con·fi·dence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.
All women react differently to this word. The meaning varies for each of us because of our personal thoughts and experiences. However, it shouldn't divide us but rather bring us closer. We should push for the next woman to exude confidence. Instead of stating what a confident woman should be or the type of energy she should ideally possess, I raise the following questions:
What does the word mean to you?
Does it hold any value?
Is it something that you currently or have struggled with?
Have the pressures of society and social media changed the way you perceive yourself?
Is there such thing as being an overly confident woman?
Do people often confuse a confident woman with being a "bitch?"
In my opinion, being a confident woman consists of:
In a brief interview with 22 year old freelance model, Bethany Richards, she talks about what being a confident woman means to her and how loving herself has helped her accept herself, flaws and all.
Where are you from and what are your hobbies?
I grew up in a town called Holbrook and it’s a little town outside of Boston, like 20 to 30 minutes away. It’s a super small town where not a lot of people are in much communication with each other. Though it’s a small town people are mostly to themselves and there's not really a lot of young kids hanging out with each other. Just one of those little towns that is there on the map.
I do a lot of active things. I used to play sports in high school but now I don’t. Now I model. Modeling is my number one hobby that I’m trying to turn into a full time career. It’s very hard but it’s definitely worth it and let’s me humble myself. It gives me the opportunity to better myself as a woman because modeling is very cutthroat. There’s a lot of people that try to convince you that you can’t do it and tell you that you don’t look good enough or you just don’t fit the criteria of whatever it may be. It’s really a hobby that you have to develop on your own because it’s who you are. You’re presenting who you are and you’re letting a lot of people see that. You have to be very comfortable within yourself and not care about what people think or have to say about you and be the free person that you are.
What does being a confident woman mean to you?
Being a confident woman means to be comfortable, truly comfortable, with yourself, the people around you and your atmosphere. Just being comfortable and not putting a wall or mask up to please somebody else. Especially being a woman I feel as if a lot of people look at women, because we are so powerful and we have so many abilities, not saying we’re looked down upon but people expect so much from us. It’s hard to stand our ground sometimes and really be the person that we want to be so we put up this facade or just something that says, “I have to be somebody else.” That’s not what it should be.
You stated that after cutting your hair you felt insecure and lacked confidence, why is that?
When I first cut my hair it was from a little mishap (laughs). However, when women cut their hair I feel that it’s something they have to prepare themselves for because as a woman our eyebrows are like a major feature as well as our hair because we can do so much with it. We can literally tell a story from our hair and express to someone the type of personality we have just through that. I was always one of those people that did something different with my hair. One day I would have it short, one day longer, I would do the faux loc thing and then I would just have a wig but you would never know. When I cut it I felt very limited to a lot of things and again it was something that I hadn’t prepared myself for because I had to cut it at a drop of a dime. It was something I had to become comfortable with. I needed to turn around and look at myself and say, “You are beautiful even with your short hair” or “you are beautiful no mater what happens, if you do cut your hair, if you don’t have eyebrows, if you have one leg” or whatever it may be you are still beautiful no matter what.
Why is self love significant to your life?
I would say it’s significant to my life because my parents went through a divorce about two and a half years ago and me and my dad used to be very close, now we don’t talk. Everybody knows that your father is your first love. Your father is who sets the tone for how you see men. Self love is something that you need to always have within yourself but your parents kind of put that in your head at a younger age… or at least they should. Me dealing with the struggle of my parents’ divorce or going through the divorce, me and my father distanced from each other. Now it’s to a point where I haven’t spoken to him in almost two years. It’s something that still bothers me but I found that I wasn’t loving myself the way I should have because I was letting certain things get to me and bring me down. I was moping all the time or was sad but modeling was something that taught me more about self love because I would see people wanting to please others but they should want to put themselves before anyone else. I had to say to myself, “Okay, because your father is not talking to you and because your mother is in a rough state of mind, I have to somewhat step up on my own. You need to put yourself before anybody else.”
What would you tell your younger self about self love?
Be comfortable with who you truly are and don’t let anyone tell you different. You need to build yourself up everyday to the point where you are always comfortable with who you are. Always love yourself first.
Do you have any projects you are currently working on?
I’m actually rebuilding my brand, which is Bethany Richards. I’m a freelance model. I’m just taking a new approach on how to present my brand to others and since I cut my hair I feel like I have a new lane to go down. It’s exciting for me because I get to play around with the different personalities that I may have and I get to present that to other people.