“Why is Gaby Douglas’ hair still not combed”?
“If Gaby got her edges right, she’d perform with excellence”.
These are 2 of one too many comments about Olympic Champion Gaby Douglas’ hair. AGAIN.
Welcome to day 10 of #31daysofselfcompassion.
The theme today is take your life off the shelf.
Rather than giving you reasons why Gabby slays all day and her edges need to be left alone, let’s discuss what our comments really say about ourselves. The real problem here is that as women, we think that only people who had a specific aesthetic are allowed to achieve certain goals. It’s the reason why so many of us tend to put our lives on hold until we’ve lost weight, same reason why we avoid taking pictures with friends and family. We’ve internalized the idea that we’re not really living life unless we look good doing it.
I use “look good” loosely because whatever that is, it’s such a narrow, arbitrary and impossible set of criteria. Gabby Douglas looked good to me. What’s more breathtaking than defying gravity and soaring higher than our wildest dreams? What’s more magnificent than using her body as it’s highest physical potential, and allowing us to witness what the impossible looks like? And what is more saddening than us, waiting to live our best life only if can achieve someone else’s idea of beautiful? How many projects and dreams have you put on hold for after you get to a certain size, or look a certain way? Your life is not one-dimensional. it’s complex, and wild, and messy, and extraordinary, and deserves more than just be reduced to your success at losing weight.
Let’s make a vow to expand, to take up space, to be unruly, and to boldly live life right now. Refuse to make yourself invisible, to crop yourself out of pictures, to undervalue your achievements, or to be afraid to look disheveled, when your best life awaits you. And just as importantly, don’t project your fears onto Gabby or other girls and women around you. Don’t worry about edges laid when you have a life to slay.
Are you living your best life right now?
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.