By: Tess Stevens
As a 22 year old woman I've had my fair share of confidence issues. Standing at 5 foot 4, with a body I've constantly been working on has always been hard.I'm a musician and an actress too. The entertainment industry is a constant whirlwind of negative body image, and compromises for cash. Art is what I've always loved, music, writing down the things you care about. The rest gets in the way and becomes bigger than most people's art or passion. That can be hard.
I've spent most of my life as a woman in a man's field. Being in a rock band is a boy's club, and for certain women like Joan Jett, Hayley Williams and others they had to overcome a lot, break the mold.
I spent most of my time backstage being asked if I was a groupie or not, but when they saw me on stage with my guitar things changed.
A lot of writers are men too, with male perspectives. I am not.
For most young women standing on the apex of college and beyond, we've got success on the mind and self-doubt on the brain.
That pretty much goes for any human being, really. So when the story broke of Olympian and TV personality Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce) coming out as a transgender individual, it was obvious that you never know the struggles people endure on the inside.
Glowing on the cover of Vanity Fair as the person she always has been, Caitlyn Jenner shows the world what true bravery looks like.
Imagine waking up tomorrow as the opposite sex. All of your intentions are the same, your interests, your way of life and who you are. Caitlyn Jenner lived that way her whole life.
In recent interviews she's attested to the fact that she felt as if she was lying to herself, to her family. She regretted living a life that wasn't hers.
Now it's different. Now she's free.
We all find ways to trap ourselves, whether it's with selling ourselves short, or being someone we're not. Society traps us. Pressure traps us. We have to have courage to be ourselves, we should be more like Caitlyn Jenner.
Jenner told Vanity Fair this revealing statement, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.”
While her experience is unique to her, we can't help but identify with this. We all have things we leave unresolved, but in order to truly be confident, free and in control of our lives we must help ourselves. We must be brave like Caitlyn Jenner because life is a constant work in progress and we must never stop working. We must never stop learning and accepting those around us, then we will be able to accept ourselves.
To learn more about Caitlyn and others like her please visit: Gladd.org/transgender