All Articles Tagged "confidence"
Scrolling through my Instagram timeline the other morning, I was stopped in my tracks by an awesome image of Alicia Keys boxing underwater. It’s a recreation of Flip Schulke’s iconic series of Muhammad Ali boxing underwater, originally published in Life magazine in 1961. Under her pic by Brendan Forbes, she wrote:
I only got 28,000 of those days. So what the F**K am I waiting for?? 😉 Let me elaborate: (click link in bio) #inspiredbythegreatest #Ali #28000days
Yes, 28,000 days is the name of Alicia’s new single but it’s also a call for everyone to think about what you’re doing with your life and the precious time we have here. Are you wasting time hating on someone or feeling sorry for yourself, or are you enjoying life and attacking the challenges like they could be your last?
Alicia took to her site, AliciaKeys.com, to pen this revelation she’s had about life and I know I could relate, so I thought it would be great to share her with you moms who maybe feeling like you’re not giving life your all.
Here’s some of what’s in Alicia Keys ‘A Revelation’:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them and so… I started hiding. Not intentionally, I didn’t mean to, but I did. Little pieces at a time.
I remember feeling that same way when I first started to get recognized as an artist. I had the baggy/braided/tough NY tomboy thing mastered, that was who I was (or who I chose to be) and I felt good there. Then, because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard and although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself. I put on dresses and didn’t braid my whole head up, so people could see more of the “real” me, even though at that point I’m sure I was more confused then ever of what the real me was.
I became comfortable hiding, my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself.
And just the other day it hit me! OMG! Alicia!!! Why are you choosing to be that person?? That is so old and outdated!! STOP!!
You are allowed to be smart
You are allowed to be beautiful
You are allowed to be radical and have strong thoughts that others might not agree with
You are allowed to be tough
You are allowed to be sexy
In a culture saturated with digitally altered images of impossibly thin women, raising girls with high self-esteem can be daunting indeed. But as parents, you have great influence—both by what you say and what you do. Here’s some advice from experts Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, a clinical psychologist, school consultant and creator of the “Full of Ourselves,” a social-emotional program for girls, Anea Bogue, MA, author (9 Ways We Are Screwing Up Our Girls and How We Can Stop), and the creator of REALgirl, an empowerment program for girls, and Mary Rooney, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in adolescents. You can read this article and more great parenting content at Child Mind Institute.
13 Ways To Boost Your Daughter’s Self Esteem
The skin on her face was blotchy and ashy. In fact it was an unnatural, almost ghostly shade of gray – several shades lighter than the cocoa-brown hand that gave me back my change. I looked at the young cashier with pity and choked back an urge to reach out and hug the poor, misguided girl. She couldn’t have been more than 20 years old, and already she’d bleached the hell out of her skin.
I see it at all levels daily. Whether it’s the local grocery store cashier intentionally robbing herself of the beautiful melanin God gave her, or actress Renee Zellweger transforming herself into someone we don’t even recognize through cosmetic surgery, or Tameka “Tiny” Harris arbitrarily paying good money to change her eye color, we women are sending the same strong message to the world. We’re shouting (not whispering), “Hello, world! We are women and we are NOT happy with ourselves!”
I find it tremendously sad that we women, who are easily the most naturally amazing creatures on the planet, refuse to accept ourselves. Maybe we’ve just succumb to the sick images that the media is constantly feeding us. But at some point we have to slap ourselves and realize how insane these messages are. You don’t see men running around bleaching their skin, changing their weaves like they change their underwear, squeezing into Spanx and embarking on crazy fad diets in hopes to whittle away their pounds. No! I don’t care if a man is fat, wrinkled, bald and hairy. He smiles, sticks out his chest and chooses to accept himself just the way he is. And we all applaud and say, “Now, there goes a really confident guy. He’s got swag. I like it.”
Well, I think it’s high time that we women make a conscious decision to accept ourselves and love our gorgeous flaws. I, for one, am on a pilgrimage to be happy with myself. I invite you to go on this self-acceptance journey with me by:
Step 1. Being more forgiving of yourself. When I make mistakes, I’ll look at them as just that – mistakes. Not catastrophes and not major downfalls. I’m not the superwoman the media tells me that I need to be. I’m beautifully human. The more that I forgive myself, the more I’ll love myself inside and out.
Step 2. Working with what you’ve got. Maybe I’m not a gorgeous supermodel. My gray hairs are starting to grow quicker than my dark brown hairs. And my skin’s youthful glow is beginning to dim just a bit. But guess what – I’m still fabulous. Just the more mature model of what the Creator made me to be. I’ll accept the changes that come with time and work what I’ve got!
Step 3. Celebrate your accomplishments large and small. Like many women, I often focus on what I haven’t done. As I stare at my life’s endless to do list, it’s easy to be dissatisfied with who I am and what I’ve done. Instead, I’ll refocus my attention on what I have been able to accomplish. I’m pretty amazing, and worth celebrating. I bet you are too!
Step 4. Tell myself that I’m beautiful and mean it. I’ll no longer wait for compliments from others. Let’s face it, sometimes they just don’t come. I’ll look at myself everyday with loving eyes and compliment myself. I will tell myself that I am beautiful, smart, kind and loved. And the love and acceptance that I give myself will be enough.
Will you take this self-acceptance journey with me? What steps are you going to take to be happy with yourself?
Yolanda Darville is a wife, mom and freelance writer focusing on issues that make a difference. To read more of her writings connect with her on Twitter at @YolandaDarville.
Self-Love Lesson: How to Rock Your Self-Confidence at Work
Studies show that women are less confident than men in the work place. We are less likely to speak up for ourselves, less likely to ask for a promotion, and less likely to request a well-deserved raise.
It is not easy being a working mom. Whether you are in business with yourself or working for someone else, it is a tricky game. You are trying to balance playdates and PTA meetings with invoices and business meetings.
Add the self-confidence issue to the balance issue and it’s a powder keg of stress. We may look good and stiletto strut into the office with a lipsticked smile, but this doesn’t help our inner turmoil. In addition to these issues, many women feel like impostors. Savvy and confident on the outside, sweating and anxious on the inside.
Stop being the best kept secret at work. You deserve to shine in the workplace as much as anyone else. You are worthy of success. You have work to do. Work it!
Here are 9 ways for you to step into your own with self-confidence:
We know that you work hard – and this is your time to shine.
1. Know your stuff.
This one is easy for most of us. We were brought up being told that we need to be twice as good to get half as far. Take the positive part of that and know your stuff. Then maximize it by asking for the raise and new position when the opportunities arise. Better yet, no waiting, create the opportunities for yourself!
2. Push yourself.
Confidence is a muscle. If public speaking scares you and there is an opportunity to rep your company on a stage, throw your hat into the ring. Chances are you will rise to the occasion. Playing it safe will keep you in the same place. You will only become more confident if you bust through your comfort zone.
Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to sing your own praises. Stop letting folks take solo credit for your hard work.
3. Socialize outside of your group.
Do you eat with the same people every day? Catch up with the same folks to talk “Scandal” every week? Be bold and try sitting with the big dogs. Invite a superior to chat with you after work because you have some “new ideas to share.” Of course you want to do your homework first and make sure that when the spotlight is on you have something great to share. Go for it!
4. Body language it.
We are mind-body-spirit wholly integrated beings. Walk talk and you feel energetically bigger. Have your back straight with your head held high and a smile on your face. You will not only appear to be more confident, but you will feel it down to your bones.
Bonus Tip: If you feel insecure, go into the bathroom and throw your hands into the air. March around. Have fun with it. You will come back to your desk feeling happier and more confidence. It may sound weird, but it works!
5. Don’t confuse self-confidence with arrogance.
Some folks think that exuding confidence means looking down on others, feeling special, and having a self-important attitude. Wrong! Those behaviors make you look like you have an inferiority complex. An inferiority complex and a superiority complex come from the same place. Confidence is positive attractive energy. Arrogance is a repellent.
6. Be a leader not a shallow boss.
A leader is a team player who leads by example. Her strength comes from great team building and encouraging her teammates to shine. Someone who barks orders and is a taker vs a giver, is not a leader at all. Leaders are revered because they are loved and appreciated.
Bonus tip: Being liked is not your goal, however. Have strong boundaries in place.
7. Embrace your strengths.
No one is good at everything and that’s okay. Flex in the areas you’re good at and delegate the rest. Feel good about the skills you bring to the marketplace. If you need more skills, that’s easy. Acquire them.
8. Visualize “scary” situations.
If you need to make a presentation or have an uncomfortable conversation, use the power of visualization. Do what great Olympians and astronauts do. Run the race ahead of time. See the entire meeting in your head beforehand. Imagine the positive aftermath of the meeting.
Bonus Tip: Visualize everyone thanking and congratulating you for your great work.
9. Be a fear facer.
Some of us a fear facers and some of us are fear avoiders. You don’t have to be a daredevil but being more confident will require facing your fears. Make a list of 10 activities in life that scare you. Commit to doing 5 of them this year. Yes, this year!
Abiola Abrams is the author of the award-winning guide The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love and founder of , where she offers empowerment coaching.
Quite a few of us have stories about being bullied in elementary school. Children can be particularly mean. I can recall, very well, my first grade nemesis Derek, who always had an unkind word for me. It felt like I suffered for weeks until I finally told him about himself.
It was with myself and Derek in mind, that I was able to relate to this adorable little 4-year-old girl and the absolutely brilliant response she had for her at-school-antagonizer. When she came home and told the story to whoever this camerawoman is, presumably her mother, she was equally impressed and decided to film and post the video online. Here’s how the conversation went.
“What happened at school today?”
“The little boy said I look ugly.”
And the camerawoman, (presumably her mother) asked her how she responded.
“I said I didn’t came here to make fashion statement. I came here to learn not look pretty. And the little boy said, ‘I look bad.’ And I said ‘Did YOU look in the mirror lately?! Bye bye. See you later, make[ing] me mad'”
As you know, most times it’s not the words, it’s the attitude behind them, that makes the story. So be sure to watch the video below because this little 4-year-old beauty just happened to have the perfect amount of confidence and indignation to pull this read off successfully.
Check out the video and let it inspire you to shake dem haters off (Yes, I’m bringing that back.) as they pop up throughout your day.
I was not a confident kid. I was painfully shy and generally fearful of the world. I spent most of my formative years hiding behind my mama’s skirt peeking out timidly at the world. Somehow after struggling through the awkward teen years and the years of self-discovery in college, I emerged as a strong, confident woman. But believe me, the years between birth and college graduation were excruciating.
When my daughter was born, it didn’t take long to realize that her personality was the exact opposite of mine as a child. My little girl is demanding, self-assured and borderline arrogant. She’s got kid confidence. Although I’m always chastising her to “take it down a notch,” I’ve secretly always been happy to know that she has no problems holding her own in a cruel world.
But I don’t take her natural confidence for granted. I once read a study that said that most girls’ self-esteem of peaks at age nine, and takes a dramatic nosedive as they approach the pre-teen and teen years. How shocking for your confidence to be shaken before life really begins!
I have decided that I don’t want to spend the teen years helping my daughter deal with eating disorders, depression, mean girl drama and all the other horrible things that can come with low self-esteem. I’ve decided that my best defense is to actively build her confidence while it is already strong. To me keeping her self-confidence built up is like maintaining a car. It’s easier to keep the oil changed and get the car serviced now, than having to deal with massive repairs later.
Here are a few small things that I do with my daughter to keep her confidence high:
• I constantly tell her that I love her. I think a big part of confidence in children is having the assurance that you are lovable and that someone loves your unconditionally.
• I make her say affirmations. Yes, my daughter says daily affirmations! Some may believe that self-talk is nonsense, but I’ve seen the big smile that my daughter gets when she looks in the mirror and tells herself that she is beautiful, smart and capable. I want her to learn a hard lesson very early: If you love yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
• I cheer her on. My daughter will tell you that she’s awesome at math and that she’s a great helper around the house. When she says these things, she’s just repeating what she’s heard me say to her. I know that even at this young age the majority of the people in her life criticize what she does, what she wears, how she looks and how she behaves. But I believe that her time with her parents should be a sanctuary – a safe place where she can be praised and encouraged.
• I encourage her to take risks. If she wants to try a new sport, I’m signing her up. When she encounters new foods, I challenge her to take two big bites. Every summer, I enroll her in exciting new camps. These are things that I never would have done as a kid. But I know that I would have found my way through life much easier if I’d been willing to take a risk or two.
We can never keep our children from the turbulent twists and turns of life. But we can equip them to stand confidently when those curve balls come. Building self-esteem in our kids today is an investment in their future that’s just as important as preparing them for college.
Are your raising a confident child?
Yolanda Darville is a wife, mom and freelance writer focusing on issues that make a difference. To read more of her writings connect with her on Twitter at @YolandaDarville.
Trust me, you need to read this article. Why? Because I was that needy girl. Fine on the first date, content if I was not that into him, but as soon as I liked him I fell apart. I did not know what to say, how to behave and bit by bit that gorgeous guy smiling across from me would disappear.
To make matters worse, the more I would not hear from him, the more I would blow up his phone asking him where he was, what he doing, when he wanted to meet. I know I am not the only one who does this, so if I am talking to you, my hope is that this article can give you some insight.
You Are Too Agreeable?
When we really like someone, we want them to like us back. We become vulnerable and become ultra-agreeable with that person. He likes football, but you absolutely hate it. Three dates later you are hanging on his every word and you agree to go to a football match with him. Now, at the game you are the most miserable person there.
The smart confident women he asked out has now turned into the worse company he has ever experienced and your handsome man has disappeared. He has sensed your need to be agreeable and his attraction level plummeted. Men like women, who have their own opinions, interests, and hobbies. This leads me to the next point…
Dropping Everything For A Man
It’s Friday night and you have agreed to have a wine and cheese night in with your girlfriends and you told your mother you would call at 7 p.m. Brad calls at 6:50 p.m. asking you out at 7:30 p.m. A little short notice, but you forgive him anyway. You laugh at his jokes, listen to all his excuses as to why he could not call you earlier in the week and then you agree that you will be ready to meet him at the local bar.
On your way there, you text your mum saying you can’t make the call tonight and you send a mass text to your friends that this great guy wants to see you and the only night he is free is tonight. Are you coming across as needy? I think so! And now, because of your neediness his respect and attraction for you has plummeted. Ouch!
The most important part of dating is his ability to follow-up in between dates. Your job is to sit on your fingers while he is thinking sweet thoughts about what a great time he had with that confident brunette until he calls back. That means you! You don’t need to play games, you don’t need to hint to him that it has been four days since you spoke, and you don’t need to remind him it has been a week since you last saw each other.
Men do what they want and if he wants you, he will make the effort. All you have to do is mirror his actions by answering the phone when he calls as your happy, positive, “I have altogether” self. Men like to win you over. Needy girls put words in his mouth, stalk his Facebook page, and are jealous of every girl he mentions. Sit back, relax, and let that boy work for you. You will be gracefully rewarded.
Read more about dating at YourTango.com
“I Thought So Highly Of Myself Because No One Else Did.” Gabourey Sidibe Delivers Moving Speech At Ms. Foundation Gala
Last night, the Ms. Foundation hosted the Gloria Awards and Gala to celebrate the 80th birthday of Gloria Steinem. In addition to the awards that were given there were also speeches from Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer and Gabourey Sidibe.
If you’ve ever seen Sidibe during an interview, you know that she’s quite witty, engaging and bubbly. So it’s no surprise that she would deliver an amazing speech. But honey, this speech is everything. It’s funny, heartbreaking and most importantly inspirational.
In it Sidibe shares the struggles of being an asshole growing up, how she was bullied at home and at school and learning to be self confident in spite of it. It’s beautiful. And if you read it, thanks to a transcript from Vulture, you’ll definitely get something from it.
I’m so excited to be here. Really, really excited. Okay, I’ll get to it. Hi. One of the first things people usually ask me is, “Gabourey, how are you so confident?” I hate that. I always wonder if that’s the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. “RiRi! How are you so confident?” Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. “You seem so confident! How is that?”
When I was ten years, in the fifth grade, my teacher, Miss Lowe had announced that my class would be having a holiday party right before the Christmas break. She asked if we all could all bring snacks or soda or juice to the class party. She also said we had the option of cooking something, if we like. I was so excited. I immediately decided that I would make gingerbread cookies, and that everyone would love them. I told my mom my plan, and I asked her for money to go buy the ingredients. She thought I should just buy store-bought cookies, but I told her, “Those cookies didn’t have enough love in them!” I had to make the cookies. So I bought the mix, and I bought cookie cutters in the shape of Christmas trees and bells, and I made a practice batch of cookies that went horribly wrong. Good thing they were a practice batch. They were awful. And then the night before the party, I made another batch of cookies. And they were also awful, but they looked a lot better. I carefully put the cookies in a Ziplock bag, so I could take them to school the next day. When I got to school that morning, I could not wait until that party. And I was so proud of those cookies, and all the effort I put into making them, I started to think that maybe I wouldn’t just be the first woman black President — maybe I would also be a celebrity chef! I mean, why limit myself?
The party was set to take place during the last hour of school, and I waited excitedly for it all day long. Finally, it was party time. My teacher asked what everyone brought, and I proudly announced that I had baked cookies for the class. I think I felt prouder knowing that everyone else just bought stuff. I was the only one who made anything, because clearly, I’m a little more clever than anyone else. So as the party starts up, I walk around the class, proudly offering cookies to everyone. No one took a cookie. No one. No one except Nicholas, who was the first person I offered one to. But after a few of our other classmates set him straight, he actually caught up with me as I walked around the class, and gave the cookie back. I walked around the class trying to hand out cookies to my class, until I ended up back at my desk with the same amount of cookies that I started with. I sat at my desk alone, eating those gross gingerbread cookies that took hours to make, all by myself. I put chocolate chips in them, that’s why they were gross. I wasn’t surprised. I just forgot for a moment that my entire class hated me. I had zero friends from the fourth grade to the sixth grade. Who the hell was I baking cookies for? I really got so excited to bake that I had forgotten that everyone hated my guts. Why didn’t they like me? I was fat, yes. I had darker skin and weird hair, yes. But the truth is, this isn’t a story about bullying, or color, or weight. They hated me because… I was an asshole!
Yep. I was a bossy, bossy asshole. See, remember when I said that I thought I was more clever than everyone else? Well, I did! And I told them that — every single day! Those kids couldn’t get a word in edgewise, without me cutting them off to remind them that I was smarter, funnier, and all around wittier than them. I was always sarcastic — I called it my birth defect. And let’s face it, kids don’t get sarcasm. They don’t appreciate it. They never knew what I was talking about. And when they would say, “Wait… huh?” I would say, “My God, Alicia, read a book!” I know. I spoke differently than them, I just did. I sounded more like a Valley Girl than a Brooklyn girl. My classmates always asked me if I was adopted by white people. I’d say, “No. Both my parents went to college.” I know that was rude, but I’m still really proud of that. To be fair, in my neighborhood, not everyone’s parents had the opportunity to go to college. Most of my classmates’ parents were teens when they had them. My parents had me at age 30. My father was born in Senegal. His father was the mayor of the capital city, Dakar, and my dad often took my brother and I back home with him to visit Africa, while most of my classmates had never stepped out of the Lower East Side. My mother was a teacher in high school, that’s why I went there, but my mom also had a voice, so when I was nine, she quit her teaching job to go sing in the subway. She actually made more money as a singer for tips than she made as a teacher! I know! And she was quickly becoming the underground version of Whitney Houston. She was the strongest, smartest, and most talented person I had ever known. Even today, I don’t want to grow up to be anyone as much as I want to grow up to be her. I know!
The point is, I was a snob. I thought I was better than the kids in my class, and I let them know it. That’s why they didn’t like me. I think the reason I thought so highly of myself all the time was because no one else ever did. I figured out I was smart because my mother would yell at my older brother. She’d say, “Your little sister is going to pass you in school. You’re going to get left behind and she’s going to graduate before you.” But she never said to me, “You are smart.” What she did say was, “You are too fat.” I got the message that I wasn’t pretty, and I probably wasn’t normal, but I was smart! Why wouldn’t they just say that? “You’re smart.” It’s actually not that hard. My dad would yell at my brother, “Gabourey does her homework by herself! Why can’t you?” But he never said to me, “Good job.” What he did say was, “You need to lose weight so I can be proud of you.” I know. So I got made fun of at school, I got made fun of at home too, my older brother hated me, my dad just didn’t understand me, and my mom, who had been a fat girl at my age herself, understood me perfectly … but she berated me because she was so afraid of what she knew was to come for me. So I never felt safe when I was at home. And my response was always to eat more, because nothing says, “You hurt my feelings. Fuck you!” like eating a delicious cookie. Cookies never hurt me.
“Gabourey, how are you so confident?” It’s not easy. It’s hard to get dressed up for award shows and red carpets when I know I will be made fun of because of my weight. There’s always a big chance if I wear purple, I will be compared to Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. And if I wear red, that picture of Kool-Aid that says, “Oh, yeah!” Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how the recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog cart or something. And “Diet or Die?”[She gives the finger to that] This is what I deal with every time I put on a dress. This is what I deal with every time someone takes a picture of me. Sometimes when I’m being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can see it in her eyes, “How is she getting away with this? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my God, I’m going to catch fat!”
What I would say, is my mom moved my brother and I to my aunt’s house. Her name is Dorothy Pitman Hughes, she is a feminist, an activist, and a lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem. Every day, I had to get up and go to school where everyone made fun of me, and I had to go home to where everyone made fun of me. Every day was hard to get going, no matter which direction I went. And on my way out of the house, I found strength. In the morning on the way out to the world, I passed by a portrait of my aunt and Gloria together. Side by side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and one with the most beautiful, round, Afro hair I had ever seen, both with their fists held high in the air. Powerful. Confident. And every day as I would leave the house… I would give that photo a fist right back. And I’d march off into battle. [She starts crying] I didn’t know that I was being inspired then. On my way home, I’d walk back up those stairs, I’d give that photo the fist again, and continue my march back in for more battle. [She pulls a tissue from her cleavage and dabs her eyes] That’s what boobs are for! I didn’t know I was being inspired then, but I was. If they could feel like that, maybe I could! I just wanted to look that cool. But it made me feel that strong.
So, okay, we’re back in fifth grade, and I just had been rejected by 28 kids in a row. And I was sitting alone at my desk, with an empty Ziplock bag, crumbs in my lap, and I was at this great party that I had waited for all week. I waited all week for this party that I wasn’t invited to. And for some reason I got up, I sat on my desk, and I partied my ass off. I laughed loudly when something funny happened. And when Miss Lowe put on music, I was one of the first ones to get up and dance. I joined the limbo, and ate chips, and drank soda, and I enjoyed myself, even though no one wanted me there. You know why? I told you — I was an asshole! I wanted that party! And what I want trumps what 28 people want me to do, especially when what they want me to do is leave. I had a great time. I did. And if I somehow ruined my classmates’ good time, then that’s on them. “How are you so confident?” “I’m an asshole!” Okay? It’s my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I’m an asshole, and I want to have a good time. And my mother and my father love me. They wanted the best life for me, and they didn’t know how to verbalize it. And I get it. I really do. They were better parents to me than they had themselves. I’m grateful to them, and to my fifth grade class, because if they hadn’t made me cry, I wouldn’t be able to cry on cue now. [Dabs tears] If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn’t have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn’t told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I’m unbreakable.[Dabs tears] So when you ask me how I’m so confident, I know what you’re really asking me: how could someone like me be confident? Go ask Rihanna, asshole!
Love this speech! You better werk Gabby! What do you think about Gabby’s speech?
Tyrese has one of the sexiest voices in R&B, but his presence on social media often makes me roll my eyes. From his often misspelled words of wisdom to his unsolicited relationship advice, there have been several times where I’ve said, “Bye Tyrese.” But not this time. Tyrese has completely stolen my heart with this one. His daughter is obviously the most important thing in his life and showing her that she’s beautiful, special and no one’s opinion of her matters, has got to be the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen on the internet.
If more fathers took to the time out to talk to their young daughters in this way, we would see less cases like this one–where a father publicly beat his daughter after she was “missing” for three days. Daddies, take notes.
Tyrese Gibson shared a video of himself with his adorable 6-year-old daughter, Shayla Gibson and it’s honestly one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. In the video, Tyrese is giving his daughter lessons on how to say her name and several tactics to increase her confidence and know her worth. With statements like, “The only person who can stand in my way…is me. And me standing in my way is not an option.”
See the video of Tyrese and his daughter on HelloBeautiful.com
True story: another woman succeeded at making me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. I was still in college then. I was waiting for the shuttle bus to pull up, and the girl standing next to me at the stop tapped me on the shoulder. “I just wanted to say I looove your makeup!” I beamed and thanked her, but confessed that I wasn’t actually wearing anything on my face. “What? That’s not foundation? Your skin looks so good!” Now if you think I wasn’t feeling like a CoverGirl the whole ride home to my janky off-campus housing, you’re crazy. Am I weird for that?
Now, I’m not saying I’ve never been complimented before or after that moment. As a woman with a decent physique, I’m accustomed to sorta-compliments from guys, but they typically come off as audible observations of my anatomy. A landscape of my legs. Guestimates of the surface area of my boobs. A quick scan of the derrière cuppage that comes when I wear the right pair of jeans.
While some of the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the men I encounter are genuine, harmless statements of admiration (and not a ploy to get my digits or mask perverse thoughts behind ogling eyes), for the most part, all goes in one ear and out the other. Depending on the delivery of the comment, I usually return a quick “thanks,” an even quicker closed-mouthed smile and go on about my business. But honey, if a woman my age feels so moved to tap me and tell me she loves my shoes, cuts from a conversation to tell me my earrings are to die for, or temporarily returns to sobriety at a party to praise the glow factor of my skin, my whole day feels that much better.
Girl-kudos boost my ego in ways that a man can’t offer. Guilty pleasure TV — enter Real Housewives Of Wherever — suggests that we as women show no hesitation in tearing each other down. Compliments come few and far between. More often than not, it feels like the opposite is happening when two groups of women cross paths.
Ladies, we all know about the sidewalk standoff. You’re walking in one direction on a narrow walkway. A separate party of girls is headed toward you, talking over each other until you all make eye contact. For like two seconds, it feels like a showdown straight out of an old Western movie. Voices get hushed as you near each other. You maintain a blank face, but it’s hard to ignore the anxiety that comes with the whispers. Are they talking about me? Is it bad? Is it good? And even worse, they burst into laughter once they’ve brushed passed you. Was it something I wore?
Now think about how much better that situation feels when one of them tells you that your hair is amazing as they pass. Or you ask where one of them got a piece of their ensemble. Smiles erupt. Spirits are boosted. Day made. It’s a reciprocity thing.
The other day I changed up my hair and actually wore it out in an afro. While it felt like everyone under the sun took notice, it was my girlfriends’ vocal approval that made me truly fall in love with the new ‘do. That does numbers for my confidence, especially since I was nervous to actually wear it out like that in the first place.
So ladies, the next time you venture out into an estrogen-heavy setting, make an effort to offer honest pick-me-ups to your sisters. You never know how much of an impact it may have on their day, and their lives. Yes, it’s important for us all to cultivate self-confidence and self-love long before stepping out the front door, but a couple of kind words go a long way.
Stacy-Ann Ellis is a New York-based writer and photographer whose work has been featured in VIBE Magazine, VIBE Vixen, Hearts Converse, The Root and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @stassi_x.