"Be yourself". It's such a simply motto to follow. It's been regurgitated to women throughout our lives, yet we are bombarded by images, articles, and headlines that say otherwise. How in the world do we be ourselves in a world so desperate to have us be like someone else?
Just today, a few of those headlines lined the Yahoo news page I scanned. I pondered and angrily pondered some more. How dare they. How dare they imply that who I am as a woman isn't good enough; that somehow I have to be dressed like someone else, to have abs like someone else, to try and get a booty like someone else.
While I welcome the latest trends, love looking at new hairstyles, and even makeup techniques, I have always adhered to being myself. If I dislike a trend, I'm sure not going to do it. But it's still there...taunting me, haunting me like an unforgiving spirit. It crosses my path booing at my uniqueness and eagerly trying to capture my soul when I'm feeling down. Yet, I need to be strong; to exorcise the tendency to question my existence as good enough.
Good enough. I've noticed that everything we are bombarded with as woman shows we are never good enough. We don't have the best clothing or the best smile. Our teeth aren't white enough for the tissue test. Our hair needs to be straight. No. Wait. It needs to be curly. But, not too curly. Waves, yes, just waves. Don't have big boobs? That's okay. We have a bra for that! Everything we see says we need to be just one step better. Realistically, we can't be one step better or be like J Lo or Giselle, and even if we dress like Meghan Markle, we can't be Meghan Markle.
Each of those woman are gorgeous, intelligent, and amazing women, but they aren't us. Each woman has a unique contribution to the world around her. No one else can contribute to the world like me. I have a special purpose. Just like J Lo has her purpose. J Lo cannot contribute to the world like I am supposed to, and likewise, I cannot contribute to the world like J Lo. Our paths are unique to each one of us. Our intended purpose can only be fulfilled by us. Period. No more questions. No more "I'm not good enough". We have to choose us.
Choosing to follow our own path doesn't mean selfishness. It also doesn't mean to hide and be a hobbit. It means awareness and understanding that no other woman can be us; that each individual woman has a specific purpose in their life only they can complete. I challenge every woman who reads this to abandon the thoughts of insecurity and lead their lives with confidence. And, if we want to dress like Meghan Markle or try to get hair like Beyonce, we are doing because we admire the trend rather than feel pressure to be someone were not. So, the true essence of BEING YOURSELF is to ignore the voices that say, "be like this or like that, and then we'll accept you."
Be Yourself. Be the best you, you can be, and your life will change significantly. Blaze your own trail.
Jenna Cornell, Wild & Free Woman, 2017