding myself back without even realizing it.
image via thebodyisnotanapology.com
In my efforts to stray away from labels and boxes, I just wound up creating a new box for myself. I unknowingly encouraged myself to only identify with the parts of me that felt natural, free, and kind. I made myself express these traits even in the moments when I wasn’t feeling them. I stifled the parts of me that were bold and edgy and alluring.
Authenticity is so easy, that we overcomplicate it. It simply means to be true to your personality and character. You don’t do yourself or anyone else any favors by toning yourself down or blending in. I’m learning that authenticity means allowing all parts of your personality to show. It means being real about how you are feeling, even when you are feeling flawed and it means complimenting yourself when you feel good without apologizing for your confidence.
You deserve to be, feel, and express all the qualities that make you, YOU.
Designer, Michael Kors, has a quote that I love, “You don't have to give up anything. You can be chic but have a sense of humor, you can be sexy but comfortable, you can be timeless but fresh.”
You deserve to be, feel, and express all the qualities that make you, YOU. You deserve to be #nomakeup AND red lips. You can be home sweet home AND girls night out. I think if we allow ourselves to celebrate all the different parts of us, we’ll be able to love our whole selves even more.
I think I’ll strap on some heels, hit the dance floor, and give it a try.
Have you ever felt like the image you try to create for yourself conflicts with a style or outfit you'd like to try out? How do you find a balance? Tell us below!
Jess is a business owner and IATG chapter leader in Wilmington NC where she teaches yoga and pottery. She loves the beach, her dog, and people who feel like soul sisters. She also considers herself a professional at brunch.
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