Freedom Through Self Acceptance

butterfly

We are programmed to like beautiful things. The butterfly above is most certainly visually pleasant to look at, but I would argue what makes it more so is the fact that it could care less what you or I think about it. It’s doing and being what it was created to do and be.

With people, as usual, it’s a bit more complicated.  It really shouldn’t be as we were also all created for a valuable purpose, but too often we judge that value based on how we look. Women, especially tend to fall for this, myself certainly included.

Women, beauty and insecurity are always popular topics for discussion, but this article, “Don’t Judge Yourself by Social Media Likes” by Hadley Heath Manning of the Independent Women’s Forum, takes a refreshingly empowering angle that encourages self reflection on what constitutes self worth and how to develop more healthy thought patterns about it.

Body image issues have always been with us of course, but social media has put self-obsession on steroids, where value is determined by the number of thumbs ups your post gets.  I thank God Facebook was not around when I was teenager, really I actually do. The instant scrutiny and comparing my “likes” to others would have driven my hopelessly insecure self over the edge.

It’s popular today to blame women’s insecurity about how they look on men, or the culture or some weird invisible patriarchy but I don’t think that’s at all helpful to women, nor fair to men. I agree with Manning from the article who says,

“It would be another oversimplification to say that we live in a sexist, patriarchal society that holds women to a different standard than men. It may be true that women’s appearances (their hair and makeup, fashion choices, age) get more attention than men’s, but we can’t just blame men for this. Often, it’s women who are putting pressure on ourselves to look a certain way. It may be a natural or evolutionary instinct for women to try to look young and beautiful.”

 There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good and making an effort to do so. Men of course do this too but women much more so, it’s just in our nature. It’s when we base our self worth as a person on how we look that get’s us in to trouble. Blaming men or society for this stifles efforts at discovering our own self-identity and living more authentically. Certainly there is nothing more beautiful than observing someone living like this, just as God created them to be.

Just as a butterfly goes through many difficult twists and changes to morph in to its true being, so can’t we all.  And how liberating that is, as the article states,

“Let’s all give ourselves some grace when it comes to the way we look and the way we want others to see us: It’s human nature to want to seek approval and to be liked. But it’s not the approval of others that ultimately defines who we are, on the Internet, or off. Recognizing this truth is ultimately freeing…”

 Exactly!

This entry was posted in Personal growth, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Freedom Through Self Acceptance

  1. Belinda Crane says:

    Yes, absolutely. So many things here we should all be aware of. I too am happy FB wasn’t around when I was a teenager!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Al says:

    Excellent points in this post, Tricia and not just for women. As a teenager, I had a frightful sense of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence. If Facebook was around then, I probably would have gone off the deep end. As it is now with Facebook, I still have a frightful sense of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence, but don’t care!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You nailed it. You just nailed it.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing this on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jncthedc says:

    Wonderfully empowering post. Most people would be much happier if they created their own criteria and standards to aspire to. Rather than basing these parameters on other people and other people’s accomplishments, we need to look in the mirror and discover our individual purposes and passions in life. Striving to achieve these goals would remove the self imposed shackles creating a freedom and acceptance of personal choices. “Keeping up with the Joneses” would no longer matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      It’s so true what you say about people creating their own criteria and standards. Tough to do but essential for a satisfying life. “Freedom and acceptance of choices” too is so profound, an entire book could be written on that concept.

      Keeping up with those Joneses is exhausting!

      Like

  5. This is an excellent post Tricia. I have 4 children, 2 boys, 2 girls. Two in their late teens, and two in their early 20’s. There seems to be more pressure on the girls, but I am very proud of my 2 girls who have held up well with the pressures.
    A lot of it I would credit to their mother (my wife). Reading your article, I can identify how my wife does have that balance, and keeps things in perspective.
    Thank you for sharing. 🙂
    ~Carl~

    Like

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks Carl as always for the kind words. Your family sounds well grounded, much of that I’m sure because of Mom and Dad’s influences. I agree, girls deal more with beauty expectations but guys have their own pressures too. Seems we can’t escape having some sort of issues to sort out!

      Like

  6. Chris Warren says:

    Just today i was flipping channels and happened upon a talk show where a very attractive lady was saying there was nothing wrong with women flirting and using good looks to get what they want, particularly in the workplace.

    How much you want to bet this same ding dong would rush to lawyer-up and claim “harassment” the second her boss or a coworker made a nice comment about her appearance?

    Or what about the ones who “don’t want to be judged by their appearance” but spend three hours a day putting on and removing makeup?

    A lot of women want it both ways. It’s so much easier to be a guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      So true Chris about the double standard! I think it’s normal and perhaps even built in to us women to want to look good and have no fault with anyone putting their best foot forward. Just be true to yourself about it and don’t cry out loud when someone actually does pay you some attention! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Respectful comments always welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s