We Are Our Own Work Of Art
Shades readers, this topic has been on my mind for a while and I wanted to talk to you about it. It’s always been sad to me how much we, as women, judge ourselves by our appearance. We are so accomplished in many areas of life – as Mothers, business owners, professionals…and yet, the constant self-judgment and often self-recrimination about how we look has not subsided.
Let me give you some examples.
I tried to take a picture of my 75-year-old aunt on a recent visit. She fussed about how she doesn’t like how she looks in pictures. She is beautiful and always looks lovely and yet she doesn’t think so.
I have a friend who does not want to be in pictures. Ever.
When I get together with other friends, the conversations inevitably turn to their gym or workout sessions or how much they can’t or shouldn’t eat. The time spent deciding on eating a salad versus other more seemingly appetizing items on the menu is often long and sometimes arduous.
Sometime last year, I was watching a popular talk show hosted by some very prominent women. One of them, who has been a correspondent on other shows and is a respected political commentator, as she was lamenting about how she wanted to look for her upcoming wedding. She was quite critical of her appearance. I shook my head in amazement. Here is a woman who is so smart, so respected and also beautiful and yet she was anxious about how she looks and how much work she had to do in the lead up time to her wedding.
Many years ago, a close friend of mine had put on a lot of weight. While she was bigger, she stopped wearing make up and her social activities had slowed down. When I asked her about it, she said she did not see the point in dressing up or making an effort while being bigger. Eventually, she lost a lot of ‘the weight’. I was so in awe of her accomplishment. When I praised her for it, she would focus on how much more she had to lose and areas of her body she was still not happy with. I remember feeling so sad that she could not fully appreciate what she had accomplished.
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone. The examples above are only a few and are not meant to represent all of us. In addition, self-improvement is a critical component to making our lives better and we should all engage in activities that help us feel better about ourselves or that enrich us. Being physically fit and healthy should ALWAYS be a focus for all of us. But we need to remember that we all come in different shapes and sizes, from different backgrounds and histories and how we look should not be the main component in determining our self-esteem and our self worth.
So today, on Mother’s Day, whether you are a mom, an aunt, a cousin, a sister; whether you are tall, fat, skinny, short, light skinned, dark skinned; whether you have stretch marks or psoriasis; grey hair or no hair; a baby belly or just a belly; high cheekbones or chubby cheeks; whatever you are or have…you are worthy and you are enough.
Mothers and Mother figures, we salute you today!