Ameena Misbahou-Jalloh, Staff Writer

Are you ever insecure about something? You know, like your height or weight? Perhaps a class you have to take because you’re behind your peers has you feeling unsure? Or maybe your parents weren’t able to buy you anything for Christmas because bills needed to be paid, or your fear of rejection has prevented you from asking out your crush?

Insecurities vary, but often focus on our physical attributes, our inner thoughts and true feelings, or  our home life. We’re only human, so no matter how confident or arrogant someone is, there is always something that person wishes they could change about themselves.         

As defined by PsychAlive, a multimedia website that introduces everyday psychology to users, insecurity is the “underlying emotion that shapes our self-image and influences our behavior.” As humans, we have what is called the “critical inner voice,” which is an internal dialogue that is present in our feelings. Clinical Psychologist and author, Dr. Lisa Firestone writes “The critical inner voice is formed out of painful early life experiences in which we witnessed or experienced hurtful attitudes toward us or those close to us. As we grow up, we unconsciously adopt and integrate this pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others.” 

It’s disappointing to admit that we are our own biggest critics. Thousands of people can tell you that you’re ugly, stupid, or worthless but once you give in and believe those words being thrown at you, insecurities begin to build up and your self esteem decreases. 

Many factors in our daily lives can cause insecurities. These include social media and its standards for how men and women are supposed to look, live, and behave. Often on Instagram, women are skinny or curvy but not “too curvy” because that’s considered unattractive. Men are muscular and buff because being skinny or “overweight” is unappealing. Men have to be tough and shouldn’t be emotional because if they are, then they’re seen as weak. Women should be sensitive and dress up all the time because dressing “like a boy” isn’t pretty.         

Like many teenage girls, I’m insecure about my hair, my acne, my hyper-pigmentation, my height, my weight, my big feet, my awkwardness, my inability to look my age; the list goes on! 

Insecurity is like a contagion, and the only cure for it is to enjoy the finer things in life: unforgettable moments, love, food, happiness, and so many more. So take risks, raise your hand in class and give away your “stupid” answer, and tell your crush that you like them. You’re not the only one who’s insecure, we all are.