Many of us have been ruined and many have been fooled to believe the things we see are good. Example: The number of women who post selfies speaking about how wonderful their lives are. The guy that posts an infinite amount of mirror selfies at the gym to show everyone his six pack or how good his “bro pump” was. Although I would not put everyone in this category of insecurity and the need for attention or instant gratification from the same or opposite sex, I call it how I see it. What happened to turning to a close friend or family for the gratification one is seeking, instead of turning to virtual friends that merely see nothing more than a front or, better yet, a ball of insecurity? Now, before anyone says “who are you to say these things,” as if I’m the greatest thing to walk the earth since Steve Erkle, I was there before. I have been in the position of seeking out others that really did not care what I was doing with my life. I was in the position where I thought I always had to have a significant other or people around me to make me feel like I was worthy. It wasn’t until I looked within myself to find the true answers of being comfortable and not needing gratification for the things I was doing. Looking within myself made me answer the tough reality that I had always dreaded, but it was for the better. It is amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you take a deeper look within yourself and answer what has been ignored.
Moreover, these times have created a false image of ones’ true self, which is missing as a society. We never seem to meet that genuine individual that understands and wants to learn more about the person he/she may be communicating with. We never have the opportunity to fully trust the people we meet because many have learned to disguise their true self. Has social media done this to us? Has the importance of social status placed that on us? What has caused this mess that makes us feel like we always have to wear a mask to hide our true identity? Many people live life trying to uphold an image and it eventually shows because this is not sustainable.
A couple of nights ago I was scrolling through some social media, during the little down time that I have, and I couldn’t help but notice some of the images that were coming up: young teens dolled up in their makeup taking selfies and others using their platform for, what appeared to me, as attention seeking gratification. Ayesha Curry, wife of Golden State Warriors phenom Steph Curry, said it perfectly via her social platform, “ Everyone’s into barely wearing clothes these days huh?” This is exactly what I was seeing, young women in less than classy fitting clothes, others asking if they should cut/dye their hair (really? …. I mean REALLY?), some asking for fellow social media users to “rate/like” their picture, some dancing in extremely degrading ways, others taking selfies on their depressive state of minds due to not feeling worthy about their bodies.
To all of those women fighting with similar struggles, I have this to say - you are all beautiful individuals that have so much to offer to this world. If you are struggling with something, do something for YOURSELF, not lean on people to fix the issues that you are experiencing. Many of our problems stem from how we see ourselves, but a lot of that comes from not seeing ourselves as worthy because of magazines that photoshop many of these models into what they want them to look like. There was an article I came across about one of the top models in the world and she mentioned how insecure she was because she had to be this perfect image of what a worthy woman should look like. She also mentioned how she always looks at herself in the mirror as not being the “perfect weight” because of social pressure. This is a great example to find something that is for you and not for others. Start working out, start eating cleaner, and start thinking of yourselves as worthy because if you don’t, nobody else will do it for you. There is no need for clarification or attention to feel complete.
I remember having a conversation with one student athlete and she was telling me about some of the issues that were going on in her life. One of the things I told her was, “do not give into the pressure of society because it will kill you and never do things in life for the approval of others, especially NOT a man. You have to be so independent and positive about yourself that it scares people. I think some have issues with being alone, but sometimes it’s the best thing that can happen. Be alone and work on yourself because who you are/what you become is typically what you attract.” As the conversation came to an end I left her with this, “ DON’T EVER, AND I MEAN EVER, DEPENED ON A MAN TO FEEL WORTHY BECAUSE YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON; you need to learn how to be a strong lady because there will come a time in life where you will go through struggles and sometimes you are the only one that can pull yourself out of that.”
These messages are sometimes missed or overlooked because they are tough conversations to have. Fortunately, I am in a position to spread these words of encouragement because I directly see it. I have seen women fall into abusive relationships because they do not have the confidence or independence to look at themselves in a much greater lens. I have seen women reach for attention with makeup and less than classy fitting clothing. I have seen women struggle with body issues because of the images that are seen in these superficial magazine that only trying to sell and “image,” instead of advice on how we can make women feel more worthy.
I challenge all of you that are in a role model position to have those tough conversations with young men and women because these issues are often swept under the rug. Give young women the sense of hope and happiness that they may not have ever seen in their lives. Give young women the confidence they need to never rely on a man to have a fulfilling life. Give young women motivation to do something for themselves because this is what they need. We need to start viewing women in a different perspective because times have changed. Women have the capabilities to do anything a man can do and I think this is intimidating to many and most are not ready for change.
Women, be your own self and stop looking in magazines for your identity because within those pages are nothing but lies and insecurities. Be a woman that has the ability to negotiate your own direction in life. Be able to hold an educational, intelligent conversation instead of talk about how awesome your new superficial purse is or how you learned how to twerk. All of this wears off, but knowledge is lasting. Lastly, don’t focus on your looks to get you through life like many do. Knowledge is power, knowledge is attractive; the more educated and well rounded you become, the more quality you attract!
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