Most of our lives we have been fed a misconceived notion of beauty. We are taught that beauty has to fit in a particular mold with perfect physical traits and attributes. That beauty acts, walks, and looks a certain way. That some of us are just not beautiful enough. I fall in this trap all the time and am sure that you do as well. So much, that I don’t even remember life without filters.
A few weeks back, I was told, “Well that is easy for you to say, you are pretty.” This statement sent shock waves through me as I realized that we are all constantly battling our self-worth. Because of this, we settle for less than we deserve. Can I just say, wayyyyyyy less sis (case in point: see Playing Yourself Small). We submit to a false depiction of what beautiful is and undervalue ourselves because of our own insecurities. Allowing negative thoughts dictate who we are to the world is a constant battle. Before you know it, every choice we make is then based on this false notion. We will stay in relationships that we know full well are toxic yet justify why we are there. We will let others take our powers because our mind is so full of insecurities and feelings of inferiority. Why is it so hard to see ourselves in a light of worthiness and infinite splendor?
We will begin to justify why we are where we are by blaming no-one but ourselves. I know that most of us have at some point had the “If only….” thought:
- If only I was skinny
- If only I was smarter
- If only he liked me
- If only I knew how to do that
- If only I lived there
- If only I was rich
But here’s the thing sis: You have everything you need inside of you. Absolutely everything and MORE!
I remember an experiment done a few years back where women were put in front of a mirror and asked to name all the things that they saw wrong with themselves. In no time, each woman had a laundry list of things that they felt insecure of. The mirror was two way where someone else could see you. The person on the other side of the mirror was asked to list all the amazing qualities of that person. It was eye-opening to see that others do not see a drop of what we are so conscious about. It’s amazing how we can be our worst critic and find the slightest imperfection with ourselves.
I remember speaking to a friend who mentioned that his wife had gotten home so happy from a dental appointment because they had filed down her two front teeth. This was something that had bothered her for years and she was just ecstatic that she had finally gotten them to where she felt not so conscious about how they looked. Well, my friend said that he was so disappointed with his wife doing this since that was what he absolutely loved about her. That he liked the way her front two teeth looked before. He said that to him they looked so cute. This conversation just validated that we truly are our worst critics. We will spend time, money, energy, to look and be a certain way. In reality, we are perfect just the way we are. There is no need to look for perfection where it is not needed.
Going back to the beginning, just because someone is pretty in society’s eyes doesn’t mean they see themselves the same ways. It is not easier for me to say that we should all have confidence or live without filters. It is not easier for me to tell you to stand tall because I struggle with the same attack of negative thoughts as others. Beauties, if I could only tell you how long it has taken me to get to this place where I am comfortable in my own skin. I have finally realized that my thighs are always going to rub up against each other. That my eyebrows are never going to grow back, after being a serious plucker for years. That my weight is going to fluctuate when my taco addiction is not controlled. That I will never hit the high notes like Mariah Carey…no matter how much I try. That my hair is never going to be long because that is just not me. There are a lot of things that are really just not me. That is because I am beautiful just the way I am. I am a moody, stubborn, bossy, organized, glam loving, taco-eating, queen. Your beauty standards are set by you and no one else.
You are of infinite beauty. You possess talents that no one else does. You have a way of speaking, talking, and conveying your charm that no one else has. You have been given a set of talents, attributes, and physical charm that are unique to only you. Take advantage of that and realize your infinite worth. The world needs your light and it’s time for you to let your light shine. You don’t need to be apologetic for showing off your splendor and sprinkling your glitter when you show up; instead, people need to know to wear sunglasses when you’re around because your light shines bright. I dare you to be the girl who turns heads when she arrives. Be that confident, sassy, charismatic, boss who is not afraid of nothing. The one who no one can tell her nothing, NADA! The one who knows her worth and everything she brings to the table. The one who burned all her insecurities and thoughts of what others might say or think. The one who ain’t afraid to use bad grammar to drive a point home because she knows she shines bright even when imperfect. The one who has her strengths working for her and nothing but positive thoughts flowing through her veins, from the tip of her head down to her shellac Pedi.
Today is the day that you claim your light. Work towards loving and accepting the immensely beautifully you. Let your inner and outer beauty be your superpower.
Beauties, let me take off the authoritative hat and remind you that while I am here to empower you and share encouragement, I AM ONE OF YOU. We are in this together. I am STILL typing memos to myself and writing notes from the last Fab & Fearless AF Speaker Series brunch. I still look back on my blogs and think myself, “I wrote that?” with the emphasis on the “I”. I, Zoraida Basaldu, CEO of Empowered Fem, still have days when I wonder who I am to speak to groups of teens, organize empowerment brunches for women, write blogs to inspire you to embrace who you are. I have days when my hair won’t fall into place the way it should and I want to freak out and not be proper. I have days when I wonder if I am able to do all of this or if I should hang it up because I am just like everyone else. But then I remember when we first launched and how the universe moved mountains to clear a path for Empowered Fem to make an impact in lives around the nation. What started as me finally being willing to embrace who and what I am and work through it in front of the world AS I make a difference in young girls’ lives as well as women’s lives, has now led to me being stopped at the Taqueria by a young man to tell me how he is now looking into careers in engineering because of a talk I gave at his high school class. If I can do this, sis, YOU CAN TOO! Come join me on IG or FB and let’s throw glitter all over the world together as we accomplish our dreams and help others do the same along the way. Will you join me?
For those of you who are musically inspired, let Demi remind you why you need to stop being a “black belt when [you’re] beating up on myself” and start loving yourself as you are, where you are. Yes, beauties, there is some language in this one below so if you have sensitive ears, try this version instead.