I’m not sure if I’m paranoid or if I have yet to master the art of accepting a compliment. I have this sneaking suspicion that confidence is a code. A disguise lingering in the comments section lurking under “WERK” and the handclap emojis praising your latest Fashion Nova Curve purchase. Up until recently, I was willing to dismiss comments like “I wish I had that kind of confidence”, as innocent, but not all praises of confidence are created equal.
I stumbled across a video of The Alabama Honey Beez drill team that my friend shared on social media. Her caption read “These girls are getting it!” It immediately made me stop and watch it. I was filled with excitement and envy because I wish so badly that had some rhythm. When I noticed the caption from the original source of the shared video it read “I wish I was this confident.”
I didn’t want to take a defensive stance but there lies a certain level of truth in any initial reaction. It made me ask myself “What is so confident about a dance team?” Who would voluntarily try out to be on a dance team if they couldn’t, well, dance? Is ability, skill and practice confidence or talent? The vibe that I caught from the caption that offered a proclamation of confidence was shady!
Shady in the sense that someone would make the assumption that big girls can’t dance. As if, they were saying if I was that big I wouldn’t be dancing let alone be on a dance team. Like this group of talented women need some proverbial confidence cookie. This video is not the only time I see confidence being used as code for “Oh look at you. You’re fat but look at you trying”. I always want to reply to “confident” comments with “take your confidence and….” (you know the rest)
People are quick to say things like “I admire your confidence” after you post a picture of yourself on vacation in a bathing suit. What’s so confident about swimming on vacation? Please tell me. I think a lot of this confidence is people just doing what they genuinely want to do and it doesn’t make them any more confident than the next person. Fulfilling a desire to do anything isn’t confidence. Confidence is firm trust and you don’t have to trust anything to do what you want to do. I often want french fries from Mc Donald’s. I don’t trust Mc Donald’s I just like french fries regardless of the lingering consequences.
As a blogger, I experience blatant misuse of the word confidence all the time. People admire my confidence to have style or wear a bodycon dress. I know some people genuinely do lack confidence for their own personal reasons but when people say I admire your confidence to my face with a twisted mouth and tone riddled with pity, I know what they mean. I’ll pass on their confidence cookies. I’d rather eat Mc Donald’s, it’s less toxic.
Like I said, this could all be just my imagination running away with me, but I don’t think it is. Your mother told you if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Most people translate that into if you don’t have anything nice to say find a way to rephrase it so you can still say something mean. If you have experienced the tail end of unwarranted “confidence” just remember your living your best life. Well if your best life is eating secret fries maybe not but at least you’re doing what you want to do!
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