A variation of this is “I wish I had your confidence!” And I’m going to talk about both of these, but first I’m going to answer the title question.
How am I so confident?
I have a tendency to walk through life with the attitude of “The Universe has questionably allowed me to exist another day and I’m going to make it everyone else’s problem.” My confidence comes from a place of pure spite. My continued existence comes from the same source. Spite gets things done.
Do I always feel confident? No. I have un-confident days brought on by hormones or mental illness or just the poison of a hateful society seeping under my thick skin. Am I confident about everything I do? Absolutely the fuck not. I am a self-doubter through and through. I manage to get by with a generous helping of ego and a little bit of faking it. And spite. So much spite.
The interesting thing about the question “How are you so confident?” or the statement, “I wish I had your confidence,” is how often they’re directed at people like me. And by that I mean fat women.
The style I rock at work tends to include patterned pants. Tropical flowers, jungle animals, black and white window pane, shiny blue mermaid scales, black and white gingham, pink cheetah print, teal plaid, black and white ditzy print. I once had a patron tell me “I wish I had your confidence” so she could wear pants like that, but she was too fat to do it. She said this, with a straight face, to my 255 pound ass. I probably would have popped off if she’d be a thin woman saying this to me, but she was definitely plus size, so instead I was just disappointed. Because the default of society is that fat women are not supposed to be confident at all. We are supposed to fade into the background until we correct ourselves enough so we are worthy of public gaze.
Confidence is generally not something granted to women anyway, but when it is, it tends to be reserved for the women who fit the narrow beauty standards of a thin-obsessed, youth-obsessed society. If any woman outside of those constraints dares to be confident then it’s considered either a miracle or an affront. In fact, “I wish I had your confidence!” has a back-handed feel when it comes out of certain mouths.
Because as I said, confidence is thought to be granted from an outside source. Of course we all know that confidence comes from within and being comfortable in your skin, whatever skin that is (best be your own, though; let’s not Buffalo Bill this), but we also all know that society has the final say of whether or not you’re allowed to be confident. That unmerciful bastard is unrelenting. The constant messages of perceived inadequacies designed to sell you the solutions to flaws that change based on what’s trendy today leaves no one untouched.
Confidence, particularly the confidence of a fat woman, is an act of rebellion.
To be confident in a body deemed undesirable is a slap in the face to a society pushing that ideal and a thumb in the eye to the industries trying to capitalize on that. That kind of defiance stings. And that confidence often gets branded in other less flattering ways. Lazy. Attention-whore. Giving up. Aggressive. Letting yourself go. Pushy. Should you be wearing that?
Don’t be like her. She’s a bad example.
Or worse. That confidence she has is unattainable. It’s a rare thing. Only a very limited number of fat women are allowed to have this confidence and they’re usually plus sized models, or women who’ve aged out and have no fucks left to give. This confidence is not for everyone. It’s not for you.
But it is.
Anyone can be confident. Anyone.
Do it out of spite.