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Loving thy self: The work in progress

Self Love. What does it mean to you?

Self Love - Clawfoot Bathtub

Often I sit and wonder what does it mean to actually love yourself? Or how do you know when you actually obtained the “self-love that everyone talks and preaches about. Growing up I would always hear phrases like “it’s painful to be beautiful”, But is it actually?

Women loving herself

I remember sitting down in the chair as a little girl getting my hair done by my mom, grandma, and aunt and it HURTING, and they would always say “it’s painful to be beautiful”. So because I would always hear that phrase I always thought that it was actually painful to be beautiful. I’m not sure if you guys are familiar with the song Pretty hurts, by the fabulous Beyonce, but I’ll give you a quick overview of the song. Beyoncé describes the song in an interview saying “My message behind this album was finding the beauty in imperfection.” The song basically focuses on the pressures and shortcomings that women face in order to feel beautiful under the very judging eyes of today’s society. At the beginning of the song, she says “Mama said, you’re a pretty girl. What’s in your head it doesn’t matter, Brush your hair, fix your teeth. What you wear is all that matters”. Society mostly thinks what you wear and how you present yourself is “how you view yourself, and how much you care about yourself” when in actuality you can dress however and still love yourself and radiate confidence from within. 

My favorite part of the song is “ Ain’t got no doctor or pill that can take the pain away pain’s inside and nobody frees you from your body it’s the soul, it’s the soul that needs surgery”. That part touches on how normalized getting plastic surgery is to make yourself look more appealing to today’s society’s definition of being beautiful. Most famous women all have a few things in common. They all have perfectly shaped butts and large, plump breasts. Having a nice butt and breasts seem to be a part of what makes you considered attractive. We can’t always afford to turn to the knife to change things about our body and in the words of Beyoncé, it IS the soul that needs surgery.

You only get one body and soul for a lifetime. You have to learn how to love that body and soul and value and appreciate it. Not everyone is going to be shaped the same, look the same, and be able to achieve the same look. Learning to love yourself is a VERY hard process and it’s definitely going to take a lot of time. But I believe when you do love yourself your whole vibe and Ora will show off to others completely different. 

Here’s a little about myself and my journey on loving myself. I’m I guess what you would consider a young adult. A lot of young women my age are so focused on looks and how others view them on social media and getting the most “likes or shares” on a post. I used to be soooo caught up on likes and shares and what others thought about me until one day I just realized that if I like it then that’s all that should matter because at the end of the day I am my own biggest critic. I use to struggle with my weight a lot when I first started using birth control, I would fluctuate with my weight very quickly at the worst times of the year. The winter I would be very slim and then around the summertime, I would put on at least 20 lbs. I use to think I wasn’t good enough or beautiful because I couldn’t wear some of the things that others would wear because you could see my pudge or stretch marks from gaining weight.

Self Love Journey.  African American Women Boudoir Session
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So I started to become dedicated to the gym and started achieving my goals and I began to love myself more and my self-esteem definitely shot up. I’m also in the United States military and I’m constantly around guys, being that the military is so male-dominated and I constantly hear how they speak about women and what their idea of a “perfect woman” is and I would find myself trying to compare myself to their “perfect woman”. I had to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect woman because no one is perfect. Everyone has their own flaws and in the end, it’s just about learning to accept those flaws and learning to embrace and love them, and love who you are. 

Self Love - African American women boudoir

Ms. Tenaju is apart of our Beauty Ambassador Program!


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