About a week ago I was having a dilemma about posting a certain photo of myself on Instagram. I had been going back and forth so many times questioning if I should post it or not! I wanted to post it because it is a great photo filled with great memories, but I hesitated because I simply thought I looked fatter than I know I am. I said “fuck it” and posted it with a candid caption:
from summer // July 18, 2016 I’ve hesitated to post this photo since I got the film back because I felt that it wasn’t the most flattering photo of me. But I really love this photo because on this day, I was surrounded by people I love in a beautiful place, and I *felt* beautiful. Isn’t that what beauty is about? I love social media because it allows me to share my life and be inspired by so many different people. I am sharing this in hopes of being transparent because if I share the best parts of my day maybe I should share the shitty parts too.
When I tapped the “share” button, I felt proud as well as a sense of relief. When the comments started coming in, they were mostly: “You’re beautiful!” etc. I knew I would get reactions, but I wasn’t expecting to get those types of comments focusing on physical beauty. I freaked out thinking: No no no! I did not post this to get complements, I do not want it to come off that way! I started crying with frustration. But then, I started getting comments like: “I almost cried reading this caption. I’m literally inspired.”, “^rt all of the above”, and “you are genuinely inspiring”. This is a reaction I wasn’t expecting, and felt grateful that it was taken in a more real and positive light.
What the fuck is beauty?
I’d like to think of myself as a beautiful, confident, proud, imperfect, young woman…but lately, the fixation on selfies has had a negative influence on me to think otherwise. Beauty comes from the inside, and my insides also feel prettier when the outside aligns with certain ideals. Ideals such as: perfect glowing skin, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
I like to think of wellness as the concoction that makes people beautiful. When I think of it that way, I am much more confident and proud of the way I live my life. NOT when I compare myself with “Instagram girls”. One of the ways I define myself as a feminist is that I want to support other women to make their own choices and not contribute to the misogynistic culture, often perpetuated by women ourselves! So that being said, do what YOU need to do to FEEL beautiful. If that is doing a face mask every night, eating a delicious chocolate chip cookie, or decorating your body with piercings and tattoos, I want to make every woman I build a relationship with feel supported to be healthfully herself.