Unapologetically You

"Tonight is about you, tonight is about the energy in this room that we bring together. Tonight London, I want you to be yourself - be your authentic and true self. Lose all your inhibitions, be your most unapologetic you and never listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. Let's dance the night away and take tonight's feeling everywhere you go."

This was the intro Dua Lipa gave at her concert a few weeks ago. It gave me chills, filled me with excitement and inspiration all in one go. She was essentially just encouraging the audience to go crazy, to be ourselves totally freely, singing and dancing without feeling restrained or self conscious - and I fully embraced her message. It was the most fun I had had in ages, and it was so amazing to share that feeling with my friends.

When the concert was over my voice was almost non-existent from all the singing and my body was aching after dancing so much. I don't know if any of you have had the feeling after a concert of just feeling so fulfilled and exhilarated; or like you're ready to take on the world on your own? That's how Dua's show made me feel.

A few days later I was reminiscing on the concert, looking through photos and videos I'd taken on the night, and came across a video of the intro again. I couldn't help wondering: was the reason I let go of my self consciousness that night was because there was permission, or would I have let loose and been myself regardless?

Dua is only 22 years old; I am 21. Despite how much I love her and her music, her success does make me a little jealous. She has an incredible career already established at this young age, and I think one of the reasons for  her huge success so early is her personality. She seems fearless and unafraid to speak her mind or make a bold statement. Her songs come from a place of personal experience and are relatable to so many people. She puts herself out there - just herself, no sugar coating - and this is what makes her standout.

Her confidence and presence are so strong it makes me wonder at what point she knew 'this is me'. I'm not sure I've had that moment yet and I sometimes lack confidence in who I am - however this might just be because I'm too concerned with what other people think of me. I find that I often subconsciously alter myself to suit the expectations of the people around me, maybe toning myself down so they don't think I'm strange - when in reality, all these tiny aspects of my character that I'll change or hide from people are actually parts of me.

They're parts of my identity and are what shapes me as a person. As long as people aren't seeing those traits, they aren't seeing the real me: so how can I expect to be fully confident in myself as a person?

Dua's show was so inspiring for me; to see someone so young living out their dream is amazing - especially someone I look up to so much; someone who isn't afraid to be themself. The introduction to her show has had a huge impact on me and is helping me to understand what's stopping me from becoming my complete self.

Taking inspiration from her show, I will start to become my most unapologetic me.

Holly Anastasia xx


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