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The Difficulty Of Self Love: Confidence carries strength, vanity interrupts growth

Opinion+editor+River+Ball+explores+the+mental+battle+between+confidence+and+vanity.+
Will Atchity
Opinion editor River Ball explores the mental battle between confidence and vanity.

As Demi Lovato once asked, “What’s wrong with being confident?” Not only is this an empowering pop song, it is also one of the best examples of someone confident enough to tackle the lack of self-love in society.
Out of the 128 students surveyed, 64.4% reported that their level of confidence sits at a seven or higher. These numbers could be influenced by a number of factors but the main theme still exists: people remain afraid to be confident.
In a world surrounded by filters, popularity and competition, there is rarely an opportunity to live up to the standard of being perfect. For some individuals, perfection can be something to strive for and for others, it can be a disgusting concept that festers negativity.
Society demands perfection. How can we achieve it? What unrealistic expectations can we meet? None – that’s how many. To develop a sense of beauty, individuals resort to confidence to build themselves up.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” Confidence is an outlet to realize that who you are is who you are meant to be. Do you want to express yourself? Be confident. Do you want to get the grade? Be confident. Do you want to live for today? Be confident. It is not always this simple, and this type of confidence is often misinterpreted as bad. Confidence makes you stand out but with being yourself, there comes judgment.
To not be judged by society, you have to do nothing, say nothing and be nothing. Beauty must not be flaunted, smarts must not be shown and gifts must not overshadow others.
This ideology holds no actual weight in the grand scheme of life. Pride in one’s accomplishments doesn’t equivocate to selfishness. It’s only when that pride becomes a weapon against others that it is vain.
Oxford Dictionary defines vanity as “excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.” Vanity is the result of a confident individual praying on the insecurities of others.
Confidence is a one-way street, unlike vanity. Internal struggles can create a more superficial human being. Confidence is influenced by a person’s own self-love and their love of others; it is the appreciation of “abilities or qualities” while vanity is pride in “appearance or achievements.”
Yes, confidence can include a person’s physical attractiveness, but confident individuals are ones who take pride in their internal gifts. The definition of vanity holds a negative connotation, while confidence is more grounding and less materialistic.
Vanity has the tendency to fall under the belief that every single thing someone else does is a jab at one’s character or a form of praise. This is where confidence really differentiates from excessive pride.
A confident person will not interpret praise as a backhanded compliment. The core of confidence is believing that you’re a good person and not allowing others to deter that notion. It is more of an internal ambition when it comes to confidence.
Imagine a confident person as a brick wall. Thick, strong bricks glued together are difficult to break down. A conceited person is like simple siding. Sure, it looks beautiful on the outside but even the smallest bit of dismissive commentary can cause the siding to fall off. It still looks good, but specific words reveal the ugliness underneath.
It is a constant battle between the ideals of perfection and confidence. Does being vain lead to perfection or does it create an even larger problem? Confidence is a clear indication of an individual’s character and shows how strong, powerful and beautiful they truly are. Before society jumps to the conclusion that self-love is vanity, it should question if confidence threatens them or makes them feel imperfect.
To experience a more fulfilling life as a species, we must find inner confidence before we present our authentic selves to the vanity of the world. Together, as a society and a school, we can make those levels of confidence soar.

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Will Atchity, Staff Writer

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