My name is Laine Esperanzate, I am 17 and a creative laid-back free spirit. Having a history of low self-esteem, trust issues and identity issues led me into episodes of depression, constant panic attacks, self-harm and suicide attempts. But looking back, I've realised that mental health isn't a burden.
The world is an unforgiving place and so many of us are faced with challenges on a daily basis that test our self-esteem. Someone might make an offhand comment about a fat person, an eating disorder, the clothes that someone has chosen to wear, comments to their children about body size - all of which could contribute to an already body image obsessed society.
Women have shed some of the shackles of inequality, only to be bound my new ones of image obsession. Yet the investment is disproportionately high compared to their interests and desires. They claim that their confidence drops by 80% on reading a magazine and 60% feel that glam selfies make them feel bag.
Confidence is something that is much harder to see - at first anyway. It's nestled inside us, and even when it's hibernating and seemingly nowhere to be seen: it's there. The trick is nudging it awake and allowing it to be the driving force that gets us to do the things we want to do but feel a little (or a lot) afraid to do.
Starting to trust our children is the very foundation of a well-connected relationship. Children (and, indeed us adults too) learn by trying. They give it a go. They might fail, they might succeed. It doesn't matter, as long as we provide a bit of a safety net in the background so that they won't ever get seriously hurt.
The problem is, when we start telling ourselves we're totally rad, we tend to stop moving forward and we stop improving as people. We start to blame other people when things go wrong. We blame our employer, the system or the world because "I'm doing everything right so it must be someone else's fault".
You can still beautiful and feminine when wearing a glamorous ball gown or go for pinks and like Hello Kitty, have a soft and sensitive character just as much if you also have red dreads, an undercut, tattoos and piercings. As long as you do what makes you feel beautiful and is representative of your true, authentic self then remain unapologetic of your beauty. Do what makes you feel beautiful in yourself, for yourself.