Our world loves to categorize archetypes. There is the dumb blonde, the smart but not so pretty girl, the sex kitten, the virgin (oh, do I know that story), and the list goes on. Archetypes are powerful messages that heighten societies control mechanisms and keep people in proverbial boxes. Look at it this way, if you knew down in your soul that you are beautiful, intelligent, articulate, lovable, likeable, successful, worthy, a leader, etc., who could stop you from doing everything you desire? What if you lived outside of female archetypes? You would have no limitations; you would be dangerous.
The idea of inner and outer beauty is one such category. It is meant as a pithy salve to the (so called) not so attractive among us, and a reminder that only the beautiful get what they want. It’s dumb. It’s beyond dumb, it’s traumatic. It causes many of us to choose less than what we are not only capable of, but gifted to create. It renders us helpless and powerless. I want you to visit this idea with a new perception around what it means to not only be human, but a woman.
Be Really Whole and All Things Will Come To You. Lao Tzu
A baby is whole, perfect, and complete. All babies are beautiful, and all babies need nothing except the love and care of those around them. The same is true for you, and every human being. You were born whole, and are still whole, although our world constantly tells you that you lack something of intrinsic value. What is that thing you lack? That all depends on what you’ve internalized from negative messages. For me, it was that I was unlovable. I was pretty (in an odd, gangly sort of way), but weird. More than weird, I was eccentric. I was too tall, too smart, too odd, and too much of too much. This drove me into a serious imposter syndrome that I still battle with every day. Having said that, the idea that I am whole and complete just as I am became a mantra, and the pathway to healing and personal acceptance. What do you feel you lack? What if today, right now, you decided to let all the negative messages go and believe that you are whole, enough, beautiful, and powerful?
The Big WHY
The mass idea that youth is the only true beauty has made us sick. It exhausts me beyond words. When I was modeling, I did an ad for an anti-aging face cream in France. I was sixteen. At the time, cognizant dissonance around aging was so polarized that I didn’t even consider that it was dumb. Now, however, I see how powerless this unhealthy focus on youth is to us all.
With that in mind, what is a healthy perspective on looking your best? Does this mean we toss our vitamin C serums, anti-aging creams, micro dermabrasion, micro current facial devices, vitamin C and B and E and all the rest? Do we dress like the Amish and stop doing squats? (Heaven forbid!) I’d like to propose a change in focus. The issue here is not that we do or do not take care of ourselves in these ways. The issue is our compass. “Your focus determines your reality,” to quote Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) in Star Wars. Do you do any form of self-care out of hatred for what you don’t like? Do you live in the negative? What if you flipped the story into the positive? What if you took fantastic care of yourself based on one important, clarifying motivation?
Do it out of love
Do you love your booty just as it is? Then stop doing squats. Do you want to lessen your facial lines because you love your face? Then by all means, use the best products and techniques at your disposal. The true question here is, are you acting out of love? What baby will have good behavior if you scream at it? Or tell it that it’s ugly, worthless, or unlovable? Treat yourself as you would treat a child, with the same love, devotion, and positive messages, and you will find that your choices follow suit. If you tell your body how much you love and adore it’s every crevasse, winkle, and bubble, then your body will respond to the things you do to help it be its best.
Youth Obsession Neglects and Negates True Power
If you profoundly remove the inner and outer beauty idea, you begin to recreate something immeasurable. You begin to create true power. Age is not a limitation any more than long toe nails make you run slower. Forget what the media tells you about possibility and age; step out and do it yourself. I believe if you are true to your own voice and calling, then good will come to you. There are many such success stories like the woman who grew violets so beautiful she created a huge following among people in her town who saw the beauty and splendor she brought into the world. Her impact far outweighed any perceived negatives from being in her eighty’s! She was powerful in her devotion to bringing beauty to all those around her.
What do you love? What is your passion? Find a way to bring it into your world in the way only you can. What does it mean to take care of yourself? How can you love your body to the fullest extent? Make a list of ten positive affirmations about your body to use when the old negative stories show up for you. They are just old stories, and they no longer need to have any influence on you.