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Why Body Confidence Is Complicated, No Matter Your Size

On her blog, Plus Size Princess, CeCe Olisa has detailed everything from what it's like to be the only big black girl in a yoga class (fine, thanks!), to her adventures in plus-size dating in the Big Apple. Now, the New York City transplant is lending her poignant, often-hilarious voice to R29.
ConfidenceComplicated_slidePhoto: Courtesy of Cece Olisa.
Yesterday, I went swimming at the gym. I was a few minutes early for my pool reservation, so I had to wait before I could jump in the water.
“Have a seat,” the lifeguard said with a smile.
I was sitting down, lost in thought, when the hottest guy of all time walked in from the men’s locker room. He was tall, had a great body, and the perfect amount of facial scruff. The minute he walked through the doors, I subconsciously reached over, grabbed my towel, and hugged it around the front of my body so that it covered my stomach.
It'a crazy how I can feel totally confident, until I’m not. And, "confident” is a word that people use to describe me all the time. When someone notices — and then announces — my confidence, it always sounds so final, and so unwaveringly true. But, I think it's important to say that my confidence isn’t as resolute as I’d like it to be.
Sure, I know that my confidence levels have generally increased in the past few years. I used to blog anonymously, and now I regularly post pictures on my Instagram account, and make videos, Internet commenters be damned. But, like most women, my confidence journey hasn’t been a straight line, but rather, a maze of decisions and emotions that I sometimes trip through backwards, with a blindfold on.
I’ve seen external things make me feel confident, like boyfriends, or career success, but I found that those things weren’t good foundations — because once they went away, they took my self-assurance with them. So, when it comes to feeling truly good about myself, I lay the foundation with the things that no one can take from me with a sharp insult alone: my capacity for loving others, my strong friendships, my weird talents.
I’m in the process of building confidence from the inside out, and I'm finding it's more than cute clothes — or even feeling good about how I look in those clothes. Instead, it's about working on being happy with who I am no matter where I work, who I’m dating, or what I look like.
I think of confidence as something that I work toward every day, starting with a blank slate of positive thinking. And, it's always complicated — whether you're plus-sized or not.
You can read more of my Confidence Is Complicated series here.
NEXT: CeCe's Confidence Journey Began Here