Few years back, I read a tweet about how it takes real confidence to go anywhere without makeup, I totally believe I am a very confident lady, but I would hardly go out without makeup. So I decided to challenge myself to 3 months of no makeup, not even powder. Is my level of self-esteem all up in my head if I hardly go out without make-up, I began to wonder?
This might seem easy right? But I absolutely loved make-up (I wore makeup all the time. Light or medium makeup, I would hardly go out without having makeup on), I still love makeup, but I have come to learn it should be worn within the confines of the house after reading an article on the Islamic perspective of makeup Alhamdullilah .
As at that time when people ask if I was making up to look more attractive to men, I would reply saying absolutely not! I makeup because I like it and love how I could give myself different looks. This might seem really simple but our level of self-esteem, self-love, and confidence shows from how we dress, interact with people, see others, view ourselves etc.
At first it wasn’t easy, I had no problem going without makeup to work, market etc. but it was difficult attending social gatherings (the horror of attending a wedding with your friends all made up and you looking like a plain Jane) that was my thought process then, I was wrong, that’s not how a Muslimah should think, however that was part of my struggles. At the end of the third month, my confidence grew, I was literally over makeup, it was like purging it out of my system and I learnt to accept myself natural and all.
Level of self-love also manifest itself in how much we need other people’s validation. I.e. My friends will laugh at me, or call me a very serious person, if I start to use the hijab. What will people say! Some think it’s ugly etc. If you love yourself, you wouldn’t bother so much about getting other peoples validation, giving into peer pressure, committing sins just to feel accepted and loved, feeling intimidated, worthless, ugly, because you know it doesn’t matter, and would learn to stay off knowing fully well what matters the most is pleasing Allah (SWT).
Having confidence to say no and enough when being abused or bullied.
Lack of self-love could lead to low self-esteem and totally drive the Muslim over the edge and into the fire of hell.
Self-love is different from narcissism
Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes.
Narcissistic individuals generally believe that the world revolves around them. This condition is characterized by a lack of ability to empathize with others and a desire to keep the focus on themselves at all times. Involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, demanding, and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. Narcissism involves cockiness, manipulativeness, selfishness, power motives, and vanity.
Narcissists tend to have high self-esteem. However, narcissism is not the same thing as self-esteem; people who have high self-esteem are often humble, whereas narcissists rarely are. It was once thought that narcissists have high self-esteem on the surface, but deep down they are insecure. However, the latest evidence indicates that narcissists are actually secure or grandiose at both levels. Onlookers may infer that insecurity is there because narcissists tend to be defensive when their self-esteem is threatened (e.g., being ridiculed); narcissists can be aggressive.
Love yourself but be conscious of being a narcissist, remember virtue is selfless.
Have confidence but be weary of arrogance