I’m in my late 30s. It’s a harsh, painful truth for me. Every time I look in the mirror, I do a double take because I don’t know where my 27 year old self went. My youth went down in a blaze of glory and now I wander around aimlessly in Wrinkle Fields. My once firm bottom that you could play Tidily Winks off of is now the consistency of day-old vanilla mousse. My once taught face tattle tales on my life experiences with deep smile lines and flirtatious crow’s feet. No, I’m not squinting, I’m trying to be sultry… My stomach has never been the same since I had that beauty of a kid in ’98. The silver tiger stripes of stretch marks litter my thighs like I’ve been to war and won. Each year I collect more and more scars on the ‘scratch and dent shelf’ of life. I may be vintage but damned if I don’t hold my value!
Wherever you are in life, you look at yourself and wish for something else… Some part of you. Maybe you compare yourself to those years younger than you, maybe to models in magazines. No matter who you’re comparing yourself to though, you’re diminishing your value just entertaining these kinds of thoughts. Let’s face it, looks are important. But have you ever seen an ugly self-loving person? Have you ever seen someone who cares enough to keep themselves up be distasteful? Really, though. Most people who are showered and clean and wearing a smile are attractive in some way – even if it’s just their positive energy drawing us in. So that’s a relief, right? Now that we all know we are good looking, that leads me to my next point… The moment you sum up your worth based on your personal appearance, you become very cheap.
Objectification is more than just a catchy buzz word for describing part of rape culture. Self-objectification is literally the ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ mentality. I see many women going out of their way to be the prettiest flower in the pot. The result is click-baiting for cleavage, likes for long legs and bravados for bouncy bums. I see Millennial babies on Facebook groups doubting their appearance, which to me looks absolutely stunning. My god, if you feel like this at 20, what will happen in 30 years? When I was in my early 20s someone told me that everyone young was beautiful but they never see it until they look back when they’re older. I am proof of that statement. Damn, I wish I would have appreciated the elasticity when I had it and the natural dewy glow of being fresh in this world. But I don’t because I’m pushing 40 and have won many battles over the last 4 decades. And if I am to objectify myself, it’s going to be with something more than a human ideal.
What about a sunset? Why not objectify yourself as a sunset? Multifaceted, warm and golden, limitless and here temporarily to be glorious. What about the sea? Why not be the sea? Deep and mysterious, powerful, unpredictable, guided by the moon and stars…
What about a butterfly? Delicate, ready to take flight, evolved, gentle…
Why do we compare ourselves to other humans when we have magnanimous things in nature that have proven themselves unfaltering and gorgeous? You’re more than a great ass, so is Beyoncé. Someone send her the memo, please. You’re an amazing being, why compare yourself to another imperfect human?? If you’re going to objectify yourself why not do it with something huge, something that is effortlessly perfect, something that doesn’t have to try, it just IS? Isn’t what you have in your soul equivalent or even greater than the unlimited sunset, profound sea or meticulously crafted butterfly? Hell yeah! It’s so pointless to equate physical beauty with our self-worth. It’s harmful and detrimental because physical beauty fades and when it starts to run, in runs fast and hard.
If you’re going to objectify yourself, at least give yourself credit for the vast array of things that DON’T hinge on physicality. What have you done in life to give you stretch marks? Yeah, you probably made a human being and did your part repopulating the world. Maybe you broke through puberty really fast and your body couldn’t keep up, but now you’re an adult, ready to do great things! What made your hair turn grey? Years of surviving the quest called life through every twist and turn… Years of being a warrior, a gladiator, a referee, a mountain climber, a pilot. If you’re going to objectify yourself, at least give yourself credit for how awesome you really are as a whole. A pineapple upside-down cake wouldn’t be as delicious if it was broken up into the ingredients it takes to make it. A cake is delicious because of all its elements. Let’s be like cakes!
Probably shouldn’t take it personal when people cut themselves down or puff themselves up for attention. I should take it all with a grain of salt. Each day I battle my own demons and insecurities so why worry about those of others? Well, because it is our society, it’s our race, it’s in our DNA… Not really DNA but psyche? Yes. Do me a favour and sit down and write a list of as many awesome things as you can about yourself, things that have nothing to do with how you look. Write about accomplishments and adventures, write about obstacles surmounted and challenges won. Write about happy moments you made happen and the smiles you put on faces. Write about taking care of your health, write about the best meal you make that’s full of vitamins. Write about your loyalty. Write about integrity. Write down those times you stood up for what’s right and denied attention to what’s wrong. Even if you’re a teenager, you’ve done more in life than being just a pretty face. Note those things down. Those are the things you think of as you get older when you no longer have control over gravity as it attacks your ass.
Yes, physical beauty is great but fleeting. It’s like a castle in the sand, it’s bound to fade and disappear. If you put all your eggs in your beauty basket, you’re not giving yourself enough credit for how incredible you are or could be. Beauty can be bought and it can come cheap. Substance sticks and makes your proverbial stocks go up every day in a volatile market so if you’re going to objectify yourself, at least use something worthy of the comparison. Something that’s as solid and time-tested as you.