When I was in my mid-20’s, I had a boyfriend who used to tell me: “Baby, you look so cute with your curly hair, but when you straighten your hair…damn baby, you look so sexy.”
I was no longer the pouffy-haired little girl who used to get teased for her frizzy “ugly” hair in elementary school. Nope, by my mid-20’s I had already begun to embrace and love my own naturally curly hair.
But his comment cut through, slicing open an old wound that I guess will never completely heal. It brought up all those childhood insecurities surrounding my hair, and my overall self image.
I was old enough to know better, but it didn’t matter. After he made that comment, I remember straightening my hair more often. Every time I took a flat iron to my poor curls, I knew I was doing damage. I’d tell myself I was doing it for me (“for a change”) but let’s be honest…it was for him. Every woman wants her man to look at her and see sexy…not just cute.
I hate to admit that I’ve ever been the kind of woman who was influenced (even slightly) by others, especially a man.
But I’d be lying if I told this story any other way. Regardless of how far I had come in my own curly hair journey, that one comment from that one man instilled doubt in me every time I looked in the mirror.
Another ex used to tell me, “I love how you’re into working out and all that healthy stuff. But make sure you don’t lift too heavy. I don’t want my girlfriend to look like a dude.”
Same guy also used to tell me, “I love my girl in dresses and high heels. When you’re out with me, that’s how I want you to dress.” I sure know how to choose em, right?!
Wear makeup, don’t wear makeup. Make money, but not too much money. Be ambitious, but not too ambitious…
I know I’m not alone. We have all heard opinions about US from other people, and unfortunately, even internalized some of these opinions. Be it a boyfriend or husband, a boss, a friend or even your own mama! Everyone else seems to have an idea on how WE should style OUR hair, form (or not form) OUR bodies, how WE dress, how we choose to make OUR living, etc.
At some point in life though, you just gotta STOP. You have to be able to look in the mirror and DECIDE who you are (and equally, who you most certainly are not) and CHOOSE to take the actions that will allow you to be truly HAPPY with you.Yes, you really do have to learn to Love UR Self. And for most people, this isn’t an overnight thing; it’s a lifelong evolving journey.
There’s a lot in a name and ours (LUS, or Love Ur Self) stems from my own personal journey of self-love. And let me tell you, it took YEARS for me to be able to look in the mirror –and my life –and be truly happy with who I really am.
I still fail sometimes. That is, I allow others into MY space – that space that outlines the parameters that I operate in. Who am I? What makes me beautiful? What’s sexy? What’s strong? What does “success” look like? These are all things that only I can decide for myself. Not my man. Not my bff. Not society. Not even my mama.
So what’s UR story? Where are you on this crazy journey of self-love and acceptance? What are some of your defining moments?
Comment below, I can’t wait to “meet” the real you!