Alright ladies. Let’s talk about something we all really hate talking about. Let’s get personal. We all push this topic off to the side when we’re talking with our gals. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to expose this dark place and I think it’s about time we bring it into the light.
It’s a scary topic for a lot of women. If you’re honest, I’m sure you could tell me a least two things you wish you could change about yourself. I know I can!
For the past eight years I’ve dealt with Alopecia (an autoimmune disease that has no known origin or cure and causes rapid hair loss), and more specifically Alopecia Areata. All over my head I’ve had countless small areas where the hair falls out and leaves a bald spot. I call these my Alopecia scars. These scars have done so much harm to my personality and self-love that I’ve, at times, hated myself because of them.
I’ve felt my confidence dwindle to almost nothing because I’ve felt less than and inadequate when I've compared myself to other women. I’ve let it take control of my life and my relationships. And in this age of beautifully and artfully crafted squares where we only show the best of ourselves, it’s easy to let the comparison of others make us feel worse and worse about ourselves.
I know I am not alone in this.
I hear comments like 'I hate my fat thighs', 'my nose is so big' and 'I wish I was _____ (fill in the blank)' all the time from family and friends. We also tell ourselves, 'she’s so much prettier than I am', 'if only I had what she has'. When I hear lies like these it pains me to see these women I think are beautiful tear themselves down, yet we do it to ourselves every day.
The way we talk to ourselves has such an impact on our confidence, how we see ourselves, and how we see others.
When we look at someone else, we are merely seeing our reflection in them. I know this all too well, because I found myself judging every fault I could find in other women to make me feel better about myself. Because I was tearing myself down, I was unable to help lift the women in my life that needed me. I couldn’t be there for those that needed me the most.
Fast forward a few years and I am now in the throes of starting my own business and I’m hearing myself whisper these small lies all over again. When we start a business or a project or put ourselves out there for the world to see, we quickly realise our weaknesses because they become what keep us from reaching our goals.
My encouragement for anyone who is starting something new is to not get caught up in your self-doubt. It is so easy to tell ourselves that we won’t make it, or that we aren’t worthy of success or that we aren’t adequate, but telling ourselves these deceptions is really the only thing keeping us from true success.
I struggle with my appearance every day. It is a battle every time I look in the mirror. But after eight years of dealing with balding and hair loss, I can honestly say I’m proud of where I am. I’ve learned so much along the way and I’m able to recognize the lies and push past them. I’ve also been able to find myself along the way. I’ve been able to learn what I want my life to look like and what true beauty looks like to me. By learning to love myself, I’ve been able to love those around me.
May you too, beautiful sister, find the true beauty within yourself. Our battle wounds and scars are part of our story, not what makes us inadequate. They are what make us beautiful and human. So celebrate the imperfections and flaws. Grab a glass of wine and gather a few friends and say 'cheers' to the Alopecia scars. You and your scars are beautiful. Cheers!
Morgan is the owner of Two Fold Clothing – a sustainable, small batch womenswear brand made in Charlotte, NC. You can find her at her sewing machine drinking coffee, with Bon Iver spinning on record in the background. She lives in Charlotte, NC with two roommates and two crazy pups and loves the simple, yet wild life God's given her.