If there was one characteristic that so clearly described me, it was my preoccupation with appearances. It’s a very “Asian-y” thing to be obsessed with the way things are supposed to be but I often went above and beyond the call of duty.
Good girls behave this way. Smart girls think these things. Pretty girls look like this.
Good. Smart. Pretty.
In reality, those words, and others just like them, are really just labels like the ones on jars. They come off easily and then no longer inform our view of what’s inside. Truthfully, there is no real connection between us and the labels that people use to define us at all.
While empathy and good sense keep me from assigning labels to others, I’ve never extended that protection to the woman in the mirror. To her, I was a relentless taskmaster driving labels and rules ruthlessly until her entire being was reduced to an impossible set of standards that she could never meet.
And I judged her harshly for it.
Until I realized I was killing her.
If I could gather all of the world’s young women, including the one that lives inside of me, into a room today and teach them one thing it would be to think of one’s self compassionately. There is a person inside of you that needs to be valued because she is here for a purpose that is divinely designed for her and her alone. Speak kindly to her. Because if you kill that fabulous feminine spirit inside of you, you can rely only on the label that is on the outside…however lovely, however bubbly, however perfect — it will not do justice to the full potential of the woman who is inside of you.
And then you’ll have to be stripper. Or, you’ll GET to be a stripper.
Minor Theme: Perspective really is everything.