I’m a hybrid. On my maternal side I come from a lineage of stunningly beautiful women. However, they were raised in a very dysfunctional house to which beauty was about the only thing they were loved and praised for. So intrinsically, I was raised where vanity was held in much higher regard than intelligence, talent, self-worth, and individuality. On my paternal side, I come from a lineage of curvy, androgynous, talented and eccentric women that placed culture, intelligence, design, and self-expression above beauty. And though these worlds were a juxtaposition of one other, they shared one value in common, complete and utter outspoken confidence.
In some ways I’m a lucky one because I took the seeds of culture, design, intelligence, and self-expression and fostered them into my own version of feminism. But it has taken (and continues to take) determined healing from societal programming and nurturing that rests deep in my subconscious.
Completely embracing our body for exactly the authentic, individual beauty it is, is a conscious choice. And it’s a continually effort. Sadly, especially as women, we’ve been bombarded with a large societal broadcast consisting of ad's, magazines, marketing, romantic relationships, and now social media that tell us to fit into a very specific mold so that we can ultimately appeal to what men have been programmed to believe is sexy.
I remember a few very pivotal moments in my path where I made the conscious choice to head in the direction of accepting myself. The most specific was when I was acting and modeling and my (very well known) manager at the time said that my career would take shape if I enhanced my chest and removed the sunspots off of my arms. A week later I was driving to a pilot callback, and I thought about my friends that were already getting work done, or the new actress girlfriend of my ex that has all the work done. And it was in that moment that I chose to embrace "me", age gracefully, accept myself, and nurture my authentic bits. It was also the moment that I quit that career. 1/3 of the reason was because I couldn’t age healthily in it.
As a woman deemed beautiful by societal standards, I press these keys today telling you that I wouldn’t really know that if people didn’t tell me. I feel most beautiful when I create. Create a journal post. Create an incredible gathering with people I love. Work with my clients. Create income from a project that I started out of thin air because The Universe instructed me that it would inspire a lot of people, called FREE + NATIVE. At the end of the day, this body we inhabit is quite a bit of DNA, and this life is really about the evolution of our soul. Part of that evolution is making the conscious choice to really inhabit and love every inch of this biology of a vessel.
When I left that manager and left acting, I also moved to an area of LA that gave me space. I removed friends that focused too much on the outside and superficiality of it. I looked in the mirror and stopped focusing on how small and imperfect my breast are but started seeing them as authentic, and something that would feed my babies when I have them—rather than something to attract the opposite sex. I started noticing how insanely cool it is that I only have freckles surrounding one eye, and a constellation of freckles on my arm—unlike anyone else I know. That extra tiny bit around my waist is what will make me have an incredibly nourished pregnancy. And though I’m apparently what “most women would kill to look like”, that doesn’t interest me either. The true lesson was learning why what I look like is authentic to me. I have my days that set me back from the momentum of feeling authentically present. When my hormones are out of whack and excess estrogen bloats me to twice my size, I have to make the conscious choice and do the work to realize what that actually means. And that it doesn’t determine my self-worth.
I look forward to the day where I get to break a bit of the cycle for my daughter. Where mirrors are sparse in the house, and sayings like, “look how beautiful that dress is on you,” don’t flow freely out of my mouth. “What an original and totally creative idea,” fill its place instead. This journey of releasing personal judgments and blocks have equally excelled how quickly I manifest.
A few tangible shifts to consider.
NO ADS | I don’t own a TV. So literally the only ad’s I’m subliminally forced to retain are billboards and annoying ones on internet sites/ social media.
MAGAZINES | I can’t remember the last time I’ve looked at a magazine—especially something fashion forward. Those have shifted to inspiring ad-less quarterlies.
SOCIAL | I don’t follow the models. There are a few health forward ones and activists but otherwise I follow my community, which are pioneering and advocating a healthier lifestyle. Brands that feed insecurity through sexuality lost my interest long ago. And now brands that focus on gender neutrality are far more interesting in my perspective.
COMMUNITY | I’m surrounded by women that define their beauty and sexuality through motivation, drive, authenticity, support, social consciousness, and spiritual evolution.
PARTNERSHIP | If pink push-up bras and cutoff shorts are what get you going, I will never fill your sexual fantasy. Knowing that is a powerful thing. When I was single this summer, men that were raised by intelligent, strong, feminist mothers were the only ones that interested me. Those mothers did their part to help break the cycle for their sons. And it’s important that I have that kind of partner to help me raise children that further break that cycle for society.
DO | I channel my insecure energy into my work—my creative purpose. This work has given me more self-worth than anything outside of myself ever has (partnership, piece of clothing, car, jewelry, home ______….). And I’m most certain that when things are a lot looser and much further away from the typical airbrushed model, when I’m in my sixties, it will be my creative pursuit and individuality that continue to fill up my self-worth tank.