Be your own kind of beauty
I have had many discussions about the social media avant-gaurds flogging their bodies for followers. Iv’e always been the ‘negative’, rather than the affirmative, in the debate, finding reasons to dismiss the sexualised fame of this rather narcissistic me-ism, However with careful scrutiny I realise that in many cases (not all) they are being authentic, honest and their own version of beauty. Hence it is the authenticity, as shallow as breast and bikini selfies are, that is their portrait of truth.
In a way I admire, massively the nakedness of this form of expression. When I look at previous generations, particularly that of my mother, there used to exist a hush hush to the imperfect truth. If you got a divorce hush hush, if you had a Cessation or surgery, or implants hush hush. If you were over weight you were taught to hide it. If you were disabled you were hidden. As a generation they hid their imperfections. What was revealed to their peers, in many cases was a facade.
When I look to the women of today, their exists two camps of social media lives, some can be exhibiting the same perfectionism, the same facade of the previous generation, each post a replica of the selfie before. BUT for many women, the trail blazers, it is a liberating form of self expression. To put it sweetly, they are being their own kind of beauty” Sharing their secrets, surgery triumph, the truth of what their bodies look like, their pitfalls and make up free faces. What ever the story behind the woman is, it is all, a kind of beauty, its their, kind of beauty. Hence it is the authenticity that is the vehicle of social media stardom and not the ‘self’ sexualisation or the me-ism. These women are professing ‘Their own beauty”
In a bid to celebrate this rather optimistic view of social media here are my favourite ladies exploring the boundaries of what it means to be beautiful. My personal motivator Amy Purdy a para- olympian who in her early twenties had both feet amputated. Amy is honest and inspiring has embraced her past and engaging her community in a truly authentic way. Fellow Aussie model Stephanie Claire Smith who is relentlessly exploring the realness of model life, from workouts to make up free faces to food. Dana Falsetti aka Nolatrees a yogi flaunting her real body. Yes she is overweight, but powerful is her self acceptance and pride of who she is that it has liberated many women to love the skin they live in. And lastly Kayla Itsines she is a fitness social media star who is honest about her own life, and motivating millions of other woman to adopt radial self care. They are “their own kind of beauty”
So How do we ‘be our own kind of beauty’?
According to Cynthia James MA, a writer and inspirational leader specialising in guiding people as they make deep, healing changes in their lives. “It is being your own kind of beauty that builds confidence and acceptance”
So here are my key steps to beauty within
- Letting go of the past
- Being authentic – connect with your passion and purpose
- Surrendering your secrets
- No more judgment
- Radical self care
- Being Imperfect
1. Letting go of the past and who you were then. Remembering that nothing in the past can define your future, its not important who you were yesterday, what we weighed a few years back, or what we used to look like. All that matters is who we choose to be today, and today we are choosing to be our own kind of beauty. A huge facet of this is liberating ourselves from the inauthentic self. Are we being honest with ourselves or are we lying? What would happen if we were authentic, if we did what we truly loved, if we said how we really feel, if we put ourselves first. If we let go of the past and any attachment to it, we open the possibility to create and weave a new future filled with the authentic self.
2. Find your authentic voice. Once we let go of the things that do not serve us we are liberated to be exactly what we are. Being authentic means finding your voice: your passion and purpose, its about authentically tapping into the things we are, what we love, our passions, rather than copying other people. If we engage in honest self expression, we find our own voice and hence allow the truth of who we are to come through.
3. Surrendering secrets. Secrets are toxic, blocking authentic communication and trust between you and your peers. According to Cynthia James “By liberating ourselves of this energy we are able to built trust within ourselves.” Letting go of our secret moves us into a state of openness and transparency. For our social media gals, it means being open about plastic surgery or what they eat or don’t eat. Transparency is key to being authentic.
4. No more judgment. Abandon the judgements towards yourself and others. Let people be who they are, allow them to celebrate that, in turn release yourself from making any judgements about yourself, be who you are, reclaim yourself, there is nothing wrong with you and never will be. For me, this was accepting that some women were being authentic when they ‘selfied’ the plastic boobs and butts, that was the truth of their life. So like the saying goes live and let live, tall poppy syndrome doesn’t help anyone, and rather than criticising these woman why not celebrate in their happiness.
5. Radical self care. Care for yourself above all else. It is a long life and looking after ourselves is the most important task we will even have the privilege of doing. Many of us put other peoples needs above our own. If you do not put yourself first, you stop the flow of loving energy, you become depleted and tired. Radical self care is about understanding that by caring for yourself at an optimal level you will be more energised to be your own kind of beautiful. Radical Self care is implementing good eating habits, cooking, daily exercise, drinking plenty of water and having adequate amounts of sleep. It also includes nourishing your own spirituality and fostering your own growth.
6. Being Imperfect– My Favourite concept from IIN Director Joshua Rosenthal MScEd is ‘be a little bad’ we don’t need to be perfect, as humans we are imperfect, we all make mistakes. In fact Joshua states that “Perfectionism is a self defeating behaviour and in a way it is inauthentic to live life pretending to perfect.” Relish in the imperfection of your being. Relish in the naughtiness, and joy of being human, we all mess up, its okay. no one is a failure. True integrity lies in the ability to recognise and accept your imperfections. My imperfections run deep, after surviving a rock climbing accident which left me scared and slightly disfigured with a funny little limp, this imperfection is now my strength. It is imperfect but it is my own, my own form of beauty.
I invite you to take care of your self and be your own kind our truly authentic beauty. Granted we are not all going to be social media stars but we can be our authentic self, our truth, we can be proud of our story, our past, and present. We can stand strong in who we are.