MY PERSONAL STRUGGLE WITH INSECURITY

i’ve never felt so good after writing a post on my blog than this one. i don’t write in a diary, i keep most of my thoughts in my head, i feel very vulnerable sharing what’s below. i started this blog to be inspiration to girls, to be relatable. if this post speaks to you, even just one girl, i’ve done what i’ve set out to do since day one.


(photo by Moeez Tali)

not feeling good enough has been an issue with me since i was really little, and i find the older i get, the harder it becomes to deal with these things… being a woman, we’re naturally wired to be more sensitive, to have those extra insecurities, and feel every word sometimes deeper than they were intended. with the age of Instagram, young girls are now growing up, constantly comparing themselves to others – often left feeling that they simply are not good enough.

feeling like i am ‘not good enough’ has been a familiar place for me since i was little. backing it alllllll the way up to the beginning, i noticed my first emotion of insecurity around the age of 7 or 8. i was of course put into many sports as a kid until i found one that i eventually liked. i remember being on a soccer team. i never felt out of place, i never compared myself to the other girls until i saw our team photo. i stuck out like a sore thumb. i was the only brunette (shoutout to the south!), i was taller, and i was heavier than all the other girls. i didn’t know what it was at the time, but this was my first feeling of ‘hey, i’m kind of a loser.’

in middle school, i got my first taste of wanting to be ‘popular.’ i went to one of the best schools in Atlanta, surrounded by wealthy girls wearing head-to-toe Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. i was raised by a single mother and still to this day, i’m left in awe of what a down-right bad ass job my mom did at raising me. so good that i didn’t even realize there was something different about us… just her and i living in our apartment compared to my classmate that lived in a multi-million dollar home. i knew my A&F clothes weren’t always coming straight from the store (though she bought them whenever she could afford them), they were mostly consignment. yet, i never once thought it was because we couldn’t afford them. she did that, though. she dressed me in that bullshit just so i could fit in. my god, i tried so hard to fit in with them. another possy of long blonde hair 11-year-old’s that bullied me, laughed at me after a pity-sleepover, and got their ‘boyfriends’ to ask me out on fake dates (where TF did i think i was being taken out on a date at 11, anyways?!) i left that school for how mean they were to me. this all sounds very, very depressing and pity-party-esque, but it’s true i swear. anyways, we’ll come back to these girls later.

come high school, it was actually an OK time for me and my self-confidence. i still wasn’t the coolest, but i was learning how to apply Covergirl powder foundation, and that started to do wonders for me. i think this was the first time for me where i started to establish who i was, what was important to me, and what wasn’t. i was really into the whole ‘you don’t like me? well f*** you too then’ mentality. which was actually awesome. i look back on that now, and i want to run up to 15 year old me and hug her, because she’s pretty cool. i just didn’t care. i didn’t care i wasn’t the most popular, i didn’t care if a guy didn’t like me back, i just didn’t. i was set in this for a while and it was nice. my sophomore year, i started dating a college freshman i met my previous year at school. my parents would fly me to visit him in his town and it was the most exhilarating thing, until i established the god-awful habit of comparison. immediately, i started to clam up and i didn’t recognize that feeling until i was around girls 4-5 years older than me. i didn’t feel pretty anymore, my chevron blouse looked stupid next to the $400 boutique store they were wearing, and i never experienced feeling like i needed to be something i’m not to be liked. i wanted nothing more than to be liked by those girls and my boyfriend’s friends. i remember doing a whole closet re-vamp and saying the dumbest things just so they would think i was the least bit funny… that relationship didn’t last.

fast forward to now. 20 year old me. and my god, these things don’t get easier. i have really, really good days where i feel like i can do anything, accomplish anything, the world is my pearly oyster… while others, i go home and send myself in a spiral because i feel like i just don’t add up. 

there’s many aspects in my life that i feel insecure towards. i feel insecure in the fact that it’s really.damn.hard. to make friends in this city… do my parents think i’m a loser for staying in 95% of my friday nights? probably. i don’t feel good enough when i go out for any occasion with my boyfriend. he’s the type of guy who can talk to anyone, make them feel welcomed and laugh for days. me? i get socially awkward and end up just poking fun at myself as a defense mechanism until i scare everyone off. just kidding, not really though, that’s actually what i do. i go out with the same people i’ve been around for over a year, and i still struggle to keep a conversation going. social anxiety is something i struggle with every day. i get worried to go out in social settings because i immediately believe people will not like me. social anxiety is real, y’all, Elite Daily isn’t just screwing with us. (sadly)

i get really worked up over my work life. the big breaks are very (very, very, very, very) few and far between in this industry. there’s so many girls competing for the same spot… it’s a f****** jungle out here. anyways, when the big breaks aren’t happening, it’s the easiest thing in the world to get insecure, compare myself then start wondering why i wasn’t good enough to be a part of the same campaign. i send pitch email after pitch email (at least 15) a day to different brands and companies… only a good 10% of those emails are successful. the others, go in a deep-dark black hole never to be addressed or there’s a ‘thanks, but uh, no thanks.’ only to discover that a girl, just like me, with the same amount of followers, is working with that company. naturally, i then question myself. what about me is not good enough? am i not skinny enough? not pretty enough? what part of the content i spend 20+ hours a week working on just isn’t good enough for you? the industry can be cruel and people can be mean. i’ve literally been laughed to my face for approaching a group of girls with more followers than me during my first fashion week. yet, i just wanted to tell one them that they were a huge inspiration in starting my blog. if that doesn’t scream bullshit, i don’t know what does. and to be frank, it hurt my feelings. i went home and cried that night because they made me feel so stupid. with social anxiety, things like that don’t get forgotten, like, ever – they actually make approaching people in the future way, way worse. moral of this paragraph: being a bitch is harder than just saying ‘thank you.’ use your manners, they will get you far. and if you don’t, i promise karma is real.

being so young and virtually growing up with social media… every time i scroll, i compare, i scroll, i compare. and the craziest part about it? it’s my job. it’s my job to sit on Instagram for hours and scout out ‘inspo’, it’s my job to find gorgeous girls for a campaign we’re running at work, it’s my job to compare. if i don’t compare myself to someone doing better, i can’t grow my own brand. my job is to literally see what the girl next to me is doing, and do it better. sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? it is.

being a ‘blogger’ is so great 98% of the time. there are genuine, great people i’ve met in this industry that make it worth-while. i work with brands i’ve loved since i was 15. i find out something new about myself and my work ethic everyday. i constantly feel pushed to be the better version of me than i was yesterday, and it’s inspiring as hell. however, that’s not to say it’s easy. i read an article from NY Mag other day, and the quote “No matter how hard you try, someone else out there is taking the same raw ingredients and making a better life out of them. And the curated version of you that lives online also feels hopelessly polished and inaccurate — and you feel, somehow, that you alone are the inauthentic one.” really resonated with me. i feel partly to blame for girls feeling this way across the board, because i am a part of this problem. i only share what are the best moments in my life. my best angle. my newest piece of clothing. you don’t see what’s behind what i share. the tiny apartment i live in, the hours of shooting and editing we put into one post (my boyfriend is the real MVP), and closet stacked of shit i scored for over 50% off. it’s not real. i’ll be the first one to tell you.

insecurity, measuring myself up to the girl next to me, and not feeling good enough is a cycle i go through every single day. i try to find ways to practice self-love more than picking apart everything wrong with me. i tell myself that everything will come full circle. remember those girls from middle school? most of them read my blog and follow me on Instagram. (s/o for the liiiikessss) girls that bullied me in high school ask me how to do their eyeliner. boys that never wanted anything to do with me asked me out on dates years later. people change, they grow up. when i get hurt, i remind myself that people are not inheritely bad, they just go through bad times. i keep myself surrounded by good people that help me succeed. my boyfriend, my mom, my co-workers… i owe it all to them. i cut negative people out of my life. i try to work-out whenever i can. it’s a natural endorphin releaser, therefore, i’m always feeeelin’ myself after a good gym sesh. and lastly, i remember to tell myself that hey, i’m doing okay. i look back on myself when starting high school, i didn’t give myself the credit i deserve. i’m trying to learn to congratulate myself. to relish in every achievement – big or small. to do good work, be kind to others, and make today better than the last. i work hard. i work 8 hour days at my nine-to-five then i come home and devote at least an extra 2 or 3 hours a day to my blog. i try to balance a healthy lifestyle, social life, and relationship on top of that. it’s not easy, but i try to enjoy everyday. and i eat the extra donut because i deserve it.

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13 Comments

  1. March 12, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Loved this post! It is hard not to compare yourself to others but it seems like you’ve got it under control with the self-reflection. You’re doing more than okay and you do deserve that extra donut x
    ps. team tiny apartment & sale wardrobe 🙂

  2. Jessica K
    March 12, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    I love this post. You have certainly done your job of being a relatable, real person with struggles that aren’t covered up by “aesthetically pleasing” content. Not that your content isn’t amazing – because it is. But it takes courage to write about your insecurities! And it adds depth to your blog and how you are perceived by your readers. I applaud you for not just hiding behind a facade like some fashion bloggers tend to do! much love.

  3. Bela
    March 13, 2017 / 5:35 am

    Amazing! This blog post needed to be written! Kudos to keeping it real ! Thank you for this this 🙂

  4. Daryle Geyer
    March 13, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Tori, that was well said and typical of what a lot of kids go through. But you have so much insight into what life and friendships are all about and way more than most people have. You have nothing to be insecure about as you have achieved so much on your own and you are drop dead gorgeous to boot! Just keep on keeping on as you can achieve anything you want in life. We all love you!

    Aunt Daryle 🤗

  5. March 13, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I love this post. =) This is something every girl should read. I struggled with bulimia in upper middle school through high school.
    xxxx
    http://www.abulouslife.com

  6. March 14, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    I loved stumbling upon and reading this post and I just want to say how much I appreciate seeing posts like this on blogs. I know it’s not easy opening up about insecurities and struggles to the whole wide world, but this is the other aspect of using social media and the Internet to relate and bring together people. Social media is very much a highlights real, and while you can choose to share those aspects of your life, I commend you for sharing the opposite spectrum as well to keep it real.

    As a girl in my 20’s living in NYC as well, I know #thestruggleisreal when it comes to finding and making friends so I just wanted to extend an invite if you ever want to meet up to talk about life, blogging, or even if you ever need a guest photographer for your blog 🙂

    Feel free to stop by!
    http://tiffanychen.design/blog.html

  7. March 15, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    This is an amazing post! Such an honest and beautiful write up!

    🙂

  8. Hanna F
    March 16, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    Great post!! I do REALLY identify myself to what you wrote in this post and I currently trying to overcome all these insecureties that I got myself. Great to hear that others also got these problems 😀

  9. Shira
    March 17, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    I really relate to feeling constantly insecure and not good enough although people would be surprised to know that. The blogging world doesn’t help things either and I struggle constantly with comparison and feeling absolutely defeated and discouraged. I just wanted to say I get it and I’m glad you wrote this! Xx

    http://asequinloveaffair.com

  10. March 19, 2017 / 7:35 am

    Good article ! I’m always intrigue by these types of articles because i’m feel so insecure with myself since a long time. I’m also a blogger, a tiny one, and sometimes I don’t understand why I don’t have more followers or feed back about me work, i’m so bad, a loser ? I create my blog to try to feel better, win confidence, sometimes it works and sometimes it’s worst… especially because I’m always compare myself with others.
    It’s so hard to live with that … maybe one day !

    xOxo
    Manon B

  11. Louise
    March 19, 2017 / 11:21 am

    amazing that you are so honest when SO many girls/bloggers/people in general will do everything to hide their vulnerable sides – myself often included, at least to the “public” . thank you for publishing this!! you are awesome

  12. Amanda M.
    March 21, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    Love love love. Thank you for being so authentic! It matters.

  13. Nikki R Mercy
    June 12, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    You are beyond precious! I met your mom yesterday and you are right- she IS a rock star and that clearly was passed on to you. Your honesty and authenticity is beautiful and admired. Keep trudging along, life is crazy and it’s a roller-coaster of adventures- enjoy the ride! Social Media is a trip, isn’t it? It seems that there is so much weight on these images that for the most part are an illusion for marketing purposes. You know what though? Someones gotta do it and you are doing an amazing job at it. If and when I ever have a daughter- I’d love for her to have the qualities you encompass. Way to go!

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