TMZ recently posted a video discussing a picture of model Olga Kent. As if body image isn’t already overly discussed in media, the topic was: is her butt too flat? I am not shocked that TMZ would be the source of this discussion, but I AM shocked that this is even a topic to begin with. Since when is it an issue to be thin?! First it was a problem that women were too voluptuous and they needed to have “model” figures. Now the models are being chastised for being too thin. What happens when our the media’s portrayal of the perfect image has a blemish? What are we women going to be told we need to look like now? I am not someone that believes that stick figures are the ideal form, but I also don’t condone obesity in any form. Being HEALTHY should be enough. If you are a healthy woman then that is really all that matters. This constant scrutiny and objectifying of woman (from both men and women) has got to stop. This is why people suffer from horrible eating disorders, because even what the world calls “perfect” doesn’t stay perfect for long. Women and even some men are anxious about looking ‘just right’. I fear for every woman and little girl that hasn’t learned to love her body, because at the world will tell you to change what you should think is right over and over. It’s up to is to take our views of ourselves and put that on a pedestal as opposed to someone else’s.
Curl Box proposed this challenge for the month of November called NOvember. It was meant to have everyone say “no” to something for not only this month, but with hopes that you will carry it out for the rest of your life. I saw women posing things like “I say no to smoking” or obsessing over their weight. I instantly fell in love with this idea because like everyone else on this earth there are a lot of things that I need to be saying no to in life.
I wanted to think long and hard about what 2 things would really change how I live. Finally I was able to pin point two things. I say no to not thinking I am good enough and I say no to not loving myself unconditionally. These have to be two of the biggest things that have plagued me for years.
One of my very good friends was notorious for having to be in the spotlight at all times. Anytime there was success to be had she would try to be the first one get to it. There were times when she really wasn’t even doing anything but she would talk about that nothing so much, that you had to give her accolades to get her to stop talking. Along with that there was always some way that she would try to take a stab at my work or make it seem as if what I do isn’t good enough. Like many others I allowed others I determine my worth. To some I come off as one of the most confident people, but I have to admit that that is a façade. I try desperately to pretend to believe that I know that I am as great as everyone says I am. I try desperately to believe that my gifts and talents are truly something to be proud of. I tried, but I just couldn’t. I honestly am my own worst critic. While that can be a good AND a bad thing it turned out to be the worst for me. I would always second guess myself because I just “knew” that there was someone out there better than me at what I did and I let that thought keep me from progressing. In my music, in my art, and most of all in my writing. Especially recently, I have been putting so much pressure on myself to produce great work that I lost my lust for great writing. It became something that I just do because I had to, and it showed. I neglected my blogs and was missing deadlines for magazines. I allowed the pressure of what other people were thinking of me to break me; to stifle my creativity. I had to realize that I am as amazing as I want to be. My talent is not based upon what other people tell me it is. Sometimes the loudest person can also turn out to be the weakest, I just need to let my work speak for itself.
Loving myself as I said it is an age old battle. I feel like I have allowed myself to go through so much over the years and I definitely did not come out unscathed on the other side. So many people that were supposed to be important to me made entrances and exits out of my life. Each seeing to take a piece of me with them. After a while emptiness is all I really felt. Emptiness was all that was left. Like a silly little girl I tried to fill it with temporary people and falsehoods but that just left me feeling worse than before. It took years of having no self worth, hate towards others, and myself to realize I wasn’t going to be happy in life if I wasn’t happy with myself. It took some time to rebuild all of the broken pieces but I can say that day by day I am growing stronger in knowing that I am worth so much. Focusing on the good things in spite of the bad I am able to live a happier life. I am focusing on living life to the fullest and knowing that others that have been in my life through it all love me unconditionally and that is all that matters. The fact that I have an amazing support system has helped me to regain almost every bit of myself back that I felt I had lost.
I can’t say that I have overcome both of these completely, but it is a daily confrontation that I willingly face. The NOvember challenge has just forced me to take another look at myself, a deeper look at myself and try to work to become a better me.
The NOvember challenge is supposed to spark the changes that will last a lifetime. What is your NOvember challenge?