Self Love and Big Lips

Self Love and Big Lips

Mkay. I’m back.

I’d like to say that my month-ish hiatus from blogging is because I was traveling the world to find myself, or to understand the meaning of life. But, truth be told, I was just too conflicted on how to present the topic of this post.

So, I’ll come out with it.

Guys.

I got lip injections.

There.

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Thanks Glam MedSpa!

Overall, I struggled with not how to present this relatively uninteresting detail about myself, rather than if I should. Do I talk about the actual procedure? Meh. Do people truly care that I even had a cosmetic enhancement? No. Probably not. But, the more that I mulled over how to approach my experience, the more it became apparent that I was struggling with my mantra of body positivity, while simultaneously surrendering to society’s checklist of the ideal female body.

I asked myself, can one still promote female body positivity and yet, look in the mirror and want desperately to change a laundry list of characteristics? Do I exist as a contradiction to scream from the crowd that all ladies should love and embrace their bodies? But at the same time, creating a budget to determine how much I would need to save for Botox? Is body positivity and the desire to alter your physique mutually exclusive?

It sure felt like it.

GROWING UP GIRL

Being a girl in today’s world is difficult. Though, society’s beauty demands have been strong since Eve got hungry.

When I was in middle-school, I remember watching the Titanic scene where Rose’s mother, Ruth, laces her tightly in the corset. The audience is well-aware at this point, how disgusted and unhappy Rose is not only in her relationship with Cal, but the expectations set before her for simply being a woman. “Of course it’s unfair. We’re women. Our choices are never easy,” Ruth’s cutting words are a statement to bring Rose back down to reality. Rose turns around and Ruth resumes her motherly duties to ensure her daughter’s waist is as tiiinnnnyyy as it can be…even if it means one of her lungs may collapse.  Rose winces with each taunt tug. I remember thinking . . . I’m so glad women don’t have to wear those things anymore.

Have to. Even in middle school, my mind was already clouded with a version of what an ideal woman should look like. I think we’ve all been Rose at some point in our life. Wincing in pain as we sauntered through the room in heels too small or too big. Relaxing your hair because God-forbid you had to explain what it meant to go natural. Shaving your legs when you were 12 years old because your olive skin contrasts with your hair and girls can be quite mean. Wearing Spanx to hide the ever so slight bit of pudge for an hourglass figure and just. fucking. miserable.

But, we believe we have to.

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rupi kaur can articulate truth so well.

#BOPO

Social media is often criticized for saturating newsfeeds with unrealistic expectations of the female physique. An equally powerful force, body positivity, stands as the hero to combat the narrow standards.

Body positivity is a movement that empowers men and women to celebrate their bodies and appearance and still acknowledging their self-worth. It is the idea that your identity is not associated to how you look. Love who you are, in the body you are in, without hesitation and without apologizing. On the surface, it is a message that seemingly cannot be flawed. It is essentially the millennial reincarnation of “Beauty is what is on the inside.”

Sometimes I really think that branding and marketing is just recycling old phrases and adding a hashtag . . . but what do I know.

The problem with body positivity is that there can be misconceptions and double standards that can result in the movement creating the very feelings it seeks to destroy.

DOUBLE STANDARD

Truth be told, when I had my lips enhanced I received little negativity. At least not to my face. Sure, there were a few people that would look at wide-eyed and say, “Ugh! WHYYY would you want to do that?”

Bitch, because I want to.

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Bitch, because I want to.

I liked the idea of having fuller lips to apply makeup, a passion I enjoy, though not necessarily good at. I believed that a bigger pout would make my narrow face look a bit more proportionate, especially from my side profile.

“But, you don’t need them. Don’t do that. Just accept yourself for who you are.” Says the person that doesn’t know their own hair color since sixth grade.

Here’s the thing. Honest hour. Sit down. We need to talk.

The double standard with body positivity and cosmetic procedures is that there is some judgmental gossiping that can be difficult, yet obvious to spot at the same time. Highlighting your hair and contouring your face is okay but, getting new titties and lip injections is where the line is drawn. If you love yourself and your body, then the areas that you wish to change should be ignored. You just need to chant your way to acceptance. Why is that?

Body positivity has become complicated, especially when you’re trying to articulate and identify emotions that may conflict with the message of body-image acceptance. Branding and marketing unfortunately does not make the conversation any easier, especially when the  underlying messages to women suggests, you should love your body, but really you can’t possibly like the way you look now. You should look like THIS girl and THEN you’ll achieve ultimate body acceptance Nirvana. Now sign up for our monthly subscription for just . . . blah, blah, blah.

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rupi kaur is mesmerizing

We live in a world, despite even the best hashtags, that demands and constructs women must look a certain way, I believe there is an opportunity to champion the core values of #bopo, while not completely condemning those that wish to alter their looks to make themselves feel better.

SELF LOVE AND BIG LIPS

So, I think it is important to expand the idea of body positivity and recognize that a person can very much feel confident with who they are, today, but also have a desire to want to have Kim Kardashian’s ass.

First and foremost, it is a ridiculous expectation that any of us will love ourselves every second, of every day. Some days I put on makeup and I think . . .why did I even get up? Other days, I am sorely disappointed that no one commented on my dress and the fact I gave a shit about my hair. Bitch, I look good! It’s just not possible and it’s not supposed to be.

To be body positive, you have to accept that your appearance and how you feel about how you look is separate from your self-worth as a person.  On the days that you feel like a busted can of biscuits (totes there today) you do not deserve any less respect. How you look does not excuse you to be a dick. Be a decent human and be kind and love others. I think that it is the Bible somewhere.

You can love your body today, and still work toward your goal of losing weight or getting a nose job. The core of this movement is that you should do it for you. No one else. No amount of plastic surgery or Botox will make your relationship better. If your significant other is suggesting you change your looks or they will leave . . .

Hunty. . .

Go ahead and open the door for him/her to leave. Seriously. Do not let someone else crush you to feel powerful.

What another female chooses to do with her own body is her own business. People that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, remember?

In her book, The Beauty Myth, writer Naomi Wolf explains, “Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn’t grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights.”

Beyond looks and putting on a bikini when you are larger than a size 8, the body positivity movement has to extend to be more than about looks. Wolf highlights the gap that exists in #bopo today: It has to be inclusive of those that otherwise are marginalized in our society. All bodies should be accepted and that is inclusive of dark-skinned, disabled and without regard to sexual orientation. It is going beyond the narrow focus of media labeling something as body positive, while still discriminating those that don’t meet the standard. It is about inclusively.

Be a champion for another woman. Be a cheerleader for wanting to feel better about yourself. Be an advocate for self-love and self-worth without the toxicity of judgement.

And love yourself too. . .

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Shit. Thirty.

Shit. Thirty.

You’re F***ing, THIRTY!

Thirty.

Thirty years old.

I remember sitting in my office listening to my co-worker exaggerate my newly embarked milestone and thinking, “Shit.”

But, the thought wasn’t the bad “shit” moment often associated with monumental self-awakening experiences. You know, like the moment when you realized that your parents lie or that you don’t have to sneak out of the house to go sleep with your boyfriend… you can just walk out of your apartment. It wasn’t even an “a-ha shit” feeling, like when you finally realize Susie didn’t drink at the latest baby shower because she’s pregnant. It certainly wasn’t the “SHIT!!” moment, much like those when you step on the scale after returning from vacation. Not even the excited “shiiitttt” moment like when you finally turn 21 and no longer have to use Sydney from middle-of-nowhere-Kentucky’s ID to get into a rather shady bar.

It was just a flat, uneventful, matter-of-fact “shit.”

I was thirty and expected to just feel something different. Even panic would have been a welcomed emotion because, in my mind, isn’t that what is supposed to happen? Isn’t this the exact moment where my mid-life crisis happens? Better yet, what about my sexual prime, Cosmopolitan, said would be knocking at my door? I bought new panties for this.

Here I sat, waiting for some sort of initiation into the Female 30-Something Sorority and apparently, I was either late for the party or not invited.

So, what was I supposed to feel? What was I supposed to expect? What was I supposed to be doing?

Shit.

Being a woman in your 30s is perplexing. It’s a sandwich between figuring out who you are and where you are (read: drunk) in your 20s and then an appearance of having your shit together in your 40s. Thirty is the gap between holding your hair and dry-heaving into your roommate’s toilet and stepping into womanhood with confidence.

Whereas the 20s mantra was freedom, exploring, making mistakes and making-out… age 30-ish takes a sharp left-turn and focuses on a more distinguished checklist of expectations. Rather than making you feel accomplished, the roadmap can actually make you feel quite left behind.

You can feel stuck. Inadequate. Frustrated. Lonely.

And truth be told, there should be no surprise that many of us, on this bridge swaying and disappearing in the fog- feel that way. The boxes on this checklist are life changing and delicate at the same time.

You should own a home by now.

You should have a sleeping and eating regime that supports a healthy lifestyle.

You should be in a committed relationship.

You should start looking at your ass more… gravity is taking over.

You should have kids by now.

Shit!

One list of “25 Things You Should Do Before You’re 25” suggested to “Hang Out with Kids More.” I shit you not. Why? Because it went on to suggest that, “you’re nearing your thirties now and it won’t be long that you’ll be having children of your own.”

Uhh…

I am finding so many of my generation… peers aren’t quite fitting into exact molds. A lot of us sure as hell have a lot of “shoulds” that are waiting to have a big, fat X on ’em. Then some of us have no intention to ever checking the “shoulds” off the list.

We’re in this complex situation of expectations and perception our parents have for our lives now and how culture/society has molded the reality.

My mother was raising three children when she was 30 . . . and I just reorganized my Pinterest board. Also, I am YouTubing The Tiny Kitchen where a person makes these teeny-tiny treats…andddd….

Times are different, man. The pressure is real.

Before writing and creating this blog, I did some searching on turning 30, expectations in your 30s, things to do in your 30s. While there are some decent suggestions, I still felt confused and empty.

How did these bloggers and writers have it all together and yet, I looked around in my age group and we are scattered all over the board of expectations?

And. Honestly. It is a more beautiful picture of life than any other advice column has painted.

None of us have a clue what we are doing or what we should be doing and it’s honestly…fantastic.

I want to change the perception and misunderstanding surrounding what it means to be 30… because if someone doesn’t, I think some of us are going to lose our damn minds.

Maybe this is my mid-life crisis. The DirtyThirty Pity Party. Some sort of mental breakdown. Or, maybe it’s the refreshing outlook on life that some of us are searching for.

So… Here I am.

Over the next year  undefined time range (I have commitment concerns) …. I want to introduce and interview amazing, female 30-something’s who have absolutely no idea what the hell they’re doing. But, each lady is doing really great things… each one crossing this bridge of their 30s without care or concern for the mold others believe they should fit.

And you know what?

We will make some checklists of our own.

This shit will be fun.

britt