If there's one thing the world could use a lot more of, it's women inspiring other women to not be so critical and hard on themselves. Insecurity—especially the sort that stems from concern about physical appearance—is an experience that's rampant among the female community. Overcoming such insecurity can be an incredible challenge for many of us, and it's something that's especially tough to achieve without the guidance and inspiration of others.
To that end, the editors over at The Cut put together an awesome list of 30 iconic women talking about how they personally overcame their insecurities. Everyone from Barbra Streisand to Tina Fey sounds off on the topic, and the wisom nuggets they share stand to benefit men and women alike struggling with insecurity.
Keep scrolling to read our favorite sampling of inspiring quotes from women, then head to The Cut to read the rest!
"As a young girl, I was much more preoccupied by my flaws. Everyone teased me because of my long, skinny neck. To hide my so-called deformity, I was wearing a turtleneck when I was three! Yet my neck is probably my best asset. At the end of the day, what counts is the entire package."
O, The Oprah Magazine, 2000
"The boys in my school would make fun of me. 'Hairy monster.' You know, things like that... And then, going to high school, I saw how popular girls had to behave to get the boys. I knew I couldn’t fit into that. So I decided I would do the opposite. I refused to wear makeup, [or] to have a hairstyle. I refused to shave. I had hairy armpits… Straight men did not find me attractive. I think they were scared of me because I was different."
Harper's Bazaar, 2011
“I didn't do what people said: ‘Change your name, cap your teeth, change your clothes, cut your nose down.’ My nose was part of my heritage, and if I had talent to sing and to act, why wasn't that enough?”
"I've accepted my body shape more as I've got older. I went through a stage of wanting to have that straight-up-and-down model look, but I have curves and hips, and in the end you have to accept yourself as you are. My weight has fluctuated between a size 6 and a 10. When you're growing, your body is still figuring itself out and it takes a while to settle down. I keep telling myself that I'm a human being, an imperfect human being who's not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure."
Glamour U.K., 2012
“My sisters have always been these gorgeous glamazons, and I’m, like, this tall skinny stick in the family. And I still am the tall girl, even on the runways. Every time I see Karl Lagerfeld, he’s always, like, ‘Karlie, have you stopped growing yet? Are you taller?’ [Laughs.] It used to be something that I really disliked about myself, being tall and lanky, but it turned out to be the greatest asset I have—how uniquely weird I am.”
W Magazine, 2012
“I was a mostly happy child, though I had a pretty rough puberty. Growing up as a girl is always traumatizing, especially when you have the deadly combination of greasy skin and getting your boobs at 10. But I think it’s good to grow up that way. It builds character… Somewhere around the fifth or seventh grade I figured out that I could ingratiate myself to people by making them laugh. Essentially, I was just trying to make them like me. But after a while it became part of my identity.”
The Believer, 2003
"Society paints this picture where you have to have the longest hair and the thinnest body and you can't help but want to be that beautiful person you see on that picture. But then you have to start asking yourself the question: Is that realistic for you? I began to ask myself those questions: Who am I working out for? Who am I looking good for? When I look in the mirror who do I want to please? Do I want to please people or do I want to please Mary first? So I began to want to please myself first. I can't please everybody. I can't be the slimmest girl. Be the best you that you can be."
The Tyra Banks Show
“I have cellulite. So what! I’ve never claimed to be perfect. It’s crazy anyone should assume that just because you’re in the spotlight, you’re flawless… Sometimes I pig out and I still feel great, and think, ‘That was so worth it!’ That’s how I feel a lot of the time. I think, ‘See this little dimple of cellulite here? It was so worth it for that cookies ’n’ cream ice cream!’ If I was stuck on a diet my whole life, I would be really miserable. I love to eat.”
Cosmopolitan U.K., 2012
"Maybe [it’s] because I have professional confidence that comes from my business, but calling me chubby cannot hurt me in the way it does so many, many girls, millions of women... When I was younger, I already went through that. I know it's much harder to do the things I've done than it is to lose weight and be thin. Also, when you've seen Instagram comments like, 'You're so ugly, you should kill yourself,' it's like, I went to college. How could I be offended by someone who talks about what you look like? I wouldn't even deem you a person I'd speak to. I don't know if I'd have felt this way when I was 22. But I feel this way at 34."
The Guardian, 2014
“Insecurity is not an option. It just isn’t. I remember when I was a late teenager and I had a boyfriend who cheated on me. I remember feeling so bad about myself and I felt shame. I asked myself why I wasn’t good enough and I thought the other girl must’ve been so great. And then I thought, ‘What if I decided to never think this way again?' What if I decided that I’m just what I am and realized that someday I would meet someone and I would be enough for him? What if I didn’t try to warp myself into this phantom standard that I didn’t even know? Instead of being insecure and jealous and suspicious and wondering if every guy is going to cheat on me again, I decided to say, ‘Nope. This will be totally enough for somebody one day.’ That was a real script flip and it changed the rest of my life in such a positive way.”
How do YOU deal with your insecurities? Tell us your story in the comments below!