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Self love is a popular topic these days. We read about how to love ourselves in magazines and social media. And, in essence, we see a lot more about feminine self love than we do the masculine variety. Maybe that is because men aren't expected to be anything more than what they appear to be... physically, mentally, or emotionally. I am not saying that men don't have societal pressure to be more than. They just don't have as much pressure on them as their female counterparts.
I was born in 1955. I wore crinoline petticoats, which were hot and itchy. Girls didn't wear pants except for outside play. I had to wear either a dress or a skirt to school until I was 13. Mothers were expected to either stay at home or work a little part time job, and then come home and feed the children, cook dinner, and do the housework. Divorce was pretty much unheard of in those days.
By the time I was in high school, the hippie era had begun. Girls had a whole lot more freedom. It was a time of burning bras, wearing mini skirts, and free love. I firmly believe that this was the beginning of the feminine self love era. Women had become more than just glorified housekeepers.
A lot has changed since then. Women are competing with men in the marketplace. Mothers are juggling careers and families, and daughters are being taught that they are able to achieve whatever dream they choose to dream. So, I guess that self love is a little bit easier for the women of this generation. It's going to take a major shift in how American society perceives and projects how and what a woman should be. Perhaps the emphasis should be more what the mind can achieve, rather than what the body looks like.
I think that many women of any generation still struggle with self love. We are still expected to uphold a certain image. We still strive to be thin, attractive, and swimsuit ready for summer. We still buy and wear make-up and skin creams to make us toned and beautiful. And, we still struggle to be more than what we are.
I guess my idea of true self love would be not disguising who we are. It would be to be entirely comfortable without wearing make-up, and to be able to wear anything that makes us comfortable. Hopefully in a few more years women might even be able to go topless in public, and breasts won't be seen as sexual appendages. Maybe we will finally achieve the full freedom to be exactly who and what we are—just like our male counterparts.
Self love is all about complete acceptance of oneself on all levels. The question is, how can we actually achieve that as women when we still have so many societal taboos placed upon us? As long as the American marketplace keeps producing "be more than you are" products, we can't totally accept who we really are as women.
I can honestly say at 63 that I love myself completely. Having big ears, droopy breasts, and thunder thighs makes me feel Goddess-like. I say what I want to say, and do what I want to do and society really doesn't give a damn.
I dream of a day when my daughters and granddaughters can drop the masks, and let their boobs flap in the wind. What a lovely world it would be when we can just be the humans we are meant to be without gender roles getting in the way. That to me... will be the beginning of feminine self love.