When thinking about this month’s editorial theme, one of the things that struck me was that the most charming people I know are unapologetically themselves. They wear what makes them unique on their sleeves and use those personality quirks as ways to connect with those around them. But in an age where it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to make every part of your life look picture-perfect, how do you learn to embrace your quirks?
To find out, I turned to Liv Purvis, a London-based fashion and lifestyle blogger who founded The Insecure Girls’ Club to help women do just that.
The Insecure Girls’ Club’s newly-launched website and confidence-boosting Instagram feed are a great place to dive deep into conversations around embracing yourself and believing you’re enough, just the way you are. Here, Liz breaks down why turning to the women in your life is key to embracing yourself, how to combat negative self-talk and celebrate every part of who you are.
Why did you start The Insecure Girls’ Club?
The Insecure Girls’ Club started largely after I kept sharing endless conversations with friends around so many of the topics we now discuss on the page. We’d talk about wobbles at work, friendship situations, comparison online — and yet so little of it was ever being to conversations extended on the internet. I didn’t really have any expectation of what the page could grow to, but after setting up the Instagram soon learned that there was a real space for women who wanted to be open and connect with other women experiencing similar things.
You often feature stories from The Insecure Girls’ Club community – do you see any common themes crop up around being yourself and embracing your quirks?
Definitely! I think it’s something that we all struggle with in one way or another, and there’s definitely been threads of self-acceptance cropping up — from external appearance based acceptances to personality traits and more emotion based stories. I think it all comes with a confidence that we sometimes struggle to nurture, but it’s so inspiring and uplifting to speak to women who are happy to share those vulnerabilities and how they’ve overcome them too.
Why do you feel like women have such a hard time embracing themselves as they are?
I think both on and offline, women are faced with so many endless conflicting messages about everything from confidence to appearance that sometimes it can feel like embracing yourself, warts and all, can be nigh on impossible. We’re almost suffocated with images of the ‘accepted body norms’ and the media talking about how women ‘should’ look, and ways to ‘improve’ themselves, that being comfortable in your skin and saying ‘actually, I think I’m okay as I am’ goes against everything society forces upon us. It’s such a powerful thing to say, ‘Hey, I don’t need fillers/waxing/this treatment to be beautiful.’ So many beauty standards have been set that sometimes it’s hard to step away from them and accept that actually beauty has many facets and forms, and doesn’t look any one way — despite what we’re told.
What are your top tips for dealing with negative self-talk or imposter syndrome?
I think one thing that always reassures me is knowing that everyone experiences it in some way of another. I’ve been in meetings where other women have also admitted they feel out of their depth, so accepting that you’re where you are because someone has faith and belief in you, and not because you’re a fraud always reassures me.
How do you fight the urge to compare yourself online?
This is SO hard, but I try and make sure that the people I’m following are people that inspire me and spark something positive, opposed to comparison or envy. I think this is tricky, because comparison will always creep up in some way — but knowing when I need to step away from a scroll, or take a moment and appreciate everything I have going on always gets me back in check.
How can we help those around us embrace their quirks and what makes them unique?
I think focusing on your language when complimenting and praising others is so important with things like this. Know that compliments don’t have to be appearance based, but sometimes the most meaningful ones come from somewhere a little deeper, and can really lift and help people accept the things that make them so special. Being told you’re funny, caring, creative or inspiring can really make someone appreciate themselves beyond the surface level, which I think is so important, and can be a real boost.
What are three quirky things you love about yourself?
Ooh god this is hard! Probably my knack for remembering lyrics, doing accents (lol) and creating a cracking playlist on demand!