While reading the blogs that I’m subscribed to, I ran across a post from Ayesha Curry’s ‘Little Lights of Mine’. The post dealt heavily with insecurities. (The link to her post will be listed below.) It went on to discuss social media and society’s role in our perception of self. Her words hit home and I felt it necessary to express my views on the topic.
Her insecurities drown her; rip and tear her apart. It’s all in her mind, if she only saw herself the way he does.
We live in a time of foolishness. Point blank, period. We are surrounded by foolish antics daily. It’s on our television. It’s in our ears. It’s on our computer screen. It entertains us, I won’t discredit that. Foolishness entertains, it does, but when is it too much? There has to be a stopping point because whether we want to believe it or not, these are seeds being planted.
Now, let me dig deeper because I’ve lost somebody.
What we allow in our space daily, in terms of entertainment, opens us up to various perceptions. Social media, television, and music are all perceptions and perception, often times, becomes reality. We start to take what we see as what it is.
Big breasts and enormous butts is on television and in our music. If we are viewing and listening to this all the time, you start to look in the mirror and stick your butt out a little more to view a sexier silhouette. You find that you want your v-necks to plunge just a taste lower to show off the girls. Why, you ask? It’s because the seed was planted.
I will not act as though I haven’t done these things. I have, I have, I have! However, I make sure to always question whether or not my decisions are influenced by the world around me or simply by me being true to self. Granted, I fall short just as we all do. Nonetheless, I continue to give an honest view of the impact that media outlets have on my life.
If I just learned to accept it and treat myself the way I deserved to be treated, it wouldn’t matter what others had to say because I would love myself! Anyone who didn’t, did not matter. So that’s what I did. I loved myself. And with that, opportunities started to fall into my lap and I thank God for all of them. Try loving yourself. Not being selfish or self-righteous, but just knowing that you are special no matter what!
Social media, I can say, has influenced me both negatively and positively. The negative aspect is that I saw tons of females showing skin and altering their photos to look ‘presentable’. I am embarrassed to admit that I have used filters and apps to make myself look ‘beautiful’ in the eyes of peers on social media. I have questioned my attractiveness and compared myself to many, as a result of excessive social media usage. Am I good enough? Do I look as good as her? Will he like me the way I am? Am I good enough? Am I sexy enough? Smart enough?
I consider myself a crayon. I may not be your favorite color, but one day you’re going to need me to complete your picture.
The problem isn’t us, but we can control it. We need to monitor the amount of influence that we allow these things to have on us. Once I realized how strong an impact social media had on my view of self, I changed what I was viewing on social media. I followed more uplifting young people, like myself, that were trying to network and promote. There is no room for anything negative.
I am in no way saying delete all your social media and change your playlists and choice of television shows. I’m saying to not let these things take on any other role in your life than what they are intended for.
Be you. Make sure you’re saying something when you’re saying something. It’s important to sound like you, to feel like you, to be like you. Be you.
Another way insecurity may rear its ugly head is through our use of makeup and hair extensions. We need to be honest regarding our reason for using these things. Are we hiding behind them? That is a question that I always find myself asking or being asked.
Let’s be very clear, I’ve worn both and will again. I love makeup. My skin, without makeup, is beautiful. However, I love using my face as a canvas and seeing how creative I can be. I also have my own healthy, thick hair, but I also enjoy extensions.
Why did I include this? I am all for a woman who uses makeup and extra hair to emphasize their beauty. That does not mean that I think that using these items to build a fictitious persona is okay. Now, this is only my opinion. Feel free to chime in. Being a lover of makeup, I love to do my face. However, I don’t rely on makeup in any way. I look like myself with and without it and I use it to become make someone else. I also don’t think extensions make me more beautiful. I feel that they enhance certain looks, but I in no way think that Brazilian or Malaysian hair is more beautiful than my genetic, God-given hair.
Am I less of a lady if I don’t where panty hose
My momma said a lady ain’t what she wears but what she knows…
But I’ve drawn the conclusion, it’s all an illusion
Confusion’s the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception,
Something got to change
India Arie, “Video”
How do we combat insecurity? That is the million dollar question that I cannot provide a full proof response too. All I can recommend is that we simply live and enjoy our lives. We can live in our skin. We can embrace our being and try to find our sense of purpose. We can celebrate ourselves and throw our own party. We can find our inner happiness.
Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don’t
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won’t
Depend of how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul
India Arie, “Video”
We can encourage one another and build one another up because insecurity targets all of us. We can also look to women that are unbothered by the views of society. The Jill Scotts that don’t view their vivacious curves as unattractive, but they view them as the waves from mother nature that birthed the Million Man March. The India Aries that are not their hair, nor their skin, but rather the souls that live within. The Solanges that wear their own natural Crown of Cleopatra atop their head. The Lupitas that own their unique beauty and force you to love it. The Janelle Monaes that place their creative minds at the forefront and don’t rely on just beauty alone. The Winnie Harlows that make you question what is perfection by boldly flaunting what some consider imperfections. The Phylicia Rashads that ooze greatness and class. The Diahann Carrols that are the epitome of regal. The Erykah Badus that take their awkwardness and give you dopeness. The Issa Raes that drown you with creativity and make you love their world. They are the women that would rather be unique caterpillars than to be generic butterflies. These women are the QUEENDOM. We look up to them. They build us up. They are our mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers.
I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally,
Because I am a queen
India Arie, “Video”
Insecurities affect all of us, but we must realize how beautifully unique we are. We are unlike any other creature on this Earth. We were meant to look how we look and be who we are. No matter what filter we use or whose waist trainer we are wearing, the fact will remain.
This means you realize that nothing and nobody else can make you happy. Happiness is something you get from yourself. If you’re completely satisfied with yourself, nobody can take it away from you.
I hope this post touched someone because I know I struggle with self-image often and I have a little sister who looks up to me. She is watching every step I take and every decision I make. I don’t know what I would do if she ever came to me
and said she didn’t see how beautiful she was. Therefore, I must practice what I preach and make sure that I don’t wallow in these temporary feelings of uncertainty, but simply make sure I’m happy within myself.
Be present. Make Love. Make Tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth, and quick wit. Run. Make art. Create. Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know your worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow.
I hope you guys enjoyed my emotional rant! Enjoy your day! Remember to be yourself! Be positive! Be innovative! Be inspired! Be blessed & be sure to check out Ayesha’s post!!!