Y’all I’ve been thinking A LOT about this blog and I must say, writing it all out has been good to me. There’s is a certain that only comes from confession. See Part II of the Who I Am Series and be sure to the facebook group for the live videos.
This realization hit me in the face and left me in tears, confused and shocked. I’ve been thinking a lot about the body (the most precious thing we own) and how we view it, as it is an important fact when considering who we are. As females, we come to understand our bodies at a young age (and this isn’t some birds and bees or puberty talk) but how we come to understand them can be problematic.
In high school, at a time when I should have discovering my first love and first kiss and having all those butterflies, flowers, and other gushy stuff; I realized soon on that my body was not liked, that I was different. I thought because I wasn’t the thinnest girl then my body wasn’t likable. And this inclination came from the lack of attention I was receiving from boys my age and the loads of attention other more “pretty” girls were getting. I quickly put myself into a box of unwanted and therefore useless. I assumed the sole purpose of my body was there in order to get a boy’s gaze and therefore participate in normal teenage life.
So, instead of feeling the sting of rejection, I made myself avoid guys all together. I saw my body as a tool, for men to use (or disuse.) And I’m not blaming the awkwardness of high school years or the immaturity of adolescence. But I am saying that I did not have someone tell me what my body was made for. I didn’t have a father figure to show me my body was to be esteemed and place myself on a higher standard. And yes, my mother did tell me I was beautiful and worthy (and all that) but it gets a little blurred when my experiences would suggest otherwise.
And I think many of us come to understand our bodies in different ways. As our curves begin to fill in and our hips start to catch males’ stares we start to crave it. And (for some) when we don’t get said attention we begin to feel useless as if our bodies were only created to satisfy a male’s ego. We start wearing clothes we think will get the most attention or start wearing make up and hair that we deem pretty.
What is the archetype everyone is running after? And who says this is beauty? So many women try to look like a certain standard of beauty but who created that standard?Who told you that? (see Who You Told That? An Honest Look at Beauty)
Who do you think of when you hear beautiful? I did a google search on most beautiful women and discovered women like Marilynn Monroe, Angelina Jolie (and some other pale-skin femmes, but I digress.) When I think of beautiful women the first one who popped in my head was, of course, Beyonce (who doesn’t love her?) and Kim Kardashian to name a few. And many of us are striving to look like those ladies: have bigger bottoms, fuller breasts and lips, longer hair and golden skin.
In high school (in a futile attempt to feel pretty) I used pounds of make up on my face. And I’m not anti-face-beat (being that I am a natural girl) however I know that I used that make up to cover up my face. And deep down, I hoped it would cover up my flaws – the parts of me I wanted no one to see and (maybe) draw some attention from guys. I can’t say that I had the best confidence back then and I especially didn’t esteem my body (the most precious piece of me I own and must take care of.)
And I know there are those of us who use other things (not just makeup) to cover the things we don’t want anyone to see. But the truth is, our scars are what make us human, it’s how we relate to one another. It shows that we’re imperfect but beautiful still.
And as I search deeper I question if men even like a woman who wears makeup, weave and high heels 24/7. I know there are men who do but there are others who prefer women to have a natural face, hair and nails. And that doesn’t make you plain!
I mean, we have to evaluate why, what are our motives behind the things we choose to put on our bodies. We have to question: Am I doing this to get attention or to just feel good about me, the skin I’m in?
We have to change the narrative, flip the script.
I don’t think we’ve given men enough options. If all of us are running around trying to look like our fave celebrity how can men not want a woman who looks the part. And then, us ladies get upset at our men for not loving us for who we are but do you love you for who are?
Hear me, I am NOT badgering ladies who wear makeup (some have made businesses from this) or saying that dressing and looking nice isn’t good (I love some new clothes every now and then) but when we take off all those clothes and makeup and look at the girl underneath it all, are you comfortable in the skin you’re in, in the body you’ve been blessed with?
Ladies, let’s choose to love ourselves when we’re made up and when we’re dressed down. I challenge you to go a whole week without wearing makeup and if that’s not your thing, for the next 7 days look in the mirror every morning and just say I love me… until you believe it.
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