Finding My Strength to Conquer Body Insecurity
16-year-old lead singer of The Regrettes learns to feel good in her own skin
Hello there, my name is Lydia Night. I am 16 years old, 5'9", and 126 pounds. As I type this, I am sitting at my dining room table eating a bowl of lettuce and two pieces of almond butter toast. The toast has some agave drizzled on it and is sprinkled with some cinnamon and sugar.
Instead of thinking about the big bowl of greens going into my body, I only focus on the sugar. I wonder how many calories each piece of toast is worth. Why do I care? Why does anyone care about silly things like this unless they are sick or overweight? I know that you are probably wondering why any of this information matters, and that will be answered shortly. I am going to be talking about self-confidence and my personal experiences with it.
Ever since I started high school, I have gone through some major ups and downs when it comes to my feelings towards my body. Looking in the mirror has made me cry, scream, and smile, depending on the day. I know that I am most definitely not the only one who has experienced such extreme changes in outlook on one’s self.
I do not have an eating disorder—and I have not ever had one. I’ve thought about what that would look like several times and considered it. I do not self-harm, which I have also thought about. I have tried a few times to gag myself over my toilet, and that never worked out well, meaning nothing came out. I used to tell myself that I couldn’t even get that right.
Luckily, now I know how awful that is, but in the moment I felt that if I didn’t have a perfect body, people wouldn’t find me attractive, or like me. Learning that your body isn’t and should NEVER make up your entire self-worth is something that I am still working on. I have to remind myself everyday that I am a smart, kind, thoughtful, talented, clever, strong and special young woman who is so much more than a body and a face.
Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that I am a singer and guitar player in a rock band called The Regrettes. When this band first started about a year and a half ago, I loooooved photo shoots, interviews, and all kinds of press. Now, I often find it really hard to look at that stuff once it’s out in the world because it has become a habit for me to pick apart the way I look. I am still trying to figure out how to not focus on that, but it is really fucking hard when you know that other people will be viewing it.
For example, the above photo used to make me feel absolutely awful about my body. I focused on the way my stomach pops over my pants and how strange my toes look. Now when I look at this photo, I still see that a bit, but I have learned to focus more on the aspects I like. I love the way that my hair looks in this and the smile on my face.
A lot of times people view the lives of musicians as something much more glamorous than it actually is, not only in lifestyle but also emotionally. It is easy to fall into a deep hole of self doubt and insecurity when you put so much of yourself into your music. Almost all of my lyrics are extremely personal which sometimes makes it super hard to not feel scared of what other people will think. I have gotten a lot better about learning how to not care, however this will always be something that I struggle with, and that is okay. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who make you feel strong, and that’s what my bandmates do for me.
With all of this being said about feeling really insecure when it comes to my body, I have many days where I feel incredible about the way that I look. Self-love is never something that is black and white. This feeling of comfort in the way I looked increased when I got into cooking. I felt as if I had more control of my body through making what I was putting inside of it. I have had many experiences where I’ve dreaded eating in the past because I knew I would feel bigger and bloated afterwards, so cooking helped me get excited and distracted in times like these.
I am very lucky to have a therapist and a nutritionist in my life. My therapist has helped me realize where a lot of my self-worth issues come from. Many times things that you would never think were related, are correlated. My nutritionist reminds me that I should not be losing weight because that would make me underweight which is unhealthy for obvious reasons. I used to want to be underweight.
My point with this piece of writing is to let whoever you may be, please know that YOU ARE NEVER EVER alone and IT IS OKAY to go through extreme ups and downs when it comes to the way that you view yourself. Let yourself learn and discover what makes you feel good in your skin. Discover what doesn’t and dissect that as much as you can to gain a greater understanding. No experience is a bad one in the process of learning and growing. Never forget that!