I am by no means the most confident person in the world but I do love the person that I am. I’m complex, creative, kind and I love hugs! I also love makeup, fashion and I put a lot of effort in to presenting myself a certain way and that is because I enjoy it, not because I feel I have to. I know I am not alone in when I say that being judged sucks, but you know what really upsets me? The BS excuse of “They’re just jealous…” I officially call shenanigans on that excuse. Knowing someone’s motivation for bullying doesn’t make it less hurtful. It’s not ok and we need to encourage people to stop using their insecurities to bully people and then try and mask it with false flattery (“Oh I only said your hair looks stupid because I secretly wish I could pull that style off”). This may not make sense but let me tell you a little story about me:
When I was in high school my nick name was “Swamp Hag” because…..teenage boys can be jerks. I was an overweight child and teen and I suffered from some pretty extreme bullying all my life. When I was 17 I had finally had enough. I decided I didn’t like being bullied anymore. I was sick of feeling judged based on my appearance and I wanted to lose weight so I could “fit in”. I very clearly remember sitting on my bed crying one night thinking “Life would be so much easier if I was pretty”. I look back at that moment and just want to hug my teenage self and tell her to be more kind to herself. In any case I was a woman on a mission. I started making small changes because I wanted to make sure it was a lifestyle change and not a crash diet that I couldn’t stick to. Over a period of about 3 years I lost weight. As I lost weight I also started dressing differently, wearing clothes that I had previously thought I couldn’t wear including high heels. ALWAYS. I love high heels, the higher the better. Sadly, as my confidence grew I started to notice a shift in the way certain people perceived me, particularly women. They would whisper and point and giggle. People would tell me “they’re just jealous” but that didn’t make me feel any better. My whole childhood I had naively wished for more confidence thinking it was the answer to all my problems only to realise I was now being bullied for that exact reason.
Kimi aged 16
So fast forward to about 12 months ago…I was sitting in the waiting room of the Doctors. I had an appointment in the middle of the day so I was dressed for work (pencil skirt, business shirt, stiletto heels, hair and makeup. Standard day for me). I noticed a woman and her daughter not far away from me “inspecting” me. The woman’s daughter would have been around 15 years old and what they didn’t realise is that I could hear them. I can’t remember the exact words but the conversation went something like this:
Mother whispering to daughter: “Get a look at those shoes.”
Daughter: “Yeah they’re high.”
Mother: “I don’t know how she walks in them they are ridiculous.”
Mother: “She’s going to have so many problems when she gets to my age. They are too high, it’s silly.”
Daughter (after a thoughtful pause): “She’s pretty though.”
Mother: *eye roll* “Pfft. She clearly knows it.”
A passing series of meaningless comments but these women had never spoken to me, they arrived after me so I was already sitting down when they got there. They had also not seen me interacting with anyone as I was just sitting reading an email. I was just a woman sitting in a medical practice. I was gob smacked. What struck me about the conversation is how uncomfortable her daughter seemed with her mother’s comments. What sort of lesson was that woman teaching her daughter? That is ok to judge someone just because they look a certain way? That because someone is well groomed that they’re are fair game and its ok to pass judgement on them? I am a 100% non-confrontational person so rather than saying anything I walked into my Doctor looking very defeated. I was on the edge of an anxiety attack (which is why I was there) and he could see that. I told him what had occurred and as much as he was supportive I got the same old line: “They’re obviously just jealous.” You know what? I didn’t feel better. I still felt crushed.
My point is that society constantly tells us that self-love is important. Confidence is something that everyone wants. We all want to wake up in the morning feeling good about ourselves inside and out. So why is it that when we see someone who is confident (or someone we perceive as confident) we have to take them down? You shouldn’t judge someone based on their appearance no matter what that appearance may be. You can’t look at me and assume that my biggest problem is that I burned myself with my curler or broke a nail. My problems are still valid. Jealousy is not an excuse.
I try not to let comments like this bother me anymore because I know the issue lies within the person. I personally find giving someone a compliment instead of tearing them down is much more satisfying.
Kimi is a Makeup Artist of 13 years and started a beauty YouTube channel 18 months ago because she was passionate about helping people with their makeup struggles. In her blog series "That's What She Said", Kimi will be exploring the world of beauty and talking to people about all aspects of the beauty community in order to remove stigma and dispel myths about the industry in a 100 per cent positive way.