As a woman, I’ve had to overcome a lifetime struggle of self-abuse from eating disorders, body dysmorphia, self-image, and self-esteem issues. Long before social media, the ideal image of beauty, and perfection were the norm. You’d see it plastered across every magazine, in the leading roles of movies, top actresses on TV, everywhere you saw women, they were perfect. Beauty and perfection were tied to worth, acceptance, and love – all of which are human needs – the psychology behind marketing. They make us feel and believe we’re broken, that we need fixing. When we women are little girls, young and impressionable, we are starving for love and attention, to fit in and belong, yet if we don’t have the standard industry look, we aren’t beautiful, we aren’t worthy, we aren’t lovable, we aren’t accepted. No matter how hard we try, we aren’t enough.
I am a huge advocate for self-love for this very reason. My own story. I know how it feels. I know how hard I fought. Even though I’ve overcome my cycle of self-abuse, I still have my past to remind me of who I once (believed) I was.
It may seem obvious to many but you never truly know a person. You don’t know their story. You don’t know their pain.
Your pain, your struggles, and your story do not define you, they shape and build your character for who you become – grateful, strong, bold, brave, beautiful, worthy, loved – enough!
We are all struggling in some area of life. Let’s have compassion and empathy for one another.
An excerpt from my book, Chasing Perfection: A Journey to Healing, Fitness, and Self-Love
Release Date 2020
POINTS TO PONDER
Often, we find ourselves following people and posting on social media, thinking that each person has their whole life together. What we see are easy and pretty lives with perfect bodies and perfect relationships, perfect successes, and perfect stories. Everything seems just perfect! On the inside, all of us are hurting. It’s a struggle to maintain and live up to an expectation based on the “highlight reels” that are created and publicly displayed, all for the sake of social media.
You have to ask yourself, “How many photos did it take to get that perfect selfie or body shot? What happened when those shots weren’t perfect?”
You can be sure that every model that everyone is looking up to probably cut herself down over anything less than the “perfect” post-worthy shot. Please don’t believe everything you see online, especially social media where the majority of those perfect shots are staged—from the lighting, angles, clothing, timing. Everything is perfected for the viewer’s interests and based on how many likes, views, or follows one has. In today’s society, that’s sadly what determines your worth, and woe to you if you’re not good enough.
Desperate for connection and belonging, it’s sad to see the younger generation doing whatever it takes, at times jeopardizing their integrity, to gain acceptance from people they’ve never met, will probably never meet and will probably never know.
I was in the same situation though of a different generation. I also allowed others to determine my self-worth and dictate who I was and what I should become. So, when is enough, enough? When is it okay to just be you, to be normal? And what is normal? And who determines whether your sense of what is normal is any less than somebody else’s sense of what is normal?
**This post was inspired by Prince Ea’s video. Every girl should watch this.