I grew up on British Cosmo and Vogue. Talk about a skewed version of culture. If they were to write morals at the end of the issues they would probably read something like “Make sure to put Men’s needs ahead of your own” or “We only feature 2% of women in our magazines andddd then we airbrush the crap out of them, soooo if you are a part of the other 98% you might as well give up now”.
Reading those magazines made me feel bad. They made me feel less than. To add insult to injury, once they made me feel like I wasn’t enough, they then offered me “solutions” on how to try and change to fit their mould.
I drank the kool-aid.
In University however, I woke up. I majored in Gender Studies and Sociology and I started to listen to other beautiful, smart and strong women who had felt the same way. I saw how much more women could accomplish if they supported one another. If we could accept and love ourselves and show other women it was okay to love themselves too then we could all be okay.
So, it was then that I decided to make a career out of it. I decided to try and show women that they could feel good about themselves, by changing their clothes, not their body.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my stupid body hang ups that I have to talk myself out of; however I refuse to allow my daughter to have them too.
The other day I was listening to The Beautiful Writers Podcast and Glennon Doyle Melton was discussing her struggle with gender roles. There was a part of it where she mentions talking to her young daughter that really struck a cord with me.
Here is an excerpt:
So we are at the mall the other day and there is this floor to ceiling poster of the Victoria Secret’s Model and her boobs are out to Jupiter and her waist is this toothpick and she looks so angry. I don’t know why? We are all so mixed up with anger and sex that even sexy models look so pissed off all the time. A long time ago I would have pulled her away from it, you know? Tried to not let her look at it, which is not fair since they end up dealing with stuff by themselves. But I just point her towards it now and I say
“What is a women’s body for?”
and she’ll say
“Running or … painting or hugging”
and I’ll say
“ Is a women’s body for selling things?”
and she’ll go
and I say
“That’s why THAT feels bad to you. Because there is something wrong with that, not because there is something wrong with you”.
Every message the world gave me about girls made me feel bad and I thought that meant there was something wrong with me.
I am tired of our culture making us feel bad about they way we look in order to sell us things.
I haven’t listened to a lecture in a long time, but this short podcast brought back that great feeling of empowerment. It made me stop and think about the next generation of women and how important it is that we teach them that ALL body types should be represented in the press, and there are more important things to think about than what number is inside our clothes.
So, lets all raise our hands and say it together:
“I promise that I will be nicer to myself. I promise to show the next generation of women and men that women’s bodies are for running and painting and not for selling. I promise to teach the next generation of women that numbers don’t mean crap. I am enough and so are you”
Your Style Queen,