Black Woman, EBONY
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  1. Your undergarments are too big or too small.

If you haven’t purchased a new bra since high school or you believe $20 is too much for undergarments, then you probably have had many experiences where you’ve felt less than confident in your appearance. No matter if you’re a size 2 or size 20, a bra that lifts, pulls and separates is essential to feeling your best and strutting with confidence

Do: Get a fitting with a professional, and make the investment in a bra that makes you feel your best. 

Don’t: Tell yourself that bras aren’t worth the $60 they average at most department stores. Get the bra, then stock up every six months to keep the support you need. 

Pro tip: The bigger the cup size, the more expensive the bra. For women who are F, G, H and J cups, Nordstrom’s anniversary sale in the late summer is a great time to rack up half-price bras.



Don’t believe me? In 2005, Oprah dedicated an entire show to it. 

2. You don’t floss on a regular basis.

Dentist and physicians agree that there is a link between bad oral health and poor health, cardiovascular disease, dementia, respiratory infections and diabetes, to name a few. Because the mouth is a primary entry point into the body, the foundation for good or bad health starts in the mouth. Skipping flossing for weeks or months at a time can not only cause aesthetic issues for your teeth, but the overflow of bacteria can also get into your bloodstream and that’s where the problems can begin. 

Do: Identify where your oral routine may be lacking and consult a dental professional about how to correct it. In the meantime, try the Waterpik water flosser or an electric toothbrush to entice you to brush and floss more.

Don’t: Rely on the popular floss on a stick because it can’t maneuver around the whole tooth leaving food particles behind, which causes gingivitis and bad breath. 

Pro tip: The fact that you only get one set of teeth is the strongest motivator to take care of them. If you can confidently smile, you’re good to go!

3. You haven’t developed hobbies or interest of your own.

The emotion of feeling “pretty” is based on your inner confidence, and I believe confidence comes from liking who you are and what you do. If you spend a good deal of your time watching other people live their lives via social media, YouTube or old-fashioned TV, there’s a good chance that you don’t feel pretty a lot of the time. Researchers have linked that people who spend a significant of time on social media are prone to depression and anxiety. Indeed, social media gets a bad rap for its negative effects, but it can be used for good. The inspiration you need is a click away to learn, engage and be inspired versus being a spectator. 

Do: Identify your interest, then begin to explore the different avenues they can lead you. For example, reading a great novel can inspire you to write your ownto short story.

Don’t: Lurk on Instagram in your spare moments, which can lead to hours of watching how “fabulous” everyone else is, which can lead to depression. Turn that attention inward. 

Pro tip: If you’re looking to give your confidence a boost, and want to have a positive relationship with social media, follow pages of people who create. Curate your own inspiration that’s based on doing and not just looking. 

4. You’re judgmental.

What does judging have to do with the way you feel about yourself? A lot. When you are in a state of judgement, you most likely aren’t smiling, laughing or, most important, focusing on yourself. Everyone is human and, of course, we all naturally have our opinions on the things, people and places we see, but we all know  people who spend an inordinate amount of  time talking about what they don’t like. Your judgement of others may be zapping your own zest for life leaving you feeling less motivated and desirable. James Baldwin said it best: “Your description of me describes you.”

Do: Admit that you are one of those people who focuses on the negative and tends to see the glass as half full.

Don’t: Reason that you are a realist and your judgements are necessary. They’re not. 

Pro tip: Find easy positive reinforcements such as inspirational quotes, sermons or gospel music, etc. In short, focus on what makes you feel good. 

5. You’re boring.

What you judge in others you also judge in yourself, so if you’re constantly judging someone else’s appearance, hair, career, life choices, etc., you are probably always playing it safe. Constant judgement can leave one paralyzed, from making a move down to the simplest things such as a nail color or trying a new coffee drink, thus leading to the makings of a boring person. If you haven’t changed your hairstyle since 2002 or are still getting french manicures because that was the safe choice once upon a time, you’re definitely not living your best life and probably not enjoying it. 

Do: Try something new aesthetically: Get a haircut and color, wear a bold lipstick, mingle with people you normally wouldn’t gravitate toward. These are simple and easy starts to feel invigorated and, yes, “pretty.”

Don’t: Think that you have to change everything about yourself in order to feel “pretty.” Improve where you feel it’s necessary. Old habits will not be broken in a day. Baby steps.

Pro tip: Improve where you feel it’s necessary. Old habits will not be broken in a day. Baby steps are still steps.



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