First of all, THANK YOU- from the bottom of my heart for your support to my kickstarter campaign. I was fully funded, have a camera, an iMac, a ton of new gear, and am working on getting the new show “Funny Girls Finish Last” up and running. I’ll link to the first episode later in this post. My deepest gratitude can’t really be expressed properly. I’m humbled every single day that you made it happen for me.
Today, I watched a video by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (from 12 Years a Slave) that shook me to my core. If you haven’t watched it, you MUST. It is worth the 5 minutes of your life to hear what she has to say. Here it is.
But what shocked me, was at minute 2:45, she talked about how someone who looked like her was being hailed as “BEAUTIFUL” but her heart didn’t want to believe it “because she had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy.”
SHE WAS SEDUCED BY INADEQUACY.
It stopped me in my tracks.
She is GORGEOUS. Everything I wish I could be. She stands out as a stunning black woman with strength in a way that I never will be able to. Mostly because I’m not a black woman. But the same person I look at with the word “perfection” dripping off my lips- she was seduced by inadequacy.
There is no worse offender in the world of that exact state of mind than me.
I am 100% seduced by my own inadequacies.
I live to point them out in myself. I gleefully let them into my head and heart and I coddle them. I feed them, those feelings of “I’m not this, I’m not that” and I let them burn lasting scars on my self worth, and allow them to twist my inner self into a straight jacket of paralysis until I am too afraid of rejection to move forward.
I don’t have a tiny bone structure with perfect proportions. I don’t have a luscious backside. A six pack with a flat tummy. Tight arms.
My breasts haven’t pointed to the horizon in years, but dutifully hang towards the floor.
I am not at all like others, but I am 100% me. The good, the bad, and the saggy.
There is a universal truth of being seduced by inadequacies. I look at my gorgeous friends- of all colors, genders, creeds, and talents- and I see in them something that I do not have myself. I wish for “somethings” I do not have. And probably never will.
And you know what?
I need to stop it.
I must EMBRACE all the parts of me that are different. Lupita says that inner beauty doesn’t have a shade. Of course she is talking about the color of our skin, but she implies (and I heartily echo her meaning) that it goes so much deeper than that. Inner beauty doesn’t have limitations. It doesn’t have boundaries. It doesn’t an end. But I find myself cutting it off. Telling myself there is a limit. There’s a point where inner beauty can’t and won’t cover what I am. I’m doing that. I’m stopping it. ME. It’s all on me.
Everything that makes us who we are should be appreciated. No matter how much I wish I could be, I will never be perfect. Maybe I can’t change all the physical aspects of my own genetic codes or forces of gravity at work on parts of me, but I can change my attitude surrounding them.
It is in changing our own attitudes about who we are that we find contentment. That we stop focusing on the “gimme gimmes” and start believing we have got what it takes.
I wrote the first episode of “Funny Girls Finish Last” with exactly that in mind.
It’s an anthem for all of us with saggy boobs. (I know I’m not alone here! lol) How that moment when you take off your bra at the end of the day (or whenever) feels so gosh dang sweet! I chose to embrace what I’ve got and let women know it’s ok just to let your girls hang and relax about it. Even laugh about it!
But creating the video was fraught with fighting those feelings of “I don’t look _____ enough.” There were several words over the days of filming and editing that filled in that blank. And I had to fight it. I had to remind myself that criticizing myself for my appearance is exactly what I am trying to help other women overcome. Why is it ok for them to be encouraged about their saggy girls but I am sitting in total judgment about what I look like? And I had to fight that uphill battle the entire time. I had to give myself permission to be ME. Right in that moment. And KEEP GIVING MYSELF PERMISSION. Over and over again until the process was over and I had a completed video.
Inner beauty isn’t something that just happens. We have to fight for it. And the fight isn’t with convincing others how beautiful we really are. 9 times out of 10, it is a fight within.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because fighting isn’t easy. Sometimes we need a word to remind us the fight is worth it. That being seduced by our own inadequacies isn’t nearly as wonderful as self acceptance is. Even if we forget from time to time, that moment when we hit the sweet spot of “I HAVE WORTH AND BEAUTY” feels beyond amazing.
Even better than taking off your bra at the end of the day.