More than just beautiful
A new year has started and my thoughts revolve around past memories. Memories of past encounters that question my self-image as an attractive woman, whatever that even means. I have been in a state of permanent reflection since Christmas and often I’m simply too hard on myself. I’m aware of this and try to let my constant doubts splash on the surface, because that is what they are, superficial phenomena that have always shaped our perception as women and will continue to be depicted more importantly in the future than acumen and achievement, at least that is my impression. Recently I saw the film »Suffragette«, in which women fought for their right to vote, because they didn’t have much to say at the beginning of the 20th century and I paused briefly. There is no question that from a feminist point of view we have achieved a lot nowadays and no question that self-love or the power of body positivity makes us feel that all kinds of bodies are great and that every form has its own justification without falling into a trend. I know this from my own source, because I also use my photography to depict the wonderful diversity of all faces and all bodies. I can recognize something beautiful in everyone, only my own being is consciously criticized. Why? Because my aesthetic perception is independent of my strength of character in the spotlight. And like so many others, I am also waiting to finally recognize and be able to say: »This is me and I am beautiful«.
With this article, I want to take a critical look at the trend topic Body Positivity, because I think that we are still going round in circles, even if we talk about curves in the same way as we talk about skinny skins, or the fact we are shown cellulite instead of photoshopped legs. It remains the same, the body and the physical appearance of the woman is on display and says nothing about her inner self.
Definition Body Positivity
The term describes physical positivity as a social movement rooted in the belief that all people have a positive body image and should accept their own bodies as well as the bodies of others.
Why is the aspiration to be attractive so present for women and almost irrelevant for men? At least for men other qualities like humor, charisma, intelligence are way more in focus, that is a fact. Why is there no body-positive movement for men? Because they are perceived as more than just a body. And we are confronted daily with how beautiful women have to be, be it through advertising, films or our own social media channels, which we use on a daily basis. We are constantly confronted with beauty that manifests by the number of likes one achieves. No wonder that half-naked Selfies are more exciting than buttoned-up self-portraits or mystical glances appear more seductive than a smiling portrait. We think too much about how we affect our environment and put ourselves under pressure daily to present ourselves in the best possible way.
Travelling and arriving
If I have learned anything through my daily yoga practice, it is that the body has much more to offer than its outer appearance. I owe my journey and arrival to the confidence and self-determination I get through challenge and meditation. If I feel bad, I go to yoga and I feel better, if I feel good, I go to yoga and I feel even better. My mindfulness, my creativity, my awareness of my thoughts and my body I find in myself, and I have found a better way to integrate these important qualities into my daily life without going insane. I believe that every woman gets her very own confirmation without actually having to be outspoken by anyone. I reveal myself with all my weaknesses and fears. Yoga gives me the strength to arrive in this home, my body, my skin, which I really want to love and should not constantly try to change something to feel more comfortable. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m on my way sharing my doubts with so many other women who travel the same way to be closer to their personal goal of arriving.
Let’s go back to Body Positivity and why I generally like this trend, but don’t quite share the content when it comes to saying: »That women are all beautiful«, while it should be our aspiration to say: »That we are more than just beautiful«. Namely, that we have already turned the world upside down regardless of our external appearance, that we have emancipated ourselves and are not dependent on opinions that splash on the surface, but are convincing with our actions. And then you come with the best compliment a woman can wish for and say:
»Woman, you have such a beautiful mind, all I want to see is your beautiful mind.«
And you might be,
you might be great.