Tag Archives: education

Don’t push me.

I’m very determined and goal-oriented. My goals change periodically, and I think that’s okay. I’m learning about myself every step of the way. It would be foolish to cling to a dream I no longer look forward to. Thus, I am learning and shuffling my life around to make room for things, people, and plans that enchant me.

And then I’m confronted with my culture.
My culture that doesn’t force me to do anything, but whose participants are constantly asking the same questions and are worried about the same things. I know that those who love me wish the very best for me. I have been blessed beyond measure with family and friends who are so supportive, caring, and inspirational. But even these very special people in my life are sometimes caught up in our culture – the one that doesn’t intentionally want to cause me harm, but it’s doing so anyway.

“When are you getting married? So and so is…so and so had a baby…Why not?”

At first, I laughed it all off. I’d answer with truth and they’d be concerned. But I’d laugh because I didn’t know what else to do, and because to me, it all seemed obnoxious and ridiculous. To me, it still feels like a question I shouldn’t be asked more than 20 times a month, because I’m young and free and that’s just how I like it. My relationship doesn’t have to be heading in the “I do” direction, because it’s in a great place as it is. Besides, that’s my business. It’s my life and I am allowed to do what I want.

They understand that. They wouldn’t force me to do anything, but their constant nudging and questioning is finally getting to me, but not in the way they want it to get to me.

It’s just making me feel like everything else I do is not important.
It’s making me feel like who I am is not enough.

And I’m not changing my mind about what I want, just because other people ask me questions. That would not be honest to my own self. I am holding tight onto what I want and where I’m going. I ask them to stop – and it’s not stopping. Well, I’m not stopping either.

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Society is wrong – You ARE beautiful.

It is truly sad that we live in a society where women are constantly told that they are not enough: they’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, young enough, smart enough, strong enough, good enough…
They’re told by the media and society in general – that they are not enough because they don’t look like the young women Hollywood has created through crazy, unnatural means.

Beauty is not: crazy liquid diets that do not provide enough nutrients to the body, insane work out routines created by personal trainers that require hours at the gym and lots of money, getting rid of all of your imperfections through surgeries and loads of make up…
Beauty is not defined by Hollywood’s standards.
Beauty is natural – beauty is loving the body you were born in, being proud of the knowledge you have acquired throughout the years and the work you have accomplished, being confident.
Beauty is God-given, and it lacks nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with dieting, working out, using make up. But these are things that are supposed to enhance either our health or our best qualities. They are not meant to consume our lives and help us look like the girls we see in magazines.

Sometimes I like to stand back and “people watch” on a busy street – there is so much you can tell about a person’s self image from the way they hold their head, address awkward situations with strangers, and the way they smile.

I live in a college town, so most people are in their early to mid twenties, and even these young women do not seem to love their bodies and minds. During my “people watching” sessions, I notice how many, many young women keep their heads down while they walk, staring at the pavement. They avoid eye contact not because they are in a hurry (I assume they are not, since they are walking fairly slowly), but because they lack confidence. They don’t smile. They are very apologetic when their umbrella slightly touches a man’s coat. When they trip over something and quickly catch their balance, they look around to see if anyone had seen them stumble a bit. I met a girl today, actually, who asked me what I was studying. I told her, and she replied “oh, I would like to study that but I’m too dumb for that…” I proceeded to try to convince her that that was not true. I’ve seen this girl before, she was rather quiet, and probably not society’s definition of “beautiful”. I continued to speak to her and she later opened up and was full of laughter, clever remarks, and insightful ideas.

There’s just something about society’s notion of beauty that irritates me so much.
I’m young, I’m healthy and thin, a little over average height, and pursuing my dreams.
And occasionally, I catch myself thinking  “I wish I was pretty…”
I worked as a model for a short period of time, basically hired for looks.
I ponder: If I’M insecure, what about others? What about those girls who have never been told they are pretty? What about those girls who have been through accidents that have left them changed? Can we ever truly feel like we’re GOOD enough in today’s world?

And why do men get to set these standards? Why does a woman feel inferior to a system that is dominated by the other gender and its standards?

If women cannot get the attention they require and deserve from the men in their lives, we as women must give other women the attention. There’s just something about being told you’re beautiful. (For example, I was at a store with my boyfriend and I saw this girl who I thought was so very pretty and I knew she probably didn’t even know it, so I told her. She felt slightly uncomfortable (and so did my boyfriend), I could tell, but her face lit up and she smiled.) Beauty is not measured in years, kilograms, or the number of compliments received by men. Beauty is everywhere. We have to love the bodies we’re in, and teach other women to love themselves, too. People only demand the respect they deserve when they know their self worth, which makes self-love a priority.

Just for information: I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against men. There are men in this world who are more loving than any woman I have ever met in my life. I have been blessed with a wonderful young man in my life, and our relationship would never have worked out had I not learned to love myself first. Happiness truly does come from within, and the relationships we build are where we share our happiness with those we choose to love.

Society is wrong – You are beautiful. 
“Be kind to yourself – you only have one body, one life, and only the moment to live it” – Olivia Coyne