“LUH”- The Series Ep2

Meet Sayida, Ishadee and Paige.

1. What does self love mean to you?

2. what is one word to describe your self love journey? ( why did you chose that word)

3. if you could change the way woman are portrayed in the media would you?

4.have you ever struggled with any insecurities surrounding your body? how did you overcome them? ( if you did)

Sayida:

1. To me, self-love means being confident and accepting the skin you’re in. I think self love is a growing process and each individual goes through this life process in different stages. When I think of “self-love” I envision women (including myself) accepting their culture, body image, skin tone, hair texture and anything they deem as an “imperfection” or a non societal norm. Not only do we accept the physical but we also accept our way of thinking, our expectations and standards. It’s real mind, body and soul! 

2. Steadfast- “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering”.

I chose this word because it’s meaning captures everything I stand for when I identify my self-love journey. Throughout the years, I’ve become unapologetic about my blackness which was not the same confidence I had when growing up. Colorism is a real thing. I didn’t realize the strength in my complexion until my late teens to early 20s. I would get upset if my mom made me go to school with chiney bumps, bubbles or a head scarf, I was insecure about being a late bloomer – the list goes on. Now I’m at a point in my life where I’m comfortable with every part of me (flaws and all). Once I truly started to live for ME, under my own terms and realized I didn’t need validation from anyone, I feel like my narrative started to shift. I’m at the happiest point in my life when it comes to self-love but I needed to go through certain situations which made me reflect on why I felt the way I did. I wouldn’t regret any of it as it has molded me into the woman I am today.

3. I wouldn’t change the way women are portrayed, I would simply expand the view of what “ideal” means. The world is evolving, we now have women of all shapes, sizes and color at the forefront of media and societal norms. That being said, I think we need to do better. We need to continue the dialogue and promote more woman who aren’t the status quo. There is power & strength in numbers and we’ve seen perfect examples of that with basic marketing strategies with things such as Chick-Fil-A vs. Popeyes chicken sandwich. If we could channel that same energy into creating marketing strategies or campaigns which portray ALL women in the same capacity- I think we’d ultimately be unstoppable. 

4. I’ve definitely struggled with insecurities. The biggest being my skin! To elaborate not my complexion or anything of that sort. I remember shaving my bikini line for the first time and got razor bumps which scarred. I was devastated and refused to where a bathing suit for about 3 years. I never had any skin issues prior to so this was the biggest deal to me. Then I got a bit older and had stretch marks on my bum. At this point I didn’t even want to show my boyfriend my body because I thought it was a turn off and I was ashamed. Fast forward, I got older and realized it wasn’t as serious as I thought. I used amazing skin care products (natural soaps, butters and oils) switched to waxing and self reflected on the level of importance this held to my mental health. I can confidently say I overcame this insecurity because I stopped caring. My energy shifted, became more aligned with my spirit and I adopted a “idgaf attitude” to be honest. This quote will forever resonate with me, “the women who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet”. I stopped requiring validation!

Ishadee:

1.Self-love is love in its purest form. Self-love has no bounds and no barricades. All of the Different forms of self and you unapologetically choose to embrace them all. All of the changes, the growth, and even the regression. Identifying that it is all you, and it is all pure, raw, and organic, and loving it anyways. My idea of self-love.

2. “Revolving”

I’m the central axis and my experiences with self-love and identity are the revolving doors constantly circling around me. i feel this way because I find that I go back and forth with what I define as an insecurity or a strength. One day I love my weight and my body and all that comes with it, and another day I feel as though I can barely even take on the day. In whatever way, I accept it all because it is okay to feel both insecure and secure all at the same time. 

3. Personally I feel that if we changed the way women are portrayed in the media we wouldn’t have come as far as we have now with self-love and identity. I believe this because we have struggled so much where beauty is concerned I feel as though those who have really fought that fight with themselves to get to where they are wouldn’t have been so fulfilled without the knowledge of the negative impact that the media can carry. However I do find it extremely important seeing not only body inclusive representation as well as tone inclusivity are very key in creating a space for the women who carry these traits to identify themselves with and entity greater than themselves such as the media.

4. Skintone:

Growing up I was always made fun of as being “too dark”. Throughout high school I was known as the dark skinned girl who was pretty but because I was dark skinned I was never accepted. However it was something that I had always loved myself for. I was different and I loved it. it almost felt liberating to know that I carried something that was so precious and special about me. To this day I can hardly contain myself this one trait has solely and whole-heartedly consumed me and no one can ever take that from me.

Weight/Body Changes:

My weight has always been a struggle for me. Battling weight loss issues was never easy. It gave me anxiety to the point where I didn’t want to interact in a social settling or even just to leave my house. It got so bad that i would starve myself or use unhealthy tactics such as binging and then purging to drop weight as fast as I could. I knew I needed help, but I was embarrassed to even explain to someone exactly what I was going through because I felt that it was bigger than just a weight issue. This was a battle that I overcame on my own through prayer and bible studies, specifically studies on love and ones love for thyself. this particular kind of healing helped me through my biggest body change ever. I had given birth to my first child and it was time to lose my baby weight. I was terrified because I didn’t want to slip back into my old habits, so I opened my bible and prayed. to me I was stepping into some serious blind faith, something that I have never allowed myself to do before, allow myself to feel and ride the waves of this journey I was about  to partake in. 10 months post-partum and I have got myself to a comfortable self-loving weight that has allowed me to stay healthy and embrace the lovely body that I have.

Paige

1. I feel that self-love is the act of loving yourself both physically and mentally, embracing what you view to be flaws, and making your mental health a priority. It is an act that fluctuates through life’s moments and tests your strength in countless situations.

2. EMPOWERING.

I didn’t notice my lack of self-love until reflecting on incidences of the past. Comparing myself to friends, then the media, the things I would put up with in relationships showed I was lacking in the positive view of myself and what I deserve. I had to get to the moment of embracing me as I am and completely loving it. Then I had my son and you have to practice that act of self-love all over again. It is empowering to look back on who you were vs. you today.

3. 100%. The way women are portrayed vary through time and cultures however, everyone needs to be represented in a positive light without shame. I work in the branding/marketing industry so easier said than done, but if we can change the associated narrative a difference can be made. 

4. Yes. Puberty was hard for everyone so that’s a whole story in itself but as I reached closer into adulthood I always felt as though I was lacking due to comparing myself to the people I followed on social media. My ass wasn’t big enough, waist wasn’t small enough, hair wasn’t long enough.. the first time I expressed concern to my husband he asked where this was coming from because I never made it an issue before.

Once I became pregnant I had a moment of awakening: I am about to bring an innocent life into the world that will look to me (and my husband) for just about everything.. do I want to project the idea that these unrealistic images, pointless insecurities and unnatural/quick fixes are ok? No. So I unfollowed the Instagram accounts that I was unknowingly comparing myself to, began following more positive influencers and people that ‘looked like me,’ and went on a natural hair journey. I began focusing on health rather than quick solutions, began loving myself for the natural me and have never been happier.

xoxo

Lici.

Categories: LUH

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