On Identity and Insecurities

Okay, so this may come as a belated confession, but I’m a confused person in general and something about these topics make me all the more unclear. Sorry in advance.

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In case you missed it, I have certain reservations about my writing and that’s because I’m no expert at anything and that fact steeps me in so much insecurity, I’d but almost given this(typing) up. I also have little readership that will be significantly affected if I stop writing but it would’ve given me some other fact to be insecure about- that I failed at blogging (but at least I tried, right? Wrong.).

Okay, my preliminary insecurities aside so that you can’t call me out later on, what about other people?

I just spent today morning watching one of the many that call themselves YouTubers talking about how he’d given up opportunities to do really cool projects because he felt he looked fat. I can’t explain how terrible I felt to hear him talk about his insecurity with his weight issues so openly because all his regular videos are usually taking on a more sarcastic side of his being fat and gross and un-funny. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. He said he’d lost his sense of security when he wasn’t controlling the camera because he’d be called fat for being reasonably healthy and that gave him extreme anxiety- but nearly every other video of his is him being all jovial and confident about those very topics and roasting himself in front of his fans. Worse still, in any metric of “success”, he seems like a perfect candidate- he has 2 published books, millions of viewers, short films and a successful podcast. I felt personally very, very sorry for him because this seemed very out of character for him but then I realized the confidence could be a part of his personal YouTube persona and it wasn’t really all him and the anxious, scared and insecure part was a lot of him off screen and that cost me some time wondering how much of our identities are made up and how much of it was dictated by our insecurities. I don’t know your answer to this, I’m not you and neither am I on Facebook or Instagram or any other photo sharing apps because of my insecurity based on how I look. I don’t need to go through the judgement and self deprecation I might face on seeing ugly (read all) pictures of myself on the interweb.

I have insecurities, admittedly.

I wonder why though?

I was in a fest recently where everybody looked all put together and perfectly coiffed like it was effortless but today’s revelation made me question how much effort had actually gone into making themselves up, picking the right bohemian outfit and making sure it looked effortless above all. Was it all worth it? I hope they got good pictures out of all the effort or lack thereof.

How much of how we see ourselves is dictated by our insecurities? Probably a lot, I’d guess based on what I see with people I know and that makes me really sad because I see no real basis for why anybody else need be so insecure. It’s ironic because I don’t question my own insecurities. Or feel sad based on the fact that I have them.

How much of what we project to the world is heavily edited and censored and nobody really questions why and I understand now that insecurities affect our lives- people must know what it feels like to stand before a filled wardrobe feeling like you have nothing to wear because there’s some issue with every one of those 200 items- your insecurity on your own wardrobe strikes you just when it shouldn’t- remember how much you probably coveted the same wardrobe before it belonged to you.

Insecurities govern how and with whom we interact, what we consume (media and literally), how we behave on social media and oftentimes what we do with our lives because we’re constantly on the lookout for censure, ridicule and people we admire not deeming us cool (or some other reason we don’t do what we want to really, so much so that we forget what it’s like to live our lives on our own terms and when we remember, it feels powerful and we never wanna let go of the taste.)

I hate that our sense of identity is governed so much by how we think people see us- it’s very shallow and one dimensional, in my opinion. That YouTube creator who felt fat because he was compared to the ridiculous standards of fitness that American media sets for its models, that many other young girls watch beauty videos to make themselves up at ages where beauty standards shouldn’t fall into their sphere of worry, that people have little tolerance for people that don’t speak their own language as well as they do so laugh their attempts down, that people have to be shy of voicing their opinions, whatever they may be, in a free world because they are associated with another political party or another stream of thought- these are just a few examples of what can make people identify as ‘different’ and ‘misunderstood’ and powerless in a certain place, at a certain time and it’s a shame for people to not have power on their own lives!

(What other opportunity do we even have? Assert your identity on somebody else with some personal connection to you and expect them to fulfil it?

Oh, that’s just called parenting. 😉 )

So, whatever identity you seek or have assumed in this world, I have one request for you- be a little kinder to yourself and cut yourself a little slack. (I find it slightly ironic how I can be far kinder to other people than myself when my opinion probably doesn’t matter to them, but does heavily to my experience of my life.)

You may think you need a certain number of people to give you a good thumbs up to feel a certain way about yourself but I think people are too engrossed in themselves anyway to be kind and listen, if even understand your life and get any perspective whatsoever that justifies their judgement.

Far too much preaching later and a significant waste of your time, I leave you with this. I don’t know why insecurities overtake us, who we’re so afraid of, what we can possibly do to overcome the insecurities (and if the answer doesn’t involve medical procedures or intoxication or death, I suggest trying to improve on that aspect of your life), when it will ever end, or how we can end this vicious, suffocating cycle of identity crises and insecurities based on the same.

Thank you for reading so much, if you did.

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