As the holidays edge closer, I find myself in a state of almost constant reflection. I look back at the past year, and look forward to the following one. If it hasn't become apparent enough already, I live for nostalgia. I even did the unthinkable - gasp - I created a new Facebook account. I know, I hardly recognize myself as well. I hate everything about the gossipy little site. I just found myself craving interactions with the people from my past. I have been relatively isolated for the past, oh, almost two years. Isolation has always been somewhat comforting to me, but ultimately it's, well, isolating. No one can thrive without the energy of others, particularly the energy of those you care - or at least once cared - about.
The approaching holidays are a reminder of the impending Spring Semester. I am terrified of going back to school. I haven't been in a classroom since 2012. I know I am not a complete fool, but I know I will feel very behind when I begin classes. On top of everything, I don't even get to register for classes until January 8, and classes begin on the 11th. I have quickly found that my school does not give a single turtle shit about transfer students - good to know! My anxiety feeds off of feeling unprepared, and that registration schedule makes it next to impossible for me to prepare myself for anything. It's very " 'Here are your classes!' *Kicks ass into classroom." I'm trying to remain as calm as possible about it all, though.
I think that's another reason I created another Facebook account. Seeing my old friends kind of transports me back a few years, when I was in school, and the world hadn't fully tarnished me. The only thing is that pretty much everyone I used to know is now married and or having a baby. Imma pass on that, thanks.
I know that ultimately, going back to school will work out for the best. I crave knowledge like oxygen. I love learning. I have decided to be a double English major. It is a heavy workload, but it allegedly has a lot of potential career prospects. I just want to write - in some capacity. Writing is the the only thing in my life that has consistently brought me peace and happiness. It is also the only subject that I ever showed any genuine potential in. I want to see the world, and I have faith that my intended degree will help me do so. I have always had this deep seeded desire to change the world, and in my opinion the best way to do that is through communication. Communication is the root of everything. We can never grow as individuals if we don't make an effort to connect to those around around us. Language and communication is the best way to connect. I have never been very good at learning other languages, but I know I am capable of connecting people through the written word. All of our experiences are unique, and yet, we all share common threads. By finding the commonalities you share with someone else, you not only grow to know them, but you find a greater understanding for yourself along the way.
So, yeah, I'm terrified of the unknown, but also excited. School is just a stepping stone towards my next big goal. This holiday season, I intend to look around me, and count every blessing. I am so grateful for this life. I challenge you to take a leap of faith, truly look to discover your passions, and find the quickest route to achieving them. We are capable of anything, as long as we listen to ourselves and love others.
Time seems to be growing darker in the world with each passing minute. Unrest is reaching a record high in all areas of the global and local spectrum. With a Malaysian airline allegedly (at this time nothing is confirmed) being shot out of the sky over the Ukraine today, tension is growing. The world seems to be on the brink of a major disaster; at the hands of a few corrupt, power-hungry leaders and militant groups. Corruption is a vein that runs deep in this flawed world. I fear that if this vein is not cut off soon, evil is going to reign over this coming era in our existence.
Clearly, times are changing for a number of reasons and in a number of ways. I believe all instances of unrest are signs of the impending darkness that will befall mankind. The hearts and souls of humanity have strayed from their intended path. There are a few enlightened individuals out there who have remained steadfast on the path, but their numbers seem to be very small. I worry greatly for not only my future, but the future of those who are to come after my time has ceased. If things do make a drastic shift, there really is no future. There is only darkness.
I have been experiencing very turbulent interactions with those who are closest to me as of late. Relationships that were once very steady have grown unpredictable. It feels like the darkness is becoming not only visible, but tangible as well. I have always been very sensitive to emotions, but lately, my reaction to my environment has been very deep. Highs feel very high, and lows feel very low. My body has been picking up on things that my eyes have failed to notice. My sleep patterns have been all over the place. I am experiencing increased occurrences of migraine headaches, body aches, and seemingly random fatigue and bodily discomfort. I hope that in the coming days I am able to draw from these physical experiences and interpret them into clear messages.
I do not want to live in a world of darkness. I desperately hope I can find a way to dispel the negativity that is currently around me and my loved ones. I feel as though accomplishing that could have a domino effect and banish more of the darkness within the world. If not, I would feel better knowing those whom I care about are safe. When I was younger, I always had this terrifying, deep seeded fear of the apocalypse. I really don't know where this fear came from, but it has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I would always try to make myself feel better by telling myself that the end of days was not possible in my lifetime. Or that the idea of an apocalypse was ridiculous, and the stuff of fairy tales. Now my 'irrational' fears feel very plausible.
Living in fear of the future is not a headspace in which I wish to reside. I am trying to keep my focus on the light and on positivity. If we allow fear to take over our thoughts, it can hold power over our entire existence. I am going to remain optimistic that the future will create a space in which darkness is incapable of existing. More individuals will rediscover their intended path and allow humble light to guide them, as opposed to materialistic darkness. I am also going to do as much as I can to educate and spiritually protect myself as well as my loved ones. The more minds that are focused on radiating positivity, the more powerful. The smallest of lights has the power to illuminate even the deepest cracks of darkness. If we are spiritually strong, we can protect our future.
My challenge for you is to send love and light into this world every single day. One spark can start a wildfire. This world is going to burn one way or another, I would prefer that it burns with the fire of millions of illuminated souls.
So much has transpired since my last post. I feel like I am in a completely different place than I was a few months ago, hell, even a month ago. Time is such an underrated force. I don't really even know where to begin with my story. I could talk about the trips to the doctors and therapist. Or I could mention all of the failed dates and failed attempt to rekindle something with my ex. I could tell you all about the troubled relationship with my father, and the stress that accompanies hunting for a job. I could go into elaborate detail about my struggle to make plans for school. There has been a great deal of desire to move out. There were days when I wanted to simply stay in bed. Some days I felt like dying. Some days I felt nothing at all. I could tell you about all of the negative little occurrences that upset my state of being, but what would that truly accomplish? I'm not looking for pity. I'm not even looking for advice, really. Sharing negativity really does nothing except put focus on something that really doesn't deserve a second thought. Darkness does not need bonus rounds of attention. Darkness is always going to accompany light, but if we choose to place our focus on the light, the darkness really holds no power over us.
That might sound profound, or even a little too optimistic, or maybe it sounds ridiculous, I don't know. I do know that I have only very recently caught onto this idea of emphasizing the positive, and truly living for the light. As anyone could tell from reading some of my previous posts, I have lived a life in darkness for a very long time. Depression and anxiety ruled my universe for most of my life. What are these two creatures though, really? Anxiety is fear. Plain and simple. Fear of repeating the past, fear of the future, and fear of the unknown. I am quickly discovering that fear is an absurdly ridiculous emotion to linger on. If we allow fear to govern our lives and our actions, sooner or later, we will no longer act at all, and thus, cease to live. Fear stunts progress. I know this fact all too well, because I have been living in a stagnant place of darkness. Uncertainties paralyzed my every thought and action.
Once I was paralyzed, depression was able to rear its ugly head, and seep into every crack of my fragile existence. Depression is not simply sadness. Depression is a sickness. It corrupts our mind, body, and soul. A sick and immobilized body has no means of growth. For the longest time, I was always so confused as to why I was incapable of moving forward with my life. I was sick. The cure was not going to come from any outside source, though. The idea that therapy sessions, talks of anti-depressants, forcing myself outside of comfort zones in hopes that something would click, and I would snap out of the spiritual coma I was in, was ridiculous. The cure for my ailments was within me all along. The trouble was, it was laying dormant. I needed a nudge to discover it.
The past two months provided me with that nudge. Starting in May, I could feel my soul begin to truly awaken. Now, I believe that the nudge has been coming for about the past year, but I have only recently been fully aware and receptive to it. In May, I began to switch up my diet - eliminate unnatural foods, inflammatory gluten, discomforting dairy. I began working out, for the first time in my life, with the sole focus being on health, as opposed to weight-loss. I started believing in the power of meditation, crystal healing, and introspective soul searching, wholly. Sure, I had dabbled in these areas in the past, but I never completely committed. Essentially, May's focus was entirely upon personal health and healing.
To give this post a neat little bow of summation, I could just say to never give up. Time has a way of working in our favor, if only we allow it. Our focus should always be on the light; the light within and without. Darkness is a fact of this life, but it is never permanent. We are all capable of self healing and happiness. Happiness is not a 'find it and it's there forever' sort of thing, though. Happiness is a choice and it requires a conscious effort to maintain. We must always strive to make ourselves feel happy and loved before we can share that positivity with another. It feels so cliche to say that you must love yourself before you can love another, but it is so very true. My journey towards the light began with a determined shift towards self love, and it continues with maintaining that self-love and sharing it with others. I am just a human, and my struggle with anxiety and depression is going to be a lifelong ordeal. However, I am not afraid. I am equipped with the knowledge that we can all overcome our obstacles by placing our focus on the positive. Peter Pan's fairy dust was on point, happy thoughts truly can lift us into the air.
When life feels bleak and hopeless, look inward for that light that resides within us all. There, we will find the spark that is capable of igniting our soul. Stay strong, my friends, keep your face in the light and the shadows will have no choice but to fall behind you.
This week, the Supreme Court is discussing the "issue" of same-sex marriage. I've never understood what the big drama was with same-sex marriage; to me, a marriage is a marriage. It doesn't make a difference if the couple exchanging vows is heterosexual or homosexual. The decision to bond with someone in such an intimate manner is a sacred thing. I know many people argue against same-sex marriage for religious reasons, but personally, I believe using religion to promote hate contradicts religion altogether.
If a person claims to love God and follow God's law, shouldn't they be walking around spreading love? God is love. In America, it's perfectly legal in many states to marry minors, in some cases as young as 14. It's also legal to marry your first cousin. If I went outside right now and married the first man I ran into, sure, people might judge my hasty decision, but there would be no real uproar. However, if I went out and married a woman I was madly and deeply in love with, countless people would be up in arms. In what way does any of that seem logical? Oh, that's right, it doesn't! The arguments against same-sex marriage are anything but logical.
Those in opposition of allowing people in love to marry whomever they want are the biggest hypocrites. In many situations, those in opposition are constantly ranting about the government trying to take away their freedoms; then, in the same breath, they rant about limiting the freedoms of their fellow Americans. The United States Constitution grants Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness to all. If marrying the person you love makes you happy, how should anyone be allowed to take that right away or judge you for doing so? That's the thing, they shouldn't.
America parades around, claiming to be so open minded and progressive, yet so many of it's citizens are as backwards as can be. With over fifty percent of marriages today ending in divorce, how could anyone claim that same-sex marriage would tarnish the sanctity of this institution? Clearly, half the people (the heterosexual people, remember) don't take their own right to marry very seriously. Same-sex couples are fighting fervently for the ability to solidify their love, while many heterosexual couples are fighting just as fervently to end their marriages.
I am not gay; but I am a supporter of equality and love. It saddens and sickens me that in 2013 there is still an argument about same-sex marriage. Fifty years ago, a similar battle was going on about interracial marriage. Even though discrimination still takes place, overall there is no issue. All people are equal, no matter their race, religion, social status, or sexuality. I hope and pray that one day everyone will believe in equality and promote love as opposed to spreading hate.
My challenge for you is to: Open your mind and your heart; be the change in this world. Promote Love and Equality.
Being honest is tough for most people. There are some aspects of ourselves that we wish could stay hidden. No one is perfect; and that desire to preserve some anonymity in this very public world is understandable. Sadly, some people take this to an extreme.
I'm pretty sure most of us have watched or heard of the documentary "Catfish" or have seen the MTV spin-off show it inspired. It's about people pretending to be someone or something they're not online. These lies are often created in the hope of making someone fall in love with this fake persona. It's shocking how many people this has happened to and is happening to right now. I've never been able to admit this before, and only one other person knows this, but I was Catfished by someone. This wasn't a recent occurrence, however, it has affected almost every aspect of my life for years.
A online friendship turned into this enormous web of emotions and lies. I ended up falling for a fake person, hook, line and sinker. When I found out that I was being lied to for so long, I didn't even know what to do with myself. When this happens to you, you feel so many emotions all at once. There's the initial shock, but the aftershock is what really gets to you. You end up feeling embarrassed, ashamed, used, violated and worthless. Someone you don't know at all, broke into the most sacred aspect of your being. A complete stranger made their way into your heart and corrupted it with their vile lies. Those lies are like a virus that starts out small, but ends up attacking all the healthy cells in your body. These lies drain you, and even after the liar has left your life, they're still in your body. You constantly feel like at any moment, they could return; and you could once again be infected.
This fear consumes you. Even if you try to move on, the paranoia still lingers. After my Catfish ordeal, my entire life changed. Even though the liar was gone for good, there was this disgusting residue of them that permeated into every pore of my body. My real relationships were greatly affected, and not for the good. Looking back now, I can see that. I ruined the only real shot at love I ever had, because I was afraid to get close to someone. I was scared that if I opened myself up to another person, it would once again blow up in my face, and I would be hurt again.
I broke up with the only person I've ever actually loved because I was scared that they'd end up hurting me. The reason I gave them for breaking up was "I need to find myself." That wasn't really a lie, because I did feel lost. I felt trapped inside my own body. But the main reason for this breakup was fear. I'd rather be alone and miserable, than give myself completely to someone and end up broken again. When I ended this relationship, I feel like I was right on the cusp of falling completely, headlong, no turning back in love. I mean I already loved that person, but I was almost to the point of giving myself completely to them. Offering up every ounce me that I had guarded. When I realized that I was about to fall, I panicked. That virus of hurt and distrust made it's way into my heart. So instead of making myself completely vulnerable, I shut down. And closed the chapter of my life that could have turned into the most perfect of novels.
Since then, I've stumbled through broken and meaningless relationships. I guess I was trying to fill the void I created when I let go of the person who had been holding me together. But I'm done with that now. I'm tired of letting someone who I never even knew, ruin what should be the best times of my life. I'm going to step into the fire, and burn every remnant of this virus from my body. Then I will emerge from these ashes, stronger than I ever was before. I may never find someone who I loved as much as the person I let go, but I think I'm okay with that. I at least got to experience real love for a short time. If there's anything good that could come from this, I hope it's that I can help at least one person, somewhere.
If you've been Catfished, you're not alone. And if you are a Catfish, maybe reading this will open your eyes. Sure, lying to someone online is going to hurt that person; but ultimately, you're hurting yourself the most. If you can make someone fall for a fake person, that you've created, why wouldn't someone fall for the real you? You deserve someone who will love you for you, not the gorgeous model you're pretending to be online. We're all worthy of something real and honest. Don't fall into this web of lies, because eventually, you're going to get stuck with no way out. If you care about someone, let them know, and let it come from the real you. Life is too short for lies.
Be yourself, and know that YOU are enough.
I believe in soul mates. And I believe that two souls could be destined to dance infinity through time and space together. I believe our souls are made up of fragments of energy that have existed since the beginning of the universes. Pieces of my soul, and pieces of your soul, have belonged to an infinite number of people, places, and things. That's why we have an affinity for certain objects and locations; even if we've never been there or held that object. I believe the same goes for people.
What if a piece of my soul was once connected to a piece of yours? Would these pieces not be drawn to one another? I would think so. Maybe the whole purpose of life is to rebuild the original soul of the universe. Like we're all pieces of a giant Rubik cube, shifting, flipping, turning, twisting, trying to come back together the way were intended to.
Maybe there is a God. Or was. Maybe God was this original soul, that broke up into infinite pieces, so that we could Exist. Create. Feel. Love. And ultimately come back together. Stronger than before, because we knew what it was like to be scattered and in disarray. We all carry a piece of God in us. Our job is to protect it and connect it with as many others as we possibly can during our brief existence.
Today, we're so self-centered. I believe we need to be soul-centered. That's why I want to travel; I want to connect with as many people and places as I possibly can. I believe this will strengthen my soul. That's also the main reason I write, and have this blog. I want to reach people. Bond with people even if I'm not physically with them. I want to strengthen the souls of as many people as I possibly can. I believe that's my calling in life. I think it's really all of our callings; sadly too many people ignore it.
So my challenge to you is: answer your true calling. Connect with people. Connect with yourself and tune into your soul.
Sitting here, after a night of restless sleep, covered in crumbs from the fifty Oreos I just scarfed down, I realized something. I'm tired of dwelling on my past. I'm tired of making myself a prisoner in my own mind. Instead of moving on with my life, making new memories, and enjoying this brief flash that is life, I've been dwindling into oblivion.
Sure, sometimes it's good to reflect on the past. I mean, the past is what brought us to where we are at this very moment. It has shaped and molded our every thought and action. The past is a part of us. However, it's not all of us. We are not our pasts. We are the present. We are the now. Do you like where you are in this moment? Can you accept who you are in this very instance? If not, change it. That first minute in which you began reading this, is now the past.
Why do we complain about our pasts and our situations instead of doing something to change them? I don't want to live a complacent life anymore. Instead of dwelling on lost love and missed opportunities, I want to focus on finding new love and creating new opportunities. These things wont come to us; we must actively seek the things we want in our lives. Furthermore, we need to seek the things that we honestly need in our lives at this moment.
I might want to win back a lost love, but maybe that's not what I need right now. I'm at a crucial, transitioning moment in my life's timeline. I don't have a lot right now. In fact, I pretty much have a blank slate. I wrecked my brand new car, cut ties with people who were dragging me down, finished earning my associates degree, and I don't have a job. I really don't have anything to my name at the moment, except for my name alone. But I see some beauty in this emptiness. There's infinite possibility in this nothingness.
Today, I have the chance to find a new car; and while I don't have one, I can appreciate what it means to have the freedom that a vehicle provides. I'm completely single, and I only have relationships with my true friends. Not the people you occasionally say hi to, the people who would lay their lives down for me. I have my associates degree now, and I know that I want to further my education. Not taking any classes this semester has shown me how deep my passion for knowledge is. I would complain endlessly about going to class, but now that I can't go, I miss it. So I'm applying to a bunch of universities and planning on working for my bachelors degree in the fall. Being 21, and unemployed makes me feel pretty worthless. I want to prove to my family and myself that I am independent. I want to start earning my own money, and being responsible for more things. In this moment, I have nothing. But in this moment, I'm also working towards everything. I'm laying the foundation for my future.
It's like standing on the edge of a giant canyon, and the only move you can make is forward. Forward will feel like falling, but on the decent, you have time to build a safety net. Something to land on when you've finished the fall. I'm trying to build one of those cartoon-ish springs that will propel me up and over the canon altogether as soon as I land on it. I don't want to take this leap and land on my ass. I'm ready to start my life. My new life. The life I have always dreamed of. Full of adventure, new people, new places, new ideas, and a new me.
We can't skip over all the muck that exists in the present and land in the future. But we can wipe off the sediment and rot of our pasts. We don't need more things weighing us down in this moment.
This moment is your life. Make it worth living.
What is it inside of us that causes us to compare ourselves to everyone else? What part of the brain controls this bizarre impulse to look at others, judge them, and almost in the same instant, judge ourselves in comparison? Could this be some primitive instinct from the days when natural selection played a far greater role than it does today? Thousands of years ago, certain traits were deemed desirable because they showed fitness for an environment and reproduction. This is a nice theory, but I believe it's much more than that. Today we place so much importance on physical appearance; however the standards and ideals of beauty today are different than those fifty years ago. If this compelling force to criticize and compare was primitive, the standards of beauty shouldn't deviate so greatly through different time periods. Clearly, we place impossible standards of beauty upon ourselves. But why?
As someone who has struggled with eating disorders, and has been overly critical of them-self for as long as I can remember, I've always wondered why I do this to myself. Why do I stand in front of the mirror, pinch the skin on my hips, scrutinize every dimple and blemish on my skin, pick, prod, poke, scratch and scrape at the pores on my face. Why do people tell me I'm pretty, and I shrug off the compliment and point out a flaw? Why can I not look at myself, and be proud of my appearance? I try to eat healthy and work out regularly, then when I slip up and indulge on something less than ideal, or skip a few workouts, I instantly belittle myself, feel guilty, feel like I instantly weigh 300 pounds, and think I'm the most disgusting creature on this earth. That is not normal. I know it's not, and yet, I continue to do it. There is a vicious cycle of self-hate going on and I can't seem to pinpoint the beginning or find sight of the end.
Advertisers, modeling agencies, television shows and movies all place a twisted idea of what is beautiful and worthy of admiration in our minds from an early age. Thin, blonde, perfectly white and straight teeth, expensive clothes, and promiscuity seem to be the traits of the 'heroines' portrayed in the media. Men have unfair standards too. They must be buff, with a chiseled jaw line, perfectly coiffed hair, perfect smiles and a 'come fuck me' stare if they want to reach leading man status. Unless of course they're funny, then they can look ugly, but they always end up with the cookie cutter, gorgeous leading lady. However, if a female character is funny, she is cast as the pudgy, ugly, bumbling, or sarcastic side-kick. Why must women be beautiful, but they're not allowed to be funny or smart as well in Hollywood? Who creates these stereotypes and why in the hell are we all sitting back, and not doing anything to change these ridiculous standards?
How can we all sit back, let these images permeate into our psyches, corrupt our opinions of our self worth, and raise generation after generation of people who hate themselves and don't feel beautiful or worthy? It's sick, and I'm personally sick of it. I am tired of starving myself, depriving myself of things I like, looking into every reflective surface I come in contact with so I don't look 'ugly'. It's pointless. I can't be the only person who is sick of this, though. If we want society to change, we have to first make changes within ourselves. That being said, my new goal is to value myself. Every pound, every blemish, every dimple, every crooked tooth. I don't want someone else to tell me what is beautiful or worthy of admiration. I decide what is beautiful from this moment forward. Beauty is not found on the outside, it comes from within. I am a smart girl, who has been doing stupid things to her body for years. I want to be healthy physically and mentally.
If someone doesn't find me beautiful, oh well! That's on them. The only person I need to please is myself. The only person YOU need to please is yourself. No two people see things in exactly the same way, so why should we try to conform to a corrupt standard of a skewed mind? If you love and respect yourself, you're set. Once you do, I'm certain you'll find plenty of people who also love and admire you, for you. When we chose to walk with our heads held high, proud of our imperfections, and standing in glorious opposition to society's standard of what is beautiful, we not only inspire ourselves, we inspire others. Perhaps once more and more people become inspired in this way, there won't be a standard of beauty anymore. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Embrace your beauty's size, and stop worrying about your pant size.
I'm kind of feeling like a huge slacker at the moment. I haven't posted in a while. I have been slacking not only on here, but in school as well. I'm either the world's best or worst procrastinator, depending on how you look at it. I have been waiting until the last possible second to do all of my homework, and turn in my assignments. Gahh, I've even been waiting until the last possible second to make plans with friends. Why? I have no idea. One would assume making plans with friends would be high up on the priority list, especially for school slackers like me. I have no idea what is wrong with me. I feel like I'm in a bit of a funk.
I love pretending like I enjoy being Miss Independent all the time, but I think I get lonely quite a lot a bit. I'm starting to wonder if that's the source of this funk I'm in. When I'm in a relationship I tend to pay more attention in school and get my work done early so I can spend time with my significant other. Apparently I need some sort of incentive in order to be productive. I'm not really keen on getting into another relationship any time soon, but I need motivation! I have no idea what that motivation should be or will be though. Writing that and admitting it kind of makes me feel like the biggest loser ever.
Shouldn't I be able to motivate myself? One thing that I've actually been semi able to commit to is working out. I've downloaded a bunch of exercise apps, and I've actually been using them. I know, I'm kind of surprised too. My new found dedication has me a little bit worried though. When I become more focused on my body, my old eating dissorder habits start to creep back in. I feel like relationships not only gave me an incentive to be more focused on school, relationships distracted me from my own insecurities. I don't know if the relationships help because they are usually accompanied by compliments and affection, or the simple fact that the affection confirmed I was good enough as is.
I promise I'm not slipping into some intense world of depression or anything. This revelation just kind of came to me as I began to write. I guess it was like a stream of consciousness type of deal. I have been having plenty of good times along with the bad. I've been spending lots of time with my friends, and I've even been making some new friends. Hopefully these relationships will help me get out of this funk, and I can find a way to motivate myself without needing another boyfriend. Even though I'll probably sound like a broken record, you've got to learn how to love yourself before you can love another person. That is something I am seriously working on each and every single day. Hopefully one of these days I can fully accept my body, and my mind for what they are. I feel like I'm getting closer by the minute.
So my challenge for you: Find a way to motivate yourself, and never stop loving who you are.
Perfection; something we all strive for, but how many of us actually reach it? The word itself has many connotations. We all picture something different when we attempt to conjure up the perfect image or person. With so many different ideals out there, why does it seem like so many of us are looking for the same things?
In America, for example, when you ask the average person to describe a beautiful woman they'll give you a pretty typical list of features. Things like thin, larger breasts, a perky bum, long, blonde hair, tall, nice clothes, etc. Well, maybe this isn't the average Americans idea of beauty, it's probably the average American mans idea. That cookie cutter image of a woman is what we're all bombarded with on the television and movie screen from the time we are children.
Who set these standards? An even better question is how many women can actually fit into this mold? Not many, without a personal trainer and great plastic surgeon. I find this absolutely depressing. Many women like to pretend that they don't try and conform to this "perfect" standard, but they're lying to the world and themselves. If you can find one woman that hasn't dyed her hair, attempted to diet, or worn high heels, then I'll call myself the liar. We can try and blame men for the harsh standards placed on women in this society, but we have to blame ourselves as well.
We're harsh on our own bodies, and we nitpick at the women around us. We're constantly judging how thin or large those around us are; we're sneering at women in head to toe designer clothes, and laughing at women who can't afford them. What the hell is wrong with us?
How will we ever be able to move past old standards and expand the definition of beauty if we can't even walk down the street or out of our front door without being judgmental? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Clearly the beholder found diversity beautiful since we're all different. You might say hold up, what about twins? Sure, they look alike, but they have distinct personalities that make them individuals. Why can't any of us seem to embrace our flaws and the quirks of those around us? I'm just as guilty of buying into the sickening cookie cutter idea of perfection.
We all need to expand the ideals associated with beauty. I'm including myself in this. I'm sick of looking down on myself because I'm not tan, I'm not tall, my hips and thighs aren't skinny, my hair is a mousy shade of brown, I have misplaced dimples on my face, I have crooked teeth, I wear glasses, the list could go on and on. Who fucking cares? The things that I see as flaws within myself could be absolutely beautiful to someone else. What right do I have to deem my features imperfect? Perfection is completely subjective. Therefore my objective is to feel beautiful and make sure you feel beautiful too. We're all worthy of feeling adequate in a society that is constantly telling us we'll never be good enough. Trust me, you're better than good enough. You're the best you there will ever be. Embrace your individuality, and accept every inch of yourself.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.