Proud2Bme | What My Little Sister’s Confidence Taught Me

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What My Little Sister’s Confidence Taught Me

By Auriana Petach--I’ve always struggled with my self-confidence. I constantly had the fear that I was being judged and ridiculed by my peers. Now that I’m 19, I’ve grown out of some of those fears thanks to my 12-year-old sister, Evie.

Although she can be shy at times, she’s one of the most confident people I know. As I went through puberty, I tried so hard to fit myself into the mold of the “ideal” woman. I was eager to shave, to wear bras larger than an A cup and to be slim and toned. I look at my sister, though, and I see how carefree she is. She’s able to embrace who she is, without letting the media convince her that she has to look and act a certain way to be considered worthy of acceptance and love. I’m not saying she has no insecurities, but she definitely doesn’t have the ones that I, along with many other girls and women, struggle with.

I realized that my sister and I grew up liking very different things. I loved dolls (especially Bratz dolls), I loved shopping and from a young age I aspired to look like the women on TV and in magazines who I believed were the definition of beautiful. Evie, on the other hand, would only watch Animal Planet and she had no interest in grooming dolls to make them look pretty. I feel that these differences are part of the reason why we have such opposing views about our own bodies.

It also shows how much of an effect the media has on how we view ourselves. I wanted to look like the dolls I played with, because they were slim and curvy at the same time. I constantly watched shows and looked at magazines where all of the girls had the same body type and perfect skin. Naturally, I would want to try to emulate them in order to feel accepted, but my sister watched a channel where makeup and the “perfect” body were of little significance. After all, stilettos and short skirts just aren’t practical when it comes to shooting African safari shows.

Because of this, Evie’s been able to grow up without the mentality that a girl is someone who does everything she can to be liked by boys and envied by other girls. She’s been able to look the other way when advertisements, commercials and magazines tell her that she has to look a certain way. By evading these superficial ideas (that have persisted for decades) of what a girl is supposed to be, she’s able to express herself without the same inhibitions that still linger with me today.

Although she’s so much younger than I am, my sister has taught me how to love myself and be comfortable in the skin that I was born with. She explains how it’s not worth it to try to look like the people on TV when there are so many more important things to do.

The way the media portrays girls and women can’t be changed overnight, but we can change the way we view ourselves. By embracing who we are, we’re able to express ourselves freely, which is so much more liberating than trying to change every aspect of ourselves to fit the media’s impossible standards.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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