Have you been battling with your body? Does it feel more like an enemy than a temple that lovingly houses you? Here Keiran reminds us that we don’t have to go through the pain of trying to fit into a tiny box.
The pressure put upon us on a daily basis is stifling. We seem to be stuck in a vacuum where our every action is up for critique. It becomes so easy to lose the essence of what it means to be yourself, when all you strive for is the approval of others.To look like others.To be as successful as others. When did we become the reflection, instead of the masterpiece? A counterfeit note, a forged signature, fingerprints that belong to no one.
Rejecting Society’s Unrealistic Standards
As much as we could say, “no one can dictate how I perceive my own body”
The truth is, no matter how much we want to believe that to be true, society is constructed in a way that predestines how we should think, feel and act towards different kinds of people and different types of bodies. It’s not right, but unfortunately, it’s the reality of modern life. But what we can do is reject this assigned consciousness and be aware that we are in control of changing how we feel about ourselves.
The act of loving yourself is a tough one and it is no one else’s responsibility to ensure that you feel good about yourself. That power is in your hands, or at least it should and can be.
I don’t know. I say this as a man who wishes he loved his body. Who would love to tell you the secret of working with what you have and loving your imperfections. But I can’t do that. I too am guilty of some days hating what I see in the mirror. That is something I am working hard to change.
It is a daily practise, like yoga.
Practicing the flexibility, asking your body to feel things that may want you to recoil. It doesn’t happen overnight. Each day we should look at ourselves and say yes that is my body and I like how this part of it looks. I’m not saying that we should fake it. Instead I’m suggesting that maybe the problem is how we view difference in body types and conditions, as imperfections in the first place.
Maybe I have been handling things wrong, my whole life. Kneeling at the toilet bowl, trying to reach back for a version of myself I knew was in there. Somewhere.
I should have been on my knees in worship; to the person I have been this entire time.
For I too have made storms in the sanctuary of my bedroom and had them dissipate, leaving nothing but dew and rain drops on the edge of a clock hand.
I too have the power of creation. To build myself up, freckle by freckle. Then watch my own reflection crumble into dust at my command.
I have the ability to embrace my body for what it is, and insist everyone who may see me does the same.
I guess I am just yet to master that skill.
I have been looking for validation in the wrong places.
It is not only women who feel the pressures to squeeze themselves into smaller spaces for the sake of those around them. Many men feel this also.
They also feel the pressure to be bigger. As we’re taught that, that; is what manliness looks like. Muscles and brawn and the ability to scare off the competition. It is what is desired and in many ways what is expected. This mentality can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and a feeling of inadequacy. A feeling of emptiness, as we watch the rest of the world fill up on the gratifying words of others.
I know now I have been looking for validation in the wrong places. On street corners, on the bathroom floor at 4am, on a screen that lights up an entire room at night, yet brings only darkness as a result.
We do not need validation, in any way shape or form. We are extraordinary and our bodies are beautiful. They protect us from so many evils of the world, so I think it is our time to return the favour.
Respect the person you are. Above all else, recognise what you have achieved and all of the qualities and attributes that make you a remarkable human.
There has been a recent resurgence regarding body positivity and this is of course a beneficial movement for anyone doubting their worth, in this world swamped with highlight reels.
Viral Sensation Lizzo is encouraging self-love, and I’m sure inspiring many plus size people and women of colour to embrace every inch of who they are. She definitely had it right when she recently said;
“It’s so hard to love yourself, in a world that doesn’t love you back”
But from now on, let me just remind you that even when you feel beaten down and you cannot muster the strength to look at yourself in the mirror. When you feel like the world is against you; you can be certain; that I am not.
I love your body.
I love your skin.
But all of the things that you have always hated. I love them the most. They are too often the most beautiful things about you. The sooner you realise that, the closer you will be to loving your body wholeheartedly.
Now, let’s hold hands.
We’re on this journey together.
The war against ourselves- to stop burning us down and instead building ourselves to new heights.