From the Heart:
On Confidence

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Because of the necessity for a social media presence, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what makes some women likable and others unlikable, mostly because it’s very clear to me that when it comes to social media, I’m unlikable. In contemplating this topic, I’ve consequently spent a lot of time thinking about Beyonce and Kim Kardashian. Both women are undeniably beautiful. Interestingly, both have approximately the same number of followers on Instagram (around 35 million). The big difference between the two, from a social media standpoint, is that it seems many of Kim Kardashian’s followers don’t like her and follow her only to berate her and spew all kinds of unwarranted negativity at her. Beyonce, on the other hand, is arguably the most famous and well-liked female celebrity in the world. She can do no wrong. Everything she touches, everything she wears, everything she does, is celebrated. I wouldn’t for a second say it’s undeserving on her part. She clearly has worked hard her entire life to get to where she is and her talent is a force to be reckoned with. What gets me is why women can’t celebrate all women the way they celebrate Beyonce. Enter Kim Kardashian. Whatever moral implications surround her rise to fame, you only have to watch a few episodes of her reality television show to understand that she is incredibly business savvy and works very hard. Also, she seems to have a huge network of girlfriends – a telltale sign that she is a decent human at minimum, and likely, a very decent girlfriend. Generally, women with a lot of girlfriends (i.e., Taylor Swift) seem to be the type who bring other women up, instead of putting them down, who don’t succumb to jealousy, and who don’t see other women as a threat or competition. Which brings me back to my thoughts on the social media “likable” and “unlikeable.” I think women don’t like Kim Kardashian because she is unapolegetically confident – she loves herself. Her confidence is roaring loud and why not? Shouldn’t ours all be? Beyonce, on the other hand, has a quiet confidence, much like Taylor Swift and Lauren Conrad, who are also social media likable. So confidence comes in different forms, but why should women be so quick to dislike the most confident among us? What has Kim Kardashian ever done to anyone to deserve such outrageously offensive attacks every time she posts a picture on Instagram? And why are women so quick to speculate about what kinds of surgery she has had? Why can’t women accept that some women are breathtakingly beautiful – born that way – or have the most amazing bodies or physical assets without quickly writing them off as plastic surgery or an eating disorder? I love Kim Kardashian because I think there is nothing more beautiful than a woman loving herself – especially if she is the type who loves and supports other women as well. And I love her because she doesn’t shrink just to quiet the haters. My point is this. The best kind of women in the world are those who are confident enough to love themselves and also to love and support other women, without feeling threatened or competitive. I just finished a brilliant memoir about a woman from Darfur who suffered unimaginable atrocities as a result of her sex. I’ve read many books of this kind, telling stories of how women around the world are treated. As women, there are many fights we have yet to fight, many wrongs against us we have yet to right, many sisters and mothers and daughters we have yet to save from suffering. So to see women lashing out at other women in such a catty way is unbecoming and disheartening. We should be supporting one another and celebrating the strong and confident among us so that they remain strong and confident, and also stand as model for what we all should hope to become. Afterall, isn’t a strong, confident woman the best kind of woman?

 

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