Under the Skin: Maybe we don't know Everything, quite Yet
Continuing our series on Body Confidence, contributor Katie Hoesley introduces herself to the Su family by getting very, very real. x
I can confidently say I’ve come a long way in my journey toward being totally confident in my skin, but I don’t think that journey will ever end. I don’t think anyone is able to escape self-consciousness fully, and though that may sound ominous, I really don't think it is. I’ve just come to realize that the older I get, the more I understand about myself and the fact that I’ll always be a work in progress, and I think that’s kind of great.
When I graduated college a few years ago, I packed up and moved to Thailand to teach English and backpack (could also be read: I moved to Thailand because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life). Moving far away from my comfort zone on a whim and into a totally new culture and world of beauty standards was the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. While living in a small town in Thailand, I realized I didn’t need to have a full face of makeup every day (a realization prompted by 100 degree days melting my makeup off anyway) and I didn’t need to have an Insta-fame worthy body to feel comfortable in my skin. I now lived in a community where I couldn’t speak the language, couldn’t check social media constantly, and had so many hurdles to jump on a daily basis that I literally didn’t have time to worry about how I looked. My confidence in myself grew so exponentially as I figured out how to cross cultural lines, traveling from country to country by myself.
Though I think so much of my self-consciousness stateside stemmed from being worried about how I looked, when I returned home, my self image was no longer defined by anything physical. So many older women have said to me that you don’t really know yourself in your teens and 20s, and for so long that made me roll my eyes, because when you’re young, of course, you know everything. But, the older I get the more I realize how true that is, and the more I’ve come to understand myself and my place in the world.
The older I get, the more I learn about myself, and the more I realize there’s so much left for me to figure out, and that simple idea has really allowed me to feel confident in my own skin and confident that I’ll continue to feel even more so.