When I was growing up, I, like many other women, thought that one of the most important things I had to do was to not be visually offensive. You know, to not somehow be unattractive to others whether it was because I hadn’t made the effort to put on make up or because I was (gasp) fat or chubby or whatever word made “them” comfortable in judging me. I learned, not only from my family but also from society in general, that making an effort to be attractive was the polite thing to do. In my head, it meant I was making an effort to be liked.
In my experience with the different Western cultures, I have seen how from an early age most women are taught to disassociate the idea that their body belongs to them. When was the last time you saw a man in a thong on a billboard? In fact, how often are men in their underwear in magazines for any other reason than the fact that they are selling underwear? Not often. Consider how often women are in their underwear to sell literally anything. Sex may sell, but its our self worth that’s paying the tab.
I am not saying anything here that is new information, but it is information that we too often consider “normal” or we stop being scandalized by it because we’ve been bombarded with it and that’s how things “must be”. This isn’t a call for a scandal, however. It’s an invitation to get you to check in with yourself and ask yourself the following questions:
- Who does my body belong to?
- If I’m ugly then…
- Who do I need to look beautiful for?
It’s an invitation to explore within yourself how YOU are giving your power away. Are you equating self-worth with beauty? When you look in the mirror, who are you seeing? Who you would like to be, or who you think others want you to be?
I went a long time being extremely angry at how I felt in regards to society, my different cultures, and my family. Why was my body anyone else’s business? I blamed others for how I felt about myself because in a sense, society had started my journey into self-loathing.
It was somewhere there that I decided I would no longer allow others to take control over my emotions…or my body. I wanted to have the power to determine how I was going to see myself. I forgave society for what it had done and decided that I would continue with my path in not only Self-Love, but in loving the society that I had blamed for my troubles before. Anger was causing making me want to change others, show them the error in their ways. While some people are very good at this and it can be very effective, waiting around for others to change will never be enough. Being angry wasn’t going to change anything if I just stayed angry. So I got angry and then I got love. And love is what’s going to change everything because it’s going to change US. If you’re at your healthiest, then you’ve already changed the mind of one person. You have already “changed” one person.
People are going to continue to buy and therefore people will continue to sell. But YOU’RE the one being sold to yourself. So now it’s time to decide what it is that’s being sold. Are we going to continue to let the media manipulate us, or are we going to be so in love with ourselves that they’re going to have to change their tactics? Are we going to continue to be angry and expect the world to change, or are we going to be so in love with ourselves that people will be inspired to change?
That’s in your hands. That’s ONE way to change the world by loving yourself. Let’s get started.
Here’s a video I made where I recite a poem I wrote last year about the discovery of self-love through body-image.
All my love,