If I’m not thin, I’m not beautiful. If my skin isn’t clear, I’m not beautiful. If I’m not young, I’m not beautiful. These are the thoughts that cascade down the waterfalls of my mind, crashing into the treacherous rocks of insecurity and low self-esteem—a drop difficult for anyone to survive. As women, we’ve been raised to keep a few specific traits in mind when considering ourselves beautiful and most of those contradict what our bodies can actually do. The inspiration for this post came from the strong sense of disingenuity I’ve been feeling about my art and style based on the fact that I have these predisposed ideals of beauty that I feel I need to achieve.
While it may sound trivial and a bit melodramatic, it is difficult to live daily life falsifying yourself. I was raised to believe that being feminine was achieved by a specific sense of style rather than femininity being the tree trunk from which various branches of self-expression grow. Logically, if I’m female, I’m feminine, but in my own way. However, my struggles were with somehow amalgamating what I was taught to believe was ‘girly’ with, at times, slightly more ‘boyish’ style. It’s easy to throw on a dress and feel pretty, but that doesn't always lead to the unity of femininity and comfort. By comfort I don’t mean tossing out tight skirts for slacks, but rather feeling true to the person in the back of your head that tells you what to pick out at a store.
I am currently reading The Power of Now to combat my slight anxiety over mundane things (previously discussed on this blog), and Eckhart Tolle really pushes the notion that your thoughts are not necessarily who you are. What might flutter past your mind for a brief moment does not necessarily need to be entertained and taken on as part of your being. I can’t help but thing that this also applies to your outward appearance. I don’t want this post to come off like I’m talking about personal style because how we feel about appearance is so much more than that. It's about being able to truly say that who I feel like I am on the inside is who I am presenting to the world. Also, last thing I wan't to do is sound facetious, but this can be compared in a much lighter sense to the overwhelming exposure we've gotten to the transgender struggle. Many don't understand what a transgendered person might feel to the same extent, but I believe that everyone allows a version of who they think they should be to emanate from them because of social pressures.
In my (almost) 25 years of life I have only recently discovered that it's okay to question the norms we were brought up with. More precisely, the notion that sexiness or beauty is derived from how you look more than how you feel. As we all know, looks can be deceiving and at times I’ve managed to deceive myself into thinking that I won’t be valued or appreciated if I don’t look the way I think I need to. I would love to be a girly girl or a sex kitten and feel happy when I achieve that look because then I will feel like I've reached the ideal. But I don’t and every time I try I feel like my façade is made of glass and everyone can see through it. I also tend to think in extremes a lot of the time (another reason why I am reading The Power of Now) so when I feel the urge to wear a dress or a skirt I immediately assume that it means that I’m meant to be the kind of person who wears those all the time. But I’m not and that’s alright. One of the hardest things for me to understand is that it’s okay to be more than one thing in a world where we're pushed to be consistent and predictable for the sake of other people and their ability to categorize us.
This leads to the confusing feelings I’ve been having about blogging and the blogging community. Many of the bloggers I follow have a very specific brand or style that they adhere to when they create content, but I find that impossible to do for myself. Nothing seems more boring to me than constantly exploring the same thing every week, no matter how much I may like that topic. This probably why writing is my medium of choice; I can explore anything that my mind desires with little money, just a lot of interest and imagination.
My blog is not consistent. I probably won’t be posting every day or on a specific schedule. And I definitely won’t be focusing on one topic. I am slightly neurotic and very easily bored to even try and attempt that for even as little as 6 months. Despite aging I’ve realized that I still have a while to go before I can say that I know who I am and what I really want to do, but I know that it’s not going to be discovered if I’m not true to myself no matter how weird or slightly embarrassing my new and unique ideas might be.
I guess we all feel this way to an extent, but I would have wished I read something like this 10 years ago. Better late than never?