Now add honey – and a spoon full of confidence

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty, Life 135 Comments

Sponsored by Olympus Imaging Australia

Today I’m getting all fancied up for a Melbourne Cup lunch.

There will be an outfit photo posted and, yes, it will be very much removed from my work-from-home, minimal makeup everyday style.

The professional hair and makeup will happen. I’ll be spray tanned. And I’ll be frocked up. Superficial things, yes, but things that make ME feel more confident.

It’s a funny thing this selfie outfit photo-taking business.

{Yes, I’m still very much in love with and cannot be separated from my Olympus PEN E-PL7 – aka the “selfie camera” I wrote about here. It seriously helps me to get better photos – either taken by my 10-year-old son just before we leave on the school run or using a tripod and the Olympus smartphone app and timer}

One of the bonuses of taking my outfit photo every day for almost two years for #everydaystyle is the habit of this process.

#everydaystyle outfit selfies help create confidence and acceptance

The daily habit has contributed to a greater sense of confidence AND a healthy dose of accepting the imperfectly perfect.

I’m a woman, after all, and confidence seems to be something we collectively put out of reach. It sits there on a seemingly inaccessible, rocky ledge within our own minds.

We can SEE the potential of that confidence but most of us struggle to reach it and embrace it on a daily basis.

We fear being judged and potentially falling off that rocky ledge.

I think acceptance of who we are and what we look like also holds so many of us back – I know it did me.

The irony is not lost on me that this acceptance often comes at an older age when your body and appearance changes.

I wish I could tell my 16-year-old self that she may not have had the body of a dancer but she was not the dugong she pictured herself as or her boyfriend *joked* she was.

Hand-in-hand with acceptance for who we are is a realisation that acceptance doesn’t mean we necessarily need to stop giving a toss about how we present ourselves to the world.

I actually advocate the opposite daily here on the blog.

To me, taking time to consider what I wear each day; to pop on a lip colour; to keep up regular hair cut and colour appointments and to commit to semi-regular facials is part of me giving a toss about myself.

It goes hand-in-hand with making it to yoga a couple of times of week, choosing foods that work for my body and working a job that I love.

Each woman’s level of giving a toss will be different from the next one.

And that’s VERY OK.

We shouldn’t judge other women based on our own giving-a-toss levels.

In fact we shouldn’t judge other women at all.

Now Add Honey

This non-judgemental attitude and accepting the perfection in imperfection is why I can’t wait to see the new Australia movie release, Now Add Honey (in cinemas from this Thursday).

{Olympus cameras are featured throughout the movie.}

Now Add Honey

Now Add Honey comes from the producers of Upper Middle Bogan and stars Robyn Butler, Lucy Fry, Hamish Blake and Portia de Rossi, so I know I’m already in for a hilarious ride.

Check out the trailer.

What this movie does is dish out a dose of laugh-out-loud humour while tackling issues such as self-esteem, empowerment, emotional wellbeing, surviving dysfunctional families, (not) ageing, and embracing the perfectly imperfect. 

I’m thinking girls’ movie night for this one and it’s most definitely one I’d like my almost 19-year-old daughter to see.

I hope I’ve been a positive role model to my daughter when it comes to self-esteem and acceptance.

I know the latter comes with age but in many, many ways she seems to have it more together than I ever did at her age. (She may disagree!)

She’s smart, kind and has great empathy for others.

She knows what she wants to achieve in life and she’s going for it.

She knows her way around a makeup kit but she also knows that it’s not necessary to put a face on every day.

She likes to frock up but also loves nothing more than hanging out in her college jersey and a pair of jeans.

So, maybe that’s the secret of greater confidence.

Maybe it’s about being true to who you are and honouring that person right now – and tomorrow – and next year and in 10, 20, 30 years time.

Oh, and making sure you get plenty of laughs along the way.


Olympus and I have 25 double in-season passes to Now Add Honey to give away to Styling You readers.

Entering is easy. Simply answer this question in the comments below:

What do you wish you go back and tell your 16-year-old self?

Entries open Tuesday, November 3 at 4.30am (AEST) and close Tuesday, November 10 at 5pm (AEST). Australian entries only, sorry. The winner will be judged on originality and creativity (photos can be included and uploaded with the comment). The winner will be emailed and their name will be published here. Entrants must include an email address when the filling in the commenting system below to be eligible to enter. Full terms and conditions here

Comments 135

  1. You are just as good as everyone else. Go and speak to a psychologist. Don’t let other people take away the wonderful life you deserve.

  2. Dare to believe that you can achieve whatever you want to. Dream big as you discover who you are, not who others say you are.

  3. Never be guided by those who tell you what you CAN’T do, just do it and be the first if you need, but don’t let others drag you down

  4. You may think you’re a bit kooky but actually you’re just unique and completely on-track for success. Keep going, have confidence!

  5. You are on a journey, which means things will change. Even important things will change, sometimes shockingly. But it is a nevertheless a good journey, and it’s worth every step.

  6. You WILL get boobs…great boobs in fact! Just be patient…you just aren’t developing as quickly as some of your well-endowed classmates!

  7. Although your heart is as delicate as a Peony,
    You must blossom in deserts of Marigolds,
    Whether wind or rain should blow you from your perch,
    Share your nectar through a fields of thorns,
    And know that with nourishment, love and great friends,
    Your life will be filled with momentous memories,

    To the heights of Mount Olympus you will soar,
    Shine a mythical afterglow that reflects your soul.

  8. Don’t be in a hurry to settle for a bad relationship you can do better you are a strong woman and travel the world live enjoy everyday

  9. You are not fat. You are not ugly. You are not stupid. You are not useless. You are good and kind and smart and worthy. You need to eat more and worry less. Life has ups and downs, good and bad times. Every single person is struggling with something. Choose positivity over fear. And convince your parents to buy Apple stock.

  10. Don’t wish yourself to be older so you can make your own decisions because before you know it, you are older and you have to make decisions that are sometimes too tough to make.

  11. Not to lay out in the sun for hours on a 30degree day – because your face will show the impact years on. Pigmentation, skin cancers, sun spots, wrinkles….yuck!

  12. Life will get better and you are important. Choose people who make you feel good about yourself and follow your own dreams. You are loved.

  13. Stay in school and study study to get a better career. Don’t worry about being “popular” or having a boyfriend. The future is YOU!

  14. To love & respect my body more. To not listen to all the negative thoughts & have more self esteem. That life is going to turn out ok.

  15. Don’t bottle it all in, get out there and try new activities, learn to do your eyeliner properly and yes its ok to want to dye your hair crazy colours to express yourself.

  16. You ARE beautiful! That clothes do look good on you! That it’s Ok to be confident! Be true to yourself and do what you really yearn to do!

  17. I would tell my younger self that the lesson we learnt in the 60s that women should only aim to get married and have children was the wrong message! There are so many opportunities for women to BE THEMSELVES, before considering marriage and children

  18. Go ahead and say hello first. Everyone is just afraid as you are to break the ice. It’ll be appreciated and you will be admired for your confidence.

  19. Don’t wait for one of those boys to ask you to the ‘Dinner Dance’. Get over there, be assertive and ask one of them to be your date!!They’re probably as scared as you are!

  20. Not to worry about her pimples, frizzy hair or freckles. Those things will fade in time and don’t matter in the long run. Plus you’re going to find a job that you’re good at and a man that you love (and who loves you) so it all works out! 🙂

  21. I would tell my 16-yr-old self to don’t be afraid to begin driving lessons.
    It took me almost 33 years to gain enough confidence to go out and start lessons and finally get my driver’s licence!!
    All those years of waiting at bus stops in the cold and rain, or boiling sun, all those parties and invitations I had to decline because I had no way of getting there.. I’d definitely change that if I could

  22. You’re 16 you’re beautiful the adventure life is ahead, sit back, hold on, enjoy the ride, it’s all going to be ok just enjoy it

  23. I’d tell my 16yo self not to pull back on the achievements and play them down just because they made other people feel uncomfortable. Because ‘levelling the playing field’ can mean raising others up, not tearing yourself down.

  24. RELAX!!! I was so uptight and brainwashed by a strict religious upbringing that I never allowed myself to just be me, be a bit loose and have fun.

  25. When I was a teen I was very, very shy and not open to meeting new people or experiencing new things. I wish I could telly myself back then to just try and not be so shy because it really made my life a lot emptier than it needed to be.

  26. Start the habit of healthy eating and exercise, no diets or fads. They don’t work in the long run. All that junk food won’t always go to your “big toe”

  27. Great post Nikki. I wish I could tell my 20 year old self that I was shit hot and very skinny…. if only I were that “fat” now. I am sure in another 10 years time I will be wishing I was as “fat” as I think I am now, ha ha ha. Oh and that movie – WOW – you had me at Hamish Blake and Upper Middle Bogan…. what a ripper, I can’t wait to see it!!!

  28. Don’t bother learning languages – you’re no good at them anyway! Do a straight business course. Everything will be OK – have confidence in yourself. You’re on the right course.

  29. I’d say:
    – let your work do the talking
    – use your skills and spare time to do something to improve your community
    – enjoy how you look, but keep reading – physical beauty fades but smart doesn’t
    – and most importantly, be a good friend!

  30. I would have told myself that I was the best me I could be back then. It’s so true that you become more confident after a few years (and sometimes a few more kgs and wrinkles) than you do when you are in your teens. And that is when we were our skinniest and had a smooth complexion. I hope my daughters grow up learning to accept themselves just the way they are and no matter what shape or size they are, they are beautiful.

  31. “Dear Skinny 16yo Me,
    When you are 51, you will wish you were as ‘fat’ as the first time you thought you were ‘fat’. So when you think it, guess what….you’re NOT.”

  32. My theme song at the time was “At 17” because I never felt pretty enough or cool enough to fit in with the cool kids. I had a severe lack of confidence. I would tell my younger self that these kids & their cruel taunts won’t matter after school is over & that I shouldn’t feel like I don’t measure up as I will achieve my own success & find love with the right person in good time – I just need to be patient & content & not stress about what the future holds, but rather make the most of opportunities. Love & accept & believe in yourself & good things will eventually happen.
    Loved your article today Nikki & I am sure that you have been a wonderful role model for your daughter. I am looking forward to seeing this movie.

  33. I would say “You are smart and kind and gorgeous. Don’t listen to the mean girls who present the facade of confidence but are just as insecure as you. Your life will be amazing.”

  34. I would tell my (then-on-antidepressants)16-year-old self that it will all work out in the end. It won’t happen all at once, or come easily, but you will be in your dream job at 26, feel comfortable in your own skin and feel optimistic about the future.

  35. Never think you are
    …not smart enough
    …not cool enough
    …not pretty enough
    Be happy to be you and grab everything life throws at you with both hands.
    March to the beat of your own drum and hold your head high.
    Surround yourself with people who add to your life not drag you down.

  36. I would tell my 16 year old self, that real men love curves. That being “popular” doesn’t mean having a lot of friends. Confidence in yourself will come, in time

  37. Appreciate the body you have, it’s actually pretty ok. And hang in there girl, this miracle little device called a GHD will come on the market in a few years and change your life (oh and you don’t marry any of the Hanson boys, sorry!) hehe

  38. I’d tell my 16 year old self: stop the crashing dieting, you look great, don’t fret over boys, you’ll meet the love of your life one day and don’t stress so much, you’ll do great at your chosen career. Now where’s that time machine??

  39. To be honest all I read from this post is: money helps a lot to feel confident. I’d tell my 16 year old self that people like you/media caused a lot of my confidence issues and in the end others opinions, wealth, aesthetics mean zilch in the grand scheme of life and I’d be OK. Your blog has become so irrelevant to the average Australian woman, let’s be honest even everydaystyle is not an apt description, sure some are, but mostly it’s a trend of semi put together people sharing their lives and looking the best they can for likes/hearts. I’d recommend re-reading your best mate Eden’s World Vision blogs for some perspective on women’s lives outside of your privileged bubble. I hope your daughter travels the world and finds real people to drive her confidence and perspective on what it’s like to be a women in the 21st century.

      1. Well said, Nikki.
        I’m pretty sure your daughter is lovely, like a “chip off the old block”. (in a good way, of course).

        1. Oh My Nikki, I am shocked that someone could and did say something so horrible about your blog.
          You and I have very different tastes in clothing and budget but I have never let that fact stop me from making an effort with my hair and makeup each morning.

          At the end of January my partner and I flew to Adelaide for the weekend for my birthday and on the flight down I wore a black and white shirt dress that I bought from Kmart many years ago; of course I teamed it with my usual 1940’s makeup and hair with a big red flower on top!

          All of the flight crew commented on how lovely I looked; I had worked all day, had rushed home to drop off day things and collect luggage, with only enough time for a cold drink and a spritz of deodorant and perfume; my dress was crushed from wearing it all day but I still walked tall because I was being treated to a weekend away by my love!

          I am ‘almost’ 50 and there are days when my confidence is in the dust bin but on that particular day I felt beautiful and loved and it obviously showed on my face – confidence in yourself is not about money but about how much you love and value who you are as a person!

          Thank You for reminding me that I am special 🙂

  40. I’d tell my 16 year old self: 1. It’s not your fault, and 2. These are NOT the best years of your life, it gets better.

  41. This movie looks great! You had me at Hamish Blake!

    I would tell my former 16 year old self to take more photos!! I have so very few photos of myself and my friends at that age. I suppose cameras weren’t quite the same back then, they certainly weren’t digital (what I would have given for an Olympus back then!). My daughter loves looking over my old photos and I love seeing how happy and carefree I was :). xx

  42. This movie looks like fun. Definitely will be having a girls day out to see this one. As for my 16 year old self, as i say to my beautiful daughters love yourself for who you are. Embrace the time now as you will never get it back. Enjoy a happy life always. V x

    1. Sadly I couldn’t focus on my adho mukha savasana today because I kept thinking about the joker and the dugong simile. (Insert profane label for boyfriend here.) When I was at university, I learned that the jocks in my law class called me The Scarecrow behind my back. I couldn’t decide if it was a reference to my hair (never my crowning glory) or my lack of grey matter. Either way, the label upsets me to this day. And how did I hear about my nickname? A girl ‘friend’ told me. Go figure.

  43. i’d tell the 16 year old to embrace your shape, your personality,believe in yourself, embrace change and take on challenges even when they seem impossible. Buy the house you didn’t think you could afford and be gracious and love the people close to you.

  44. My 16 year old self was sad, no confidence very self conscious and shy, I didnt have a good upbringing growing up which was part of the reason. I would tell that 16 year old self to come out of her shell and bloom which I eventually did but not until I was in my 30’s. But easier to say now Its all about learning, growing, maturing and accepting all your bits you dont like lol.

  45. I love this Nikki I have tried to instill that same confidence in my daughter!
    I would tell my 16year old self to enjoy her good health and to just live in the moment.
    Have a wonderful Melbourne cup day Nikki Xx

  46. I’d tell 16 year old me that the people who hurt you in high school will mean nothing to you later on, you’re slimmer than you’ll ever be, you have so much still to learn, you’re going to meet amazing people, you’ll never regret spending holidays with your grandparents, a spiral perm will never look like spirals, buy a property when you get a job because houses in Brisbane are $150k but don’t let it stop you travelling because they will be the best times of your life! I’d really like to tell myself to have more confidence, but I think that’s just something that comes with time and experience. You’re so young. Just be a bit more crazy.

  47. I would tell my 16 year old self to stop being so judgmental, primarily of myself. Everyone else is so self absorbed that they’re really don’t care about the size of your thighs or the fact that you’re wearing the same top again- get over yourself!
    Oh and keep in mind that everyone is doing their best to get through the day. We all have “stuff” going on and sometimes people will take their stuff out on you; but really that’s their stuff and you should try not to let it get to you.
    Finally, it’s going to take you awhile to find the love you want right now, so relax and enjoy the ride. What seems so painful now, will help you appreciate the wonderful when it arrives.

  48. Nice! I wish my mother had had the confidence in HER appearance that photos demonstrate she should have had, and that she could have passed down to me…Miss SY is a very lucky girl!
    To my sixteen year old self (and reiterating this through the years – most recent moment of remembering this was YESTERDAY):
    Embrace WHO you are. That you like the slightly kooky, offbeat clothes that you do doesn’t make you weird. It shows that you’re strongly individual, and you need to learn that that’s OK – you don’t HAVE to run with the herd and look exactly like everyone else to be socially acceptable.

  49. So lovely to read this morning, Nikki. Your confidence and the way you present yourself has encouraged me to be confident and love the skin I’m in. I would tell my 16 year old self to not think ‘when I’m no longer a size __, I will look better’ but embrace your shape and prioritising your health and glamour over the size number. It’s nice being kind and supportive of yourself

  50. Great piece Nikki. Its very true that daughters get body image from their mothers so we should all be as positive as possible. As for your boyfriend when you were 16 – one word douchebag!

  51. 1. everything will work out as you want, just not in the time frame you have in mind.

    2. don’t marry that 1st husband.


  52. When you think you’re the ONLY ONE who doesn’t have one/isn’t allowed/isn’t doing it/feels like this….you’re not.

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