I read this article yesterday in the Elephant Journal and immediate thought it would be a good follow-up to the women and modesty article I posted about earlier. Here’s an article about ‘owning your own sexy’, as the author calls it. This means feeling good in your own skin, and not letting the outside world tell you who and what you are. I think it’s an empowering article, and says some important things about women and identity. And this goes far beyond just body image; it’s about how we see ourselves as people in a deeper way.
One thing I love that the author points out is that there are many ways that we give control over our self image to other people. I know I’m sometimes guilty of blaming the media, advertising, films, blah blah blah, for projecting harmful and exploitative images of women. These media-generated images cause women to hate their imperfect bodies, to develop eating disorders, to be constantly trying to change themselves and become other people.
However, here the author reminds us that there is always an ‘exchange’ taking place, and this involves two participating parties. Maybe the ‘media’ presents the image that I should be taller, slimmer and far more stylishly dressed, but if it’s to affect me, I must choose to participate in this exchange. On the other hand, I can be in-tune with myself and my own ideas and beliefs about who and what I am, and feel confident and proud of that, ignoring the rest.
Being your true self, loving your life and feeling comfortable in your own skin- all of these must come from within. We have the power to define ourselves and be who we truly are, regardless of all the outside influences that may come our way.
This made me think that someone is always making a statement about what women should be. Either women should be ‘modest’ and should behave accordingly, etc. Or women should be ‘liberated’ and act this way. Women are always some lumped-together group, who should all be acting and thinking and seeing themselves in the same way, and allow our lives to be dictated by this or that worldview or concept or theory. We are not some sociological experiment! We are billions of individuals who will express our womanhood in our own unique ways. And that can only happen if we take the time and have the courage to know ourselves and live according to the dictates of our own minds and hearts.
Check out the article and please share your thoughts!