Meet Vanessa, T’Lise and Jannelle …
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)
Self-love means taking the time to understand your body and mind, and giving them exactly what they NEED in every moment. Keeping in mind not to mix want with need.
Stretch Marks. I’ve always had stretch marks but they became even more prevalent after my pregnancy. I tried so hard not to get them but in the eighth month they finally came and I felt like I had failed. The marks on my stomach held more weight than the ones on my arms, thighs, and booty jaw, and I didn’t understand why. I felt used, like an animal whose only use was for breeding. Then I was awarded this human being and all of that suffering somehow got better and worse at the same time. It was time to stop dwelling on what I thought of myself and to start embracing who I am – stretch marks and all. Now that I am on that journey of choosing to be who I am every day I’ve realized that the word stretch marks does not have to be negative because my stretch marks, and everything around me, is what I make of it.
This is a hard question. As human beings, it’s so easy to find negatives in every situation and it’s very hard to please everyone. So, I’m not sure that changing the way women are portrayed in the media is the ultimate fix. Although it helps a lot to see ourselves portrayed in media it still opens up a deeper issue of human beings needing to find validation outside of themselves. I hope for a generation of human beings who do not seek external validation and who are confident in being who they are.
My stretch marks that came from pregnancy – please see the answer to question 2. I entered the journey of overcoming through reclamation and redefinition. Embracing the way my body looks now and redefining what it means to have stretch marks, cellulite, a c-section scar, hair on my armpits and my upper lip, hemorrhoids, saggy boobs, a fupa, big eyes, and lips, etc. For me, the journey does not end.-Vanessa
To me self-love means loving yourself despite what you are taught. I feel like self-love is lovingly yourself from the inside out. Self – love it’s not just what we can see on the surface , it’s deeper than that. It’s the ability to connect with yourself , in a way that only you can. Self-love is power and once we all begin to love ourselves first , we will be unstoppable.
A word that best describes my self-love journey would be growth. I believe that growth best describes my journey because my journey is going. I’m all honestly , I still have yet to master loving myself in its entirely.
If I could change the way woman are portrayed in the media , I definitely would. Currently the media has totally destroyed our views on what a perfect body should be , but in whose eyes ?! The media has indirectly told woman that what they’ve been born with is not good enough , they’ve advised us that enhancements are the way to go. I believe the media has a big impact on why woman today don’t love themselves enough.
Well to be honest I was never a slim girl , I was always thick but never skinny. After high school , I guess I started to come into my shape and the girls that use to make fun of me started complimenting me on my “weight loss”. After a few different girls started commenting, I realized that I was possibly fat before , so I started asking. People would say oh no you weren’t fat but now your so slim and sexy. I didn’t understand it. Fast toward to a few years later , I got sick and had to do a couple surgery’s. its been about 4 years since my surgeries and I still haven’t gained back my regular weight. No matter how much I try to eat bad , I still literally think I look like bones. But my question is , what would the high school girls think now ? Am I too skinny now or am I not think enough ?! My journey is still going , but this time I’ve decided to narrate.
Self respect, positive self image, and self acceptance. Self love to me means knowing that I’m enough. Regardless of what goes around me or what others think i should be. Putting my needs in priority. Creating happiness for myself, in my own greatness. Doing things that make me happy. Catering to my physical and mental needs.
Appreciation – knowing what you bring to the table. What i have to offer the world in both friendships and relationships. Understand my self worth.
For me it’s a yes and a no. Yes, because sometimes the media puts pressure on females, on who they should be, what they should look like, how they should speak, what they should wear, etc. To be accepted into society. A lot of the times, the media puts women against each other and we end of biting the bait and displaying toxic behaviour in order to defend ourselves. humans can be very cruel and judgmental towards one another, especially with what the paint a women should be.
And No because I feel like a lot of the time, women are to blame. We want men to respect us in a certain way but then we do degrading things and portray high expectations. There’s nothing wrong with high expectations, but sometimes they may be unrealistic. And women in the media have a very big influence on they want everyday women think, act and speak towards and about men and other females.
Sometimes I get too comfortable when in certain situations and I gain weight. At a certain weight I become uncomfortable with my body how it looks in my clothes and I want it to change. I over came it by working hard in the gym, being disciplined to a strict diet and staying active by playing soccer. Not cheating on my goals to attain gains. Currently I’m not the size I want to be because my weight fluctuates very quickly if I slack off for a few weeks or i’m not dedicated or have a busy schedule. But it’s a mind state. And every and anything you want is attainable.-Jannelle
Thank you so much for you honesty, your transparency and your willingness to be upfront about some of the struggles you’ve faced.