I wasn’t always a confident person. It took me time to build my confidence to where it is now and each day I challenge myself to strengthen my confidence even more. It’s a constant work in progress. I now understand that having confidence isn’t a choice. You have to have it. Having confidence in myself is a reflection of my belief in the purpose of my life. In my eyes, I’m not just walking around confidently, I’m walking around purposefully. It took me years to understand I had purpose and how my confidence contributed to it.
Being part of the fashion industry, I am often in spaces where I am the only or one of few black women. Knowing these spaces don’t feature women like me gives me confidence to show up and represent where black people are few and sparse. Often these people rarely interact with black women so I make sure I’m 100% me which requires my confidence to be on 100. Being 100% me means I’m 100% awkward, 100% intelligent, 100% sarcastic and 100% unapologetically black. In these spaces I embrace everything that makes me who I am.
I admire my style like it is its own person. It’s so bold, occasionally daring, classic, fearless, open, cultured and confident. When I was younger, I was very shy so I used fashion as a way to be confident. Sporting bold prints, colors and silhouettes, I would feel so confident. As I got older, that confidence became more and more natural and was no longer about the clothes. I always say my style taught me confidence.
You know how they say “fake it till you make it”? Well that’s exactly what I did with my confidence. The way I dressed presented this confident woman while I was working on my confidence on the inside. My style was the blue print of who I wanted to be.