Like most young women in the United States I have spent far too much time disliking things about myself. I did not like the shape of my body, my funny laugh, big feet, face that blushes easily or nerdiness. I don’t really remember when I stopped liking myself, but it was pretty early on. It seemed like no matter what I did I would never look like the girls in the magazine or have it all like the television promised I could if I just had the right products. I saw the women around me lamenting their fat, hating their faces and gossiping about each other behind their backs. By the time we hit puberty my friends and I were mirroring their behavior. I can’t tell you how many of my peers have struggled with eating disorders, self-harm, or low self-esteem which lead to all sorts of self-destructive behaviors. Highschool is still a blur.
The thing is…disliking yourself takes up a lot of time and energy. Time and energy that could be spent on making the world or at least your community a better place. Deciding to like myself has been one of the most radical steps I have ever taken. It means I can’t be sold products I don’t need or pressured into activities that further colonize others because I am secure enough in myself to listen to my inner voice (a.k.a conscious). It means I’m less afraid to try something new because failure is less terrifying when you know you are enough. It means you can give of yourself without giving it all away. Continue reading