Dam* You’re Beautiful: Be Bare. Be Authentic. Be Imperfect.

 As a baby, when placed in front of a mirror, we giggle and smile at the sight of our reflection. So much joy It gave us to look at ourselves.

A woman who attended my self-love workshop last week shared this insight with our group. She shared about how when they placed a mirror in front of a baby at the children’s hospital she worked at, the babies would beam and smile at the sight of themselves, this showing total love for oneself. But, somehow as we blossom into this world, we somehow lose this self-love we once had. We begin to dread looking in the mirror, because we don’t like what we see. 

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I remember how alien I felt to be surrounded by other girls whose breasts were forming, and mines were just mosquito bites, or how I was constantly getting fed negative comments that placed such a great emphasis on external beauty from my loved ones.

“Cydi, you have the perfect body, but only if you’re boobs were bigger.” “You’re a man.” “Why are you so hairy?”

This feeling as if I was never enough. This feeling of never looking beautiful enough for anyone to like me. This feeling of being born in a body not meant for me.

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Since I was a little girl, I was always made fun of because I was too skinny, I was too hairy, I had small boobs, and my brothers always told me I looked like a man. For the longest time, I believed that this made me un-womanly, and I never believed myself to be beautiful. I’ve always been insecure about being skinny, because I grew up believing being too skinny was deemed unattractive, and so I grew up hating what I saw in the mirror. This got me searching for validation from people, especially boys, who would tell me I’m beautiful, I’m enough, I’m worthy. Yet, I was never able to see it for myself. Anger welled up inside of me, but I was unable to express myself, unable to process the uncomfortable heaviness in my heart and my throat. This caused me to have unstable emotional breakdowns and bursts of anger that would come out during small altercations.

Even to this day, I stare at myself in the mirror wondering if I am what a woman should be? Though people compliment me, the negative comments are so ingrained in me, that it still eats at me.

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Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my beauty, accept myself as I come, and fight the constant negative comments that my loved ones and others have conditioned my mind to perceive me. 

On this journey to self-love, the more I make the effort to build a relationship with myself, the greater self-love I feel, and the gentler I am with my feelings, my failures, and triumphs. The more I stare at myself in the mirror, the more beautiful I become. I’m sexy dangggggg! This feeling of total love for the self, overcomes me. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s years of reflection and unlearning all the negative self-talk and replacing it with an abundance of love for myself.

This is a statement to the world, that I am not afraid to be bare, to show you my insecurities. I will always believe in myself. I will always see my worth, and I will be the one to tell me, that I’m beautiful. I am afraid to peel off the layers that protects my innermost self, in fear that you will reject me or see me unworthy, but I realize now, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t matter how society tells people to see me. I see me. I know me. I see my value, my beauty, and my worth.

No one can take this away from me, but myself.

This movement is to tell my fellow women to own your body, own your beauty, and encourage one another to do so. Women are the ones to lift women up. True beauty is having the courage to accept yourself as you come, and embark on your journey to become the best version of yourself. Be Bare. Be Authentic. Be Imperfect. Dare to be seen. Your beauty vibrates into the world as it illuminates from within you.

Just remember to look at that beautiful woman in the mirror and tell her, Dam* You’re Beautiful.

Wabi Sabi

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