Sunday, 1 April 2018

Why Do We Find It Easier To Self-Deprecate Than Self-Cheerlead?



Dress* - Joanie Clothing (here| Shoes - Asos (here) | Bag - Fiorelli (here)

We're a generation of self-deprecators aren't we? I mean, according to spell check self-deprecator isn't even a word, but I'm pretty sure I could make it my job title and get promoted through the ranks fairly quickly. I'm certainly not the only one either; scroll through Instagram and you'll come across multiple self-deprecating captions because yes, we'll post numerous pictures of ourselves, but god forbid we actually think that they're nice or that we look at all good in any of them. That would just make us awfully big-headed, not at all relatable and just generally horrid human beings wouldn't it? According to ourselves, we keep posting photos to our Instagram grid that we categorically do not like, while simultaneously trying to grow our following by asking people to like what we don't. The thing is, I find self-deprecation funny, it presents my personality in its rawest form and I am far more likely to relate to someone who can also poke fun at themselves and accept that they, like everyone else, are not perfect. But the fact remains that I only really feel comfortable putting myself out there alongside a healthy dose of self-critical rhetoric.

I've established that we're all very good at self-deprecation, but what about self-cheerleading? What about the days when we're really feeling ourselves so we post a picture that we're digging and feel even more amazing when we receive comments agreeing that, yes, we look great today. Do we acknowledge this in the caption? Lol no, obviously not. We wouldn't want anyone to think we've got too big for our boots and we definitely wouldn't want anyone to disagree and rip us apart for having the audacity to compliment ourselves for once would we? And what about the nice comments we receive; are they gracefully acknowledged with a 'well thank you, yes I felt great today' or do we shy away from them, saying 'nooo you're too kind' or 'lol my hair is such a mess though...'? It's extremely rare that I see someone self-cheerleading, which is a shame because it's not something we should be afraid to do and in the long run I'm sure it would actually be very good for our self-esteem.





Self-deprecation goes way beyond blogging and Instagram, to the point where I don't seem to be able to accept a compliment in real life anymore. Stock responses include 'oh, this thing? It's really old', 'it was so cheap' and 'really? I haven't done anything to it'. I'd be shocked if you told me you haven't used at least one, if not all of those to dodge a compliment. Despite our supposed hatred of them though, we seem hell bent on showering compliments on other people because 'isn't it a shame that so-and-so doesn't realise her worth? She's always putting herself down.' Without really realising it, we're trying desperately hard to build each other up while simultaneously tearing ourselves down. Bunch of hypocrites aren't we?

The question is, do we genuinely always feel so bad that we have to constantly rip ourselves apart or are we just afraid of not coming across as relatable if we're the only person to admit that, actually, we feel pretty darn confident today? On my part at least, it's a bit of both. There are times when I'll post a picture and think 'wow, that's a really good photo of me', but instead of acknowledging my real feelings I'll actually amp up the self-deprecation an extra few degrees, almost to over-compensate. The more I like a picture, the more probable it is that I'll take a large confidence knock if someone else doesn't. Pretending I don't like it averts that risk.

So here I am, admitting that I am really feeling myself in these pictures. I felt confident when I was having them taken and I think that shows. I look at them and I don't hate what I see; in fact, I think I look pretty darn great. That's partly thanks to Ashton, who not only takes amazing photos, but who I feel completely at ease with. It's also thanks to this Joanie dress*, which makes me feel kind of like a glamorous 1940s pin up and which I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing A LOT in the coming months. But mostly, it's a reflection of how much my self-confidence has grown in the past couple of years and how that affects the way I look at myself. I think that's mainly down to blogging; constantly seeing and posting pictures of myself has forced me to accept what I look like from every angle and although I obviously have days where I feel rubbish about myself, they're much less frequent. Despite this though, I never self-cheerlead because it just feels so wrong; self-deprecation comes much more naturally to me as, it would appear, it does to many others.

So if you've got this far down the post, promise me something; if you post a picture that you feel really great in, celebrate it. Let's stop being so scared of bigging ourselves up and make the most of it when we do feel good.




Do you struggle to self-cheerlead?

Amy x

Photos: Ashton Gibbs
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16 comments

  1. I watched a programme recently explaining how over here in the West, we self-deprecate in a way that many can't relate to across other parts of the world. My sense of humour definitely fits into the self-deprecating bracket because... it's fun? haha. But I've learnt to become my own cheerleader in everyday life now. Such a good read as always, Amy!

    aglassofice.com x

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    1. Ooh that's interesting - I suppose it's our sarcastic humour! It definitely is fun, I'm glad you've learnt to self-cheerlead too though! xx

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  2. Such a beautiful dress Amy, you look great and I love the vintage vibes.
    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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    1. Thanks so much Gemma, that's what I love about it! x

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  3. You're so right about this. I'm always telling the people I'm surrounded by to stop being so self deprecating, but when it comes to me, it's almost like a reflex. We're taught to be modest and humble, but that doesn't mean we should put ourselves down or fail to recognise the things that we're good at. You look fab in these pictures by the way - all about those 40s vibes!

    //teandtwosugars.blogspot.com xx

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    1. There's definitely a difference between being modest and self-deprecating and I think we blur them too often! Thanks so much lovely xx

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  4. I totally think we need to start appreciating ourselves because we are worth it for sure.
    https://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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    1. I always think we should treat ourselves as we would a friend :0 xx

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  5. Totally agree with you! and you do look great! I love the dress and the pop of colour with the red shoes! We should learn to talk more positivity to ourselves in every suituation! - x

    Lavinya Royes - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Aw thank you! We should be so much kinder to ourselves! xx

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  6. Such a great post Amy!! I think this is so true and as women it seems we have to be this way for lest we be seen as big headed! I honestly do not know why though because at the same time we're being told to love ourselves just as we are?! So confusing!!
    You look bloody gorgeous in these photos Amy if i were you i'd be celebrating that too!!
    Xoxo

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    1. It is so confusing isn't it - so many mixed messages, but we just need to be kinder to ourselves! Thanks for reading Sarah :) xx

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  7. This is so true, so so true. Your post reminded me of a wonderful Dawn O'Porter article last year in Glamour, where she encouraged readers to "shout about me". It's true, it's almost taboo for us to say that... i think it may be self-preservation, almost? Not showing a face of confidence, in case we don't reach it.

    I've recently started posting more of my Harry Potter crochet creatures and posting them back on Etsy, after months of being defeated by the "mind muggles" and feeling they weren't good enough to sell... now, i am CELEBRATING my free elves! You've inspired me to keep going with it, thank-you <3

    Bumble and Be

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    1. Oh I love Dawn O'Porter so that's the best compliment! I think you're so right with that one. Aw I'm so glad you've taken the plunge to do that! xx

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  8. I think that people really are afraid of seeming confident, or don't want to seem like they think too highly of themselves...If you get what I mean. It made sense when I wrote that! I think that you look amazing here - your dress is gorgeous!

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    1. No I definitely get what you mean and totally agree! Thank you :) xx

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