by Guest blogger, Mya S.
The new millennium has brought us (women) more complexes than a little bit. We have been bombarded with social media that has broadened the expectations of all the things a woman ‘should’ be -better yet what women of color should be. I feel like we are constantly comparing and contrasting ourselves to all of these mainstream women and I beg to ask, why? Aren’t we, you and I, good enough?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t admire and look up to women portrayed in the media, but to a certain extent it can be toxic to our growth and personal acceptance. As an African American twenty-something woman, I too have vastly adapted to these media inspired times and I witness a lot of sneak-dissing, aka subtweeting, and less than uplifting messages. To be honest, it’s because we don’t have the love within ourselves to exude it properly. We do with our peers what we silently do to ourselves: Enhance the negatives overlook and the positives.
This can all be changed by acceptance & the power of self.
“Without self love there is no self confidence, without self confidence there is no self respect.”
When growing into your “woman skin”, these are attributes that are exuded not applied.
I’m sure some may think this sound corny, cliché, passé or whatever other French adjective that’s a synonym for “overused”. But, we are all guilty of telling ourselves if we could just change this about ourselves- we’d be perfect. But why? It’s emotionally draining. The people you’re admiring, love and accept themselves as they are. That’s what makes them an individual. That is what makes them exude what you admire so much. Why can’t you?
As much as I would love to try and break down faux steps for you to follow, I can’t. I can’t teach you or anyone else how to love themselves. If I were a super hero, that would be my power. However, I can share some hints on what helped me. It’s quite simple.
When I was younger I taught dance for some odd years and was a nanny for some even ones. When you are around children, you see the purity in them and you see how they do things without thoughts of being judged, just loving themselves because they know no different. That made me stop and look at what I was bringing to the world, what it was I stood for. I realized kid’s need to stay this way regardless of anything they might think is a “flaw”. At that moment, I knew the only way for me to ensure that there was going to be that change, that self love change, was to start with myself.
Ask yourself, what would you want people to take from you that only YOU can give them?
I made the decision that I wanted to be my own person, not bits and pieces of someone else and never knew personally. One of the unwritten rules of this life is that we take things from people we meet, that had an impact on our life. Little attributes. Ask yourself, what would you want people to take from you that only you can give them?
Start with a mentor. It is very important to choose women you admire and keep them close as mentors. Research them and ask them questions about life hurdles and experiences. Your mentor can be anyone from Michelle Obama to your mom or it can be both. Choose some that exudes the beauty and intelligence that you would want to. Understand this is all for research. You will have your own trials, your own triumphs, your own tribulations. You just need a little help learning how to pave your path and who better to watch other than a queen?
After, I kind of got my groove, I paid it forward. I mentored. Since you are now equipped with what you need to invest in yourself, it’s time to give it back. When you mentor it doesn’t have to be through an organization, it can be a friends little sister anyone younger than you that had the same questions you did.
That’s literally my story. I looked less to that was put in my face by the world and more to what was given to me by God. I allowed someone to lead me and then I sought to lead someone else. Start by finding what is inside you- uniquely inside you- to water and watch grow. As it blooms, spread the love.
God gives us two hands, one to feed ourselves, and one to feed others. Love yourself!
Mya S. is a professionally trained dancer. She does not limit herself to knowledge consumption or creativity. She has high hopes of becoming a vital attribute to the arts and philanthropy world. She is a music connoisseur and renowned leisure enthusiast.