confidence in me


photo curtesy of london green // model: london green

I didn’t always know that I would be interested in fashion. Growing up I was pretty active, so I wore clothing that I considered “tomboyish.” Many of my childhood friends wore clothing that I considered fashionable and I wanted to be like them. Today everyone is encouraged to express themselves and to wear what makes them happy. However, developing into a preteen and teenager and young Black woman, I didn’t understand how to express myself and I didn’t know what clothing made me happy.


Social media was both inspiring and soul crushing to me. I would love someone’s outfit and then scold myself for not being able to pull off a similar look. That toxic cycle continued on through middle and high school. The battle between the confidence that I had in my personal style and in myself was one that I lost many times. With unstable self-esteem and unrealistic expectations, I didn’t think that I would ever be comfortable in my own skin. 


Growing up I had insecurities just like many others, so my relationship with fashion was love-hate. I was always mesmerized by the way people would style their outfits. In the same token, I would think that I wouldn’t be able to pull off something similar. 


Fashion is art, self-expression, comfort, empowerment and so much more. Every accessory and outfit can be a unique or subtle twist that someone may not have thought to do. Fashion is innovative and forever changing. This is something that I just came to terms with. 


As I’ve almost completed my time at Kent State University, I’ve witnessed how no one person is the same on campus. Each individual has their own unique essence which is evident in their dress. From their makeup, to shoe choice, to bag, I can tell that they are confident in their own skin and personal style. 


At 21, I’ve just become confident in my personal style. It was not until I became a student that I understood myself and learned that what makes me different is special. I chose to major in journalism because I love storytelling and I chose to minor in fashion media because I didn’t want to hate fashion anymore. I wanted to learn more about the fashion world and how to become comfortable in it.


One day during my freshman year of college, I began to examine the way I viewed myself. Being a Black woman, I face constant critiques of my choice of dress, no matter the color or shape. After looking into the mirror that hung on my small closet door, I told myself, “this is me.” I had come to the realization that my own personal style represented who I was and what I thought about myself. I couldn’t compare myself to anyone because they were them and I was me, two completely different beings.  


When you look at me, you may assume that I have always been sure of myself and my style but the truth is I wasn’t. As awful as it is to say, I compared myself to everyone: friends, family and even celebrities that I looked up to. I’m not sure how I got to that point, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I just fell victim to the unrealistic expectations of social media and the desire to “fit in” with my peers. There really is no way to prevent this from happening in my opinion; it’s something that many people will go through. 


Some rarely ever struggle with confidence within themselves or confidence in their personal style. Each person has a different walk, and my walk took a lot longer than I imagined. But it was a process that I needed to go through in order to discover who I am. My story isn’t too different from others, and some are still going through the process. Once you discover confidence in yourself and your style, it is truly one of the best feelings. 


Now, I’ve come to enjoy the outfit choices that I come up with. Some ideas work out and some fail, but it’s a fun process. I tend to be more on the simple side with a slight surprise, whether it’s my shoes or pants. Becoming the person that I am today was a long, trying process, but I don’t regret it for anything in this world. If you’re struggling with confidence in yourself, personal style or maybe you just aren’t too sure about the outfit you’re going to wear tomorrow: take a step back to remind yourself that what you wear expresses how you feel about yourself and what you like. You are the one wearing it. If you’re feeling lime green shoes with orange pants and a black top, or maybe blue jean pants with patch work paired with baby blue Doc Martens; whatever you’re thinking, wear it. Dress to express, but impress only yourself with your style ideas. 


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Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.