Hello beautiful souls,
I’ve noticed a theme in my conversations lately, it’s this curious idea that we as a culture (all genders included) have this antiquated notion that we always have to be constantly proving our worth to the outside world or constantly raising the bar in terms of physical appearance in order for us to even allow ourselves to believe that we are enough. We as a culture do not give ourselves permission to just be, to love ourselves as we are. We constantly need validation or outside permission in order to even allow ourselves to think about loving who we are. Every single person I have spoken to about this always tells me the same thing, I will be enough when… I will be enough when I fit into a size XYZ or I will be enough when I finally get those abs or I will be worthy of acceptance when I achieve this or look like this person. We as a society are always comparing ourselves to people we idealize and put on a pedestal. We are always looking for the next best thing, this “thing” (which doesn’t exist) that we believe will finally make us the person we believe is worthy of love and of acceptance.
I hear it from all walks of life, I hear it from young girls who are influenced into believing that there is only one standard of being and if you don’t meet those standards then you are immediately unworthy, unattractive or are no longer seen as enough. I see young women struggling and suffering to keep up with these ideals of beauty that society has placed on them and that we affirm with our words. There isn’t enough representation of body acceptance and self acceptance on social media, there are some really amazing movements out there but they always seem to be overshadowed by what the next IT model is doing or what this weeks social media superstar is doing (all of which have been carefully edited before being posted on social media). There are some incredibly beautiful women out there who in society’s eyes may not be seen as “ideal” but are out there representing what is real and fighting everyday to show that self acceptance and self love will always be more important than having the “perfect” body. I know that I have been sucked into this vortex of self-hatred, body shaming and comparison. I would spend hours on social media outlets or looking in magazines at these gorgeous women and think to myself, “I will never be or look like these women, this must mean that I am unattractive and unworthy of being loved” or “I don’t look anything like these women, why is my face so weird and different? Why is my body not shaped like these women?”. This dialogue would run through my brain all day long for years on end before I stopped and realized that everything I was telling myself wasn’t really about me, it was projections of society’s standards of beauty that I was placing or rather pressuring myself to attain. It took some time, but I finally reached a place where I no longer compare myself to other women, I can see them and appreciate them for what they are but still give myself permission to love and accept myself even if I am different and don’t meet these ideals of beauty that no human being will ever meet. I think it’s important that we have these conversations with our younger generations, teaching them that these ideals of are not real and that no matter what they believe about themselves, that they are beautiful, worthy and more importantly enough, that we teach them the power of giving themselves permission to love and accept who they are.
I also hear it from men who think that by being or attaining a certain physical ideal it will immediately make them attractive and we as women affirm this belief by choosing to make that a standard by which we choose our partners. We all play a part in this vicious cycle of doubt and insecurity even when we don’t realize it. We could change this by giving ourselves permission to choose partners based on standards other than physical ones, looking at the soul of a person instead of that body that carries it, because let’s face it we are all so much more than our physical bodies and it’s time we start honouring that.
I also hear it from mothers and other female relatives who not only make negative, self-bashing comments to themselves but pass them down to the younger generations in their families. We aren’t always aware of the things we say to ourselves and to others and the impact that these words have on our identities. I hear mothers and grandmothers saying that they were once beautiful before they had children, they used to be thin and more physically attractive, instead of owning the beauty that they have now, it may not be the same as it was but it doesn’t make it any less valid and worthy of acceptance. I hear mothers telling their daughters that things would be easier or better if they looked at certain way or behaved a certain way, instead of affirming that who they are now is enough and will always be enough no matter what. I think it’s time that we as a culture stop defining ourselves by outside standards and by physical appearance itself and instead start embracing and affirming who we are right now, in this moment. We need to learn, especially us women, to allow ourselves…to give ourselves permission to be enough just as we are. We need to learn that we don’t need anything more to be beautiful or acceptable, that we are beautiful and acceptable right now in this moment. We are all human beings which implies that we are and always will be imperfect, flawed beings but you know what, that is okay. We have been taught to believe that our bodies will never be enough, that we have to keep reaching for impossible standards that honestly don’t exist. We have been taught that our natural bodies as they are (cellulite, stretch marks, blackheads, large pores and all) are unnatural and therefore unworthy of being accepted. The truth is your natural body as it is right now is real and is beautiful and always will be and no one can take that truth away from you except yourself. We need to stop taking on society’s opinions and ideals and making them our identities, who we are and who we choose to be is unique to each individual and until we start owning that power, that uniqueness, we will always be limiting ourselves and our potential for greater things. It breaks my heart to hear women and men as a collective shaming themselves because they don’t fit a certain mould, I say it’s time to break that mould and build a new one that is unique to each of us. To stop taking outside noise and using it as ammunition against ourselves because when you think about it the only person you are hurting is yourself.
All that to say that it’s time we start owning who we are right now, giving ourselves permission to do something radical, to love and accept ourselves. Accept and love our outside by focusing on the beautiful things we have inside us. If you can be kind and loving to other people, why don’t you try harnessing that love and giving a little to yourself first. Try focusing on the things you have to offer the world like your intelligence, your compassion or your passion for whatever makes you happy. At the end of the day, those “inside” things that we don’t really give much attention to will always be what’s more important. As our outsides change, the only thing we have to rely on is who we are internally and as the saying goes, people who choose kindness and love will always be beautiful. It’s time we start affirming the things that truly matter and passing that down to the younger generations, showing them people who are real and are fighting for things that are real. It’s time to revolutionize our world and put emphasis on being human, on being a good person and helping to build their confidence in substantial ways so they can go out there and change the world. It just takes one person to look at themselves in the mirror and say, you know what, I am beautiful just as I am, I am enough just as I am and I am worthy of everything beautiful because I exist. It takes that one person to start the tidal wave of change that this world desperately needs. So go on and love yourselves because you are beautiful and worthy of it.
All the love,
Let’s start a revolution, a mission if you will to give ourselves permission to embrace whoever we are in this moment. Share this with your friends, family, strangers, acquaintances and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #igivemyselfpermission. It’s time to change the conversation.