Scrolling down my Facebookwall today, I have seen the same picture over and over again. It is a post baby pic of Kim Kardashin in an ill fitting white bathing suit. I know many of you have seen it as well because it seems every form of media has posted it or is talking about it. While I admire how quickly she has been able to shed her baby weight and return to her beautiful curvy figure, I can’t help but think about the sabbatical we have had for the past 10-12 months not having to be bombarded by pics of her on instagram in varying states of undress, and how much I have enjoyed it. She is a beautiful women but geesh! Scrolling further along, I see an article about a young girl that was found in the middle of her crowded high school cafeteria giving oral sex to another male student. Though these articles would seem to be two unrelated stories, they sadly are very much the same.
I have to admit, throughout my childhood and my teens I didn’t love myself. I liked myself, but I didn’t love myself. I had body issues, hair issues, daddy issues, clothes, money, boys; all the issues that come with growing up a little brown girl under the California sun. I really didn’t learn to love myself until I was in college. For the most part I was comparing myself to the other girls, (who probably had the same insecure issues I had) in my jr. high and high school. It wasn’t the Gwenyth Paltrow’s on the red carpet, or the stunning Beyonce’s entertaining the masses, or the Kim Kardashin’s in every magazine on every shelf in the grocery store check out line. Though at the time I felt I could never have all the things my classmates possessed, everything they had, or looked like they had was some how obtainable even if I didn’t know that then. Even in their school yard perfection they still had a zit or two, had lipstick on their teeth, or bad hair days every once in a while. I was able to see that the “princess of the ball” was sometimes off her A game just like me. Even though I didn’t love myself, I liked myself a whole bunch. Liking myself filled in the gaps of my insecurities until I could learn to love who I was.
I think about my nieces and I know that already in their young lives they are already being indoctrinated about what is beautiful and what is not. Unlike me their young minds are already barraged by the flawless perfection of societies idea of beauty. Unlike me, they are not shown bad hair days, zits, or any form of imperfections. All they see are impeccable photos that have been doctored beyond recognition, or the glamorous life of celebrities that is idolized on tv or social media. It makes me wonder will they ever learn to love themselves. Will they ever learn to even like themselves? Will they constantly compare their self worth to an unattainable apparition that doesn’t exist. I pray when they realize that they can’t attain this false perfection they see around them, they don’t look for it, crave it, from other means. I pray they don’t look for that love from a bottle or a drugs altering haze. I pray they don’t look for it in a boy, whose love is conditioned on what she can do for him. I pray they don’t look for it in an addicted obsession of body dismorphia. I pray they don’t seek attention using their body as currency. I pray they grow to love themselves and all their imperfections because they are unique, special, wonderful individuals who are carefully and wonderfully made by a perfect all loving GOD. I want them to grow to love those things that make them different. I want them to know they are very extraordinary girls and they are loved, because there are so many little girls who have never heard this, and so many women who have yet to believe it. By birthright, you have always been “the princess of the ball”!!