Monday, March 17, 2014
This video speaks for itself.
I want to talk about my own particular sins with regards to objectification.
I know that good hygiene and proper care for oneself invites success, but I have this ingrained notion that I cannot be successful if I don't look the part of a successful woman. I must have perfect hair, flawless skin, a bright smile. I must be fit and wearing tailored clothes that show off my body. I must wear the perfect amount of make up and be ready to take on any project with a smile. I also imagine myself with long manicured fingernails.
Outside of this look, I am less than. I am unfinished. I FEEL unable to take on the tasks of the day and unworthy to compare myself with other women.
I watched this video Thursday morning at about 7 am.
I spent the day thinking of ways I hold myself back when I don't feel I fit this mold in my mind. I don't like visiting friends when I feel fat and ugly. I don't like trying new things. I am afraid of auditioning for things.
Thursday night, I visited with four different women, each successful in their own right. Each happy. Each striving. When I went to see these friends, I didn't bother with make up. I wore something comfortable and reasonably stylish, but nothing tailored. My nails were short. My skin was mostly clear except for an odd zit near my ear. My hair was tangled and thrown up in a bun. At first, I was concerned how I would feel compared to the women I was going to be meeting up with.
The first woman came from work. She was dressed conservatively, but she didn't appear to have any make up on. This didn't stop us from enjoying a nice conversation and doing what we needed to do. I enjoyed getting to know her and hearing about her joys.
The second woman was just returning from the gym. She smiled brightly and we had a nice talk about work and spiritual things. She was in her gym clothes, no make up, hair in a pony tail--but it didn't curtail her radiance.
The third woman wore no make up, and her hair was thrown up as messily as mine. She was comfortable and we jabbered about life, work, ambitions, and love.
The fourth woman was also in her workout clothes, no make up. Again, we talked about the business at hand, life, friendships, and neither her appearance nor mine kept us from having a successful meeting.
Four women, all successful. Four meetings, all successful. But none of us looked like the picture of success I have in my mind.
I believe I'm late to the party here. I believe I've fallen prey to Hollywood's idea of what a successful, happy woman should look like. I believe the world when they tell me that I should never be satisfied with how I look--or worse--that who I am right now isn't quite enough to demand personal happiness.
Beauty comes from within. Beauty is a light that shines unfettered by wardrobe or make up. It is found in confidence, laughter, thoughtfulness, and grace.
I don't know what men are looking for anymore than men know what they're looking for. I believe sexual attraction is important in a relationship, but last I heard sex generally happens in the dark. Successful sexual endeavors require trust, care, thoughfulness, laughter, confidence, and a little bit of grace I imagine. I don't think it's required that I wear high heels and a corset, although that might contribute to some of the laughter.
I look forward to love and lovemaking, but I will not present myself like an object ready to be bought in order to find love. I will enjoy my successes and take every opportunity to find and share joy. I hope that in this way, I will meet someone I can grow in love with.
My efforts to stop objectification must begin with my relationship with myself.