Isn’t it crazy how we women are so much more self-conscious about the way we look than men?
I’m sure I had some self-consciousness regarding my appearance when I was a little girl, but when I hit puberty it reached a whole new level. My attention started returning to this fundamental reference point so frequently, so naturally, that it became like any other bad habit—at first innocuous, later bothersome, until it reached a peak in my late teenage years, and my desperation to free myself sent me searching for answers.
I know I’m not alone in this. I see it in women all around me every single day. But it’s sometimes so subtle that we fail to recognize the signs of just how tightly our self-worth is woven into the way we happen to look, and the images we get fed from the media on a daily basis don’t make it easy to imagine another possibility.
Plus, there’s a catch-22 if you try to go the opposite route, because disregarding the way we look isn’t all that great, either. I tried it in my twenties—everything from a shaving my head to growing dreadlocks, from never shaving to never wearing makeup. I rarely cared what I wore, no matter what the social circumstances were. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty, and it didn’t exactly help me in my search for a decent job.
Over the years, the thing that has helped me the most and finally shown me a path between those two extremes—of obsessive concern vs. outright lack of care—is getting real about this as a shared predicament that we all face as women. By speaking about it together with others, we can start to objectify this obsessive tendency in ourselves and learn to break free, uncovering the healthy self-image and innate beauty that exists in us all. It’s a kind of beauty that no amount of Photoshopping can ever imitate.
That’s why I love this video. It features real women being honest, real women breaking free, and real women beginning to see some of the reasons why we’ve all been lured into this “bad habit” in the first place. Enjoy, and let me know what you think…