Thursday, August 14, 2014

We are WOMEN, Hear us ROAR!

I used to constantly be concerned with growing up and aging too quickly. The aspects of being a “grown up” never scared me, but aging did. Truth is, I was terrified of those lines, wrinkles, slower metabolism, lumpy thighs, and all the other imperfections we associated with aging. Until now.

I’m starting to get wrinkles. There are lines on my face, dark shadows under my eyes, large pores on my nose and lumps on my thighs where there should be smooth skin. SO WHAT? Who started telling us that those things were to be feared so badly that one would subject themselves to expensive creams, needles, contraptions and highly restrictive diets (which really all sound like forms of cruel punishment) to get rid of them? WHY? What is our fascination with the “fountain of youth”? Why do we NEED to be perfect ALL THE TIME? Why is “perfection” the standard for women?

The truth is, none of us are perfect. We are individuals with character and flaws and personalities and interests. We are daughters and mothers and sisters and aunties and friends…and we are HUMAN. So why do we feel the need to look “flawless”? The instant we buy into the idea that our outward appearance solely makes up who we are and defines our worth is the exact instant that it does. The image of what a woman “should look like” has become so objectified and so highly sexualized that we have completely lost real beauty. We cannot allow other people to treat us as such or allow the media to mandate how we "should" look and how we should feel about ourselves when we don’t. Our bodies are made for so much more than that. They’re made to create little human beings, to hug friends in need, to kiss Grandmas on their cheeks, to love and to laugh and house our intelligent brains that are going to help us run the world! (Just kidding on the last one, I wanted a reason to quote Beyonce…well, maybe not kidding…)

So yes, my face isn't flawless. I have a large worry line forming in the middle of my forehead, but I earned it. Perhaps it came from watching my sweet Grandma pass away surrounded by all her family, or maybe sitting next to my critically ill sister as we watched the doctor administer an experimental medication as a last effort to save her life. I have wrinkles forming around my eyes, but I earned those wrinkles from laughing with my friends so hard I almost passed out and by squinting into the sun as I watched my little nephew score his first soccer goal. I have scars on my nose and on my forehead from playing competitive soccer and on my eyebrow from when I was a child and my puppy was so happy to see me that he jumped up to “hug me” and accidentally got my face with his nail. These are the lines of my face and I’m sure there will be plenty more as time goes by.

Like the amazing Lauren Bacall said, “I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.” And we should be. Each of these things have impacted the person I am, why shouldn't I embrace them? I have lived my life and experienced great emotions, both positive and negative, which left in their wake, wrinkles and lines, each with a story, each adding another layer to the person I now am. Our faces tell our story and our bodies help us live it, why on earth would we want to erase that? Does a line free/pore free/wrinkle free face actually make us happier? Not a chance.

We should live our lives in ways that make US feel beautiful. Beauty should not be defined as a certain size or a specific shape. Working hard to be healthy is SO DIFFERENT than working hard to be skinny. We should love who we are, inside and out. That love, confidence and happiness from within seeps out of every pore and makes you the most beautiful you that you could possibly be! No diet or botox shot could do that! 

Our appearance does NOT provide merit for who we are- our hearts, minds, and souls do. We are unique and flawed and beautiful. All of us. 

We are women, and by golly, you’re going to hear us roar!

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