Women’s perceptions of themselves and how they manage their self-identity is often conflicted for a multitude of reasons, and the media often takes the blame, and perhaps for a good reason. I think media has played a crucial role into why women often have distorted perceptions of themselves and that’s not only just through magazines and all movies we are exposed in our adolescence years, but it is well ingrained through our childhoods too.
This got me to a place of critical thought regarding “being you” versus “being happy”. It is hard when I point out the things I dislike about myself. These thoughts often run unconsciously and turns to self-hatred often leads to feeling embarrassed of oneself when pitted against societal standards.
Why should I feel like this? Who told me that having this chin was wrong, and having broad shoulders looks horrible? Of course, there is never one singular person to blame for public opinion so we often blame ourselves. That can be true, since we are responsible for our own lives and our own choices, but if one wants to ‘change’, how does one change for the betterment of society?
You don’t, if you want to ‘change’, you need to want to ‘change’ for yourself.
Changing your own thought patterns, appreciating yourself and how you are, there is only one of you and there will only ever be one of you. You are an individual. Once you overcome the notion that society won’t change yourself for you and stop comparing yourself to other women who are prettier or perhaps have longer hair and perfect eyebrows you gain little more freedom in your mind.
To be able to appreciate yourself you need to be happy with who you are. Worrying less about what you’re not and carring more about who you are will have a positive impact not only on your self-esteem but your life in general.
You are born into this world as beautiful as any other can be. All you have to do is see. See yourself, see yourself beyond and above all that this world can be.
Written by Jeanette Tshakane
Photography by Bellah Mohitlhi