Why Self Confidence is taboo and shouldn’t be

Confidence can get a person anywhere and everywhere in the world. Job interviews, dates, and free things are just some of the perks of being confident and loving oneself. But today, self-love is something that is praised outwardly, but quietly judged on the inside. Women are allowed to love themselves, but not too much or else they’re pretentious and vain.
My primary example of this is selfies. Girls put on pounds of makeup for varying reasons and then continue to post photos of themselves online, making duck faces and whatever else society shames them for. Why shouldn’t girls do this? I don’t wear makeup, but if I were to put that much effort into my appearance then I would want to show it off online too. But, almost immediately after this trend gained motion, the mockery followed. Every section of popular culture went towards shaming and making fun of people who took selfies. They mocked them by saying in high pitched voices “SELIFE!” And then putting up a peace sign and laughing. I will never forget the song “Selfie” that came out when I was a kid, all about how some girl in a club couldn’t do anything without taking a selfie first, even when vomiting in a toilet. We mocked these girls even though they were just proud of who they were and pretty soon, the trend died.
For a while during my teen years, whenever anyone would give me a compliment I would respond to it with sarcasm, mainly because I didn’t know how to take a compliment. But I will never forget the time that I was texting a guy I liked and he called me beautiful and so I responded with, “Thanks, I know.” He was so weirded out about the fact that I knew I was pretty that he never spoke to me again unless we happened to bump into each other around town.
Nothing frustrates me anymore than the fact that I and other women are not allowed to think that we’re pretty. I have blond hair that does what I want it to, a slim figure thanks to my lucky genes, and pretty eyes. But for me to even consider saying that in public makes me seem conceited. Why is it only acceptable for other people to tell me that I’m pretty?
I was looking back at my Instagram a couple of weeks ago and noticed that none of the photos I posted were of me, because I didn’t want to come across as vain to my small number of followers. So I decided to do something I’d never done before and post a selfie. The description I posted was this huge thing about self confidence and how I didn’t need others to tell me I was beautiful because I loved myself and that was enough. The comments that I got in response were exactly what anyone would imagine them to be; all of my friends came to my aid, commenting about how beautiful I was and how I didn’t need to doubt myself in the slightest. Not a single person grasped the concept I was trying to put down: I didn’t need them to help me love myself. Instead they rushed to fulfill what they determined was a silent plea: give me attention.
The issue doesn’t stop at what I look like, it extends to what I do. I am an eighteen year old woman who currently runs a newspaper, has two years of college under her belt, got accepted into one of the top journalism schools in the country, and has travelled across the world three times. I am proud of who I am and what I’ve accomplished in my short life so far, but even so, if I consider talking about it then I am “full of myself” and “bragging.” By society’s standards, I am not allowed to be proud of how hard I’ve worked to get so far in life.
The reason that women struggle getting into positions of power and gaining equal pay to men is because it’s taboo for them to boast about themselves. When men do it, however, they become the presidents of companies. Women need to learn to own who they are and what they’ve done in their lives, and people need to stop immediately assuming people are horrible when they express a little self love. If we do this, then the whole world will be better for it.