Love Yourself…But How?

Imagine a future where your perception of your own beauty was not filtered through the lens of society’s definition of perfection. How amazing would it be if we all simply embraced the thing that we like best about ourselves without the world around us telling us which features are best? Pretty amazing, right?!  In a society where the emphasis on someone else’s definition of beauty is all around us, most of us have wondered where we fit into this definition or if we even fit in at all.

IMAGINE A FUTURE documents the experiences of a teenage girl by the name of Janet Goldsboro as she works to determine what beauty is for herself. Truly, her story is about finding the beauty in all of us.

Within the first minute and a half, Micheala Angela Davis offers the insight that not only sets the stage for the documentary; it explains the complexity of being a woman and navigating your way through the world. “Love yourself…have high self esteem. How? How do you love yourself? That’s the work.”

Indeed, learning to quiet the outside noise that is the media, your friends, and sometimes even your family, is not an easy feat but it is necessary.

Like Janet Goldsboro, as a teenager, I can remember not feeling comfortable with my looks. I would spend countless hours in the mirror wondering how I would look with a smaller nose (as in the stories of Gabby Douglas and Adepero Oduye, it was often suggested that I get a nose job) and thinner lips. I hated my curly hair that to this day won’t stay straight for all of the heat in all the world. I would try to push in my hips in because no one had explained to me that they were coming and at the time being “shapely” had not yet become an a widely acceptable thing to be. Not only did I not look like anyone in the media, I didn’t look like anyone else in my family and took many years to embrace what I had as not only good enough but pretty dope.

We, as women need to sculpt our own idea of beautiful to fit ourselves. It is only then that true love of one’s self can begin. Instead of looking at yourself and seeing what isn’t quite up to the standard of beauty that has been set by someone outside of yourself, grab a mirror, look at yourself, pick something(s) you like about yourself.

Take a sheet of paper and make a list of the things that you do well and don’t be afraid to say that you make the best macaroni and cheese in your family.

Eliminate negative self talk and engage in Radical Acts of Self Love. Paint your nails, style your hair, wear your favorite color, anything. Just make sure you do something to show yourself how special you are to YOU.

IMAGINE A FUTURE begins a conversation that has long needed to be had. Whether you are young like Janet Goldsboro or a full grown woman, you have to know that you have value and you have to tell yourself how special you are. One day the world will catch up and even if they don’t , you won’t be bound by anyone’s limitations because you know how amazing you really are.

Words by KarynRose Bruyning is a Florida born, New York City based writer. She is the writer/director of the web series, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, and co-owner of Christmas in July 1982. Follow her on Twitter @thekarynrose.

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