The Mirror Challenge

Everyone has insecurities about their body, and it is little wonder. With images of models and actors in their prime and who have been hand selected for their exquisite outer beauty, the ordinary person has not a chance when being compared to them. We also don’t have the money for the clothes, the make-up, the hair, the personal trainer, etc. But who is doing the comparing? How many times has our loved ones really told us we need to look like that? We do the comparing. We have been programmed to compare ourselves to everyone else. We do it out of nature and habit. It’s how we learn. If we cannot compare, we cannot see if we are doing something correctly. Unfortunately, we apply it to body image. And while we might not have all the money, we do have personal power. And we have the ability to shift our perspective. And now it’s time to our body back.

Some of us love the mirror. Some of us hate it. The challenge is to look in the mirror for 5-10 minutes every day. No make-up. No clothes. Hair down. Just you as you are. And tell yourself that you are beautiful. Tell yourself that you are ok with how you look. And tell yourself that you forgive yourself. 5 minutes a day, every day. Until you mean it. That is my challenge to all of you. If you don’t do this, then maybe nobody else will. And if you do this and mean it, it won’t matter what anybody says about your body. You will never compare or be compared again.

We know that society’s standards have been wrong, and they’re slowly changing. See the Ugly modeling agency here. Robyn Lawley, a plus-size model graced the inside of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue this year. Read about it here. Read about a beautiful ad campaign from ModCloth here. And when society(like Victoria’s Secret) does throw us a rotten fish, we fight back like this and this. The people in these articles had to come to terms with their bodies. Now, it’s your turn. Go out there give your body some love.

Waterfall

Should Men Paint Their Nails?

Explaining my actions is not part of my job description. I do what makes me happy, so long as it harms none. If you have a problem with something that I do, you can go home and rethink your life. It is your lesson, not mine. That said, there is an exception to every rule. I paint my nails, and I do it, partially, for your benefit. I paint my nails, because we live in a society where straight men can’t be pretty. We live in a society where women are expected to be pretty and unintelligent. We have done ourselves a great injustice. Let me back up a bit.

Let’s start with “gender constructs.” Gender constructs are expectations that we have been taught by society for gender. For instance, we have been taught that men and women think differently and like different things. Women are sensitive, and men are logical. Women like dancing, and men like sports. Yet, if you start talking to young children who have not been taught social norms, you’ll find a mix of interests between both biological genders. Little boys and girls like all kinds of things. They are both thinking AND feeling individuals. So, how do we end up with gender constructs? I was talking to my six year old daughter about colors. I informed her there were no boy colors or girl colors. She could like whatever colors she wanted. Up until now, the only color she has ever talked about was purple, a typical “girl” color. All of a sudden, I heard “My favorite colors are purple and blue.” We get these ideas in our head and repeat them like facts. And then, we repeat them like lessons. It’s really not helping anyone. Stop making assumptions. Stop having expectations. Stop thinking in terms of gender roles and constructs. We can only limit ourselves.

Gender constructs can become dangerous. How dangerous? Let me introduce you to “repression.” He has two friends, suppression, and oppression. Along with the idea the men are not feeling, we have gotten the idea that men are not supposed to be feeling. We have also gotten the idea they are not supposed to be in touch with anything feminine, such as compassion, intuition, or real spirituality. We oppress these things in young boys, discouraging their creativity or actual discussion of their feelings. We chastise them for being “girly.” We punish them for expressing themselves, and this leads to suppression of their own feelings and their own feminine energy. After we have been punished (by ourselves or others) for a trait often enough, our subconscious takes over. But the subconscious cannot discern between inside the mind and outside. So, when we repress something internally, we often oppress the same energy externally. Essentially, hurt children turn into traumatized adults, who do things like calling a man who paints his nails “gay” or even something as extreme as abusing women. And this is why women will never be seen as true equals in the eyes of men, until we start seeing more men in touch with their own feminine. I suspect that as more men begin to get in touch with their own inner feminine energy, we will stop seeing the oppression of women and the LGBTQ community. But change is slow and happens one individual at a time.

Women have risen up and empowered themselves when need be. They have often had to realize that they are a combination of Beauty and Strength. Because of this realization, they have made the push for equality and have done a pretty damn good job. The idea that men are in charge is in a way, an illusion. Empowered women have been been leading this world toward a future of balance. As more women join the call, the question becomes will men finally see their own inner Beauty? Imagine the world when all people find balance. Your feelings are wonderful and divine. You should get in touch with them more often and honor them, even the ones you don’t like. By honoring your feelings, you honor your beautiful self. And who knows where else it may lead? Spirituality? Meditation? Writing? Painting? Music? The possibilities are endless!

So, why do I paint my nails? Because too many young boys have been told they couldn’t do “girly” things. Because too many men lash out at women as a result. Because our society needs to change. And for the same reason that women do it: because it makes me feel pretty. Perhaps you should try it.