A few weeks ago I stumbled on this ad for Wrangler Jeans, and boom. This is why I love Kimbra. In her incredible glory, Kimbra empowers women, and gives us a heck of a catching song.
“I think it’s really important that your mind is strong.”
This song reminds me that I am more than – more than societal expectations, more than my past and mistakes, and certainly more than my physical appearance. It reminds me that I am capable of incredible and extraordinary things.
I take great pride in my mind, and am very proud of my body. Both aspects of who I am are beautiful, and powerful, and I cannot be my whole self with only one part.
Now. I am not a feminist (that’s a conversation for another time). But I cannot stand this sexualization of women. We are “more than just a bum”. We are minds and souls and hearts and incredible beings. And, you know what? Men are too. We, as a collective species, are more than our physical appearance, especially more than our bums.
So why is there this need to sexualize people?
In my Sociology class last year, we watched Killing Us Softly 4. This is the fourth addition in a study focusing on the treatment of women in ads and media. Again, not a feminist, but Jean Kilbourne brings up some really interesting points. Probably my favorite ad was “My boyfriend said he loved me for my mind. I was never so insulted in my life.”. When I heard this, my mouth physically dropped open. If I ever date a guy, and he only loves me for my physical appearance, I will leave him by road without a second thought. Growing up, I was always encouraged to be, and told I was, more than my physical appearance.
Do not whittle the essence of who I am down to what is seen on the outside.
I can’t stand when I’m at work, and guys check me out. It makes me uncomfortable, but it also empowers me. I know that sounds kind of backwards, but their hungry glances empower me to prove to them that I am more than that. I don’t need their shallows looks to be incredible, or worthy, or attractive. Most of you reading this probably have no idea what I look like, but you are reading my words. You clicked on this link, and are reading the things my mind thought of, unbiased by my appearance.
My body is incredible, please do not misunderstand. I love to run, and have hiked up mountains. I love feeling the power of my body, as I tackle physically hard things. But I am not a supermodel, nor do I have a size 2 waist. My body is mine, and I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I would not exercise or eat well to fit the standard of beauty. There’s no point to that. I do exercise and eat well, but for my own benefit and health. And besides, with age, my body will grow more and more beautiful and powerful. I will not be ashamed of the fact that I lived, and that my body will bear stories.
With that being said, I am currently being pursued by a guy who hasn’t once made a comment about my body. The very first night we meet, he got me talking about my blog, and the things I write. That in and of itself is enough to make me really happy, but this guy, without knowing it, is inspiring me to be the very best I can. I’m inspired to full out conquer my goals and dreams, and bring all of who I am and what I’m capable of to the table. I pray every single one of you experience that feeling; it’s exhilarating. This guy, at least from my perspective, sees me as “more than a bum”.
I am more than. I am more than what I look like, how I dress, the way I talk, or how I act. I am more than what society tells me to be, or how I should act. I am more than, and I will forever be more than.
Let me tell you some of the things that prove I am more than:
- I graduated high school with a 4.02 GPA
- I toured Europe with American Music Abroad as the second chair flute
- I write a blog
- I am working on a book
- I was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honors Society for community college students
- I read thought-provoking books, like Fahrenheit 451, Les Misérables, and Jane Eyre
- I am working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with the intent to add a double minor of special education and sociology. *I will have to get at least my Master’s, and maybe a Ph.D. I say, bring it on.*
Everybody is capable of incredible things, because everyone is more than, not just women. (This post is simply from the female perspective because that is only the perspective I know. But just because one perspective is told, does not mean there aren’t others.)
I refuse to be defined by something so trivial as a physical part of my body. If you get me talking about what goes on in my mind, I’m sure you’ll be amazed. And I know I’m not the only one who is more than a bum.
What would the world look like if we were all treated like more than a bum? And what would happen if we treated other people like they are more than? How unstoppable would the world be?
Ciao for now,
“The color in her eyes/ Is fire rising” ~Phenomenal Woman, Laura Mvula