So I have discovered a love of Podcasts on Podcast One and ITunes (it’s like talk radio without the interruptions of music!) And I was even more excited to see that Tia Mowry has a podcast titled, “Mostly Mom with Tia Mowry”. I decided to subscribe and add this to my podcast playlist along with about 10 others including LadyGang (funny girls) and Mo’Nique & Sidney’s Open Relationship (yup…THAT Mo’Nique, I’ll save my commentary for another blog post…she is still hilarious!) Anyway, I excitedly listened to the podcast intro which says this is a show about empowerment (and some other stuff too). And here we are at episode 1. Tia begins the podcast by speaking out about being cyber bullied and how she posted the following on Instagram, “In a world that’s obsessed with perfection, I am taking a stand and will not be retouching my photos. I want all of us women and men to embrace, love and accept our real bodies at whatever stage we are in life. We all have different shapes and sizes, lets encourage and uplift.” She went on to speak about being fat shamed 2 days later after she posted an unretouched photo of herself. After which her first guest, her husband, Cory Hardict came on. Who side note, seems like a real, funny easy going dude.
As I slide into episode 2, Tia comes on and thanks everyone for listening (you’re welcome Tia) and mentions (again in this episode) how she has come to a personal decision to stop photo shopping her Instagram pictures. She said she truly feels that this photo shopping and trying to look perfect has become an epidemic. She then posed the question to her listeners, “Why can’t we just love ourselves, our true authentic selves.” She continued on by saying there are a lot of women now contouring their faces and chests and their legs and wanted to know why are we doing this to ourselves. She wanted to know why we can’t just embrace our flaws and love who we are. Why do we have to be so obsessed with being perfect. Tia then informs all of us listeners that we need to just be ourselves and be who we are and embrace our flaws. This message sounded annoyingly familiar, like I was either having a de’javu moment or perhaps having repeated Groundhog days. I say this because while I did hear it on Tia’s podcast, I have also been seeing the same type of message on various social media and blog sites from other women who are saying the same thing in different variations. They are saying, “It’s time to take off your makeup, and be you”, “Take off your weaves and be true to you, stop trying to be European”, “ladies embrace your natural self.” And it annoys me…Why does it annoy me you ask (and if you didn’t I will tell you anyway).
I am a woman who although has never photo shopped my pictures, I have worn/wears a weave and braids. I also love my Nars highlighter in Albatross and when I wear it I see rainbows and flowers and unicorns (they DO exist) and I glow. I also love me a good tinted moisturizing BB Cream (cover girl in the color bronze…I feel like a goddess.) Does this mean I don’t love my “true, authentic self?” Does it mean I don’t “embrace my flaws” because I like to enhance my cheeks with a little blush every now and then? I’ll answer the questions myself…NO! It doesn’t mean that! What it means is that I am a woman who loves myself completely, even the parts of me that want to change other parts of myself. I love me and accept me…even the parts of me that have a hard time accepting other parts of me. Does that sound confusing? Ok, here is the breakdown of what I said. I am a woman who loves myself and accepts myself. In loving and accepting myself, I acknowledge the fact that there are some things that I do want to change about myself be it physically or mentally, and that is ok because I have decided to let ME empower ME to be ok with ME whether I have makeup/no makeup, contoured/not contoured, weaved/not weaved etc… I am sure you get the picture.
And about that word EMPOWER that is used so much. First, let’s start with the definition. Merriam-Webster defines the word empower used in the verb form as: to give power to (someone), to give official authority or legal power to (someone). Merriam-Webster also goes on to define the word empower when used as a transitive verb (a verb that can take a direct object): to promote the self-actualization or influence of. Interesting right? So when we say we want to empower someone to love themselves or to be comfortable with who they are, what we are really saying is that we want to give someone the power or authority to love themselves, the power and authority to love who they are…but only once they take off and remove the external things about themselves that they may actually love and accept, and THEN it’s ok to love yourself. For instance, women are telling other women, take out your weave and take off your wigs and love who you really are. But have these same women ever stopped to consider that this women may have an actual medical issue that leaves her unable to grow hair in certain areas of her head and although she loves and accepts herself, she feels like the world doesn’t have to see her bald spots, so she covers them. There are also women telling other women to take off their makeup and be ok with being natural, but this woman who wears the makeup may have skin that has been disfigured or scarred and while she accepts that about herself, she may feel that the world doesn’t have to see all of her scars. We as women need to see that sometimes, it is not all about other women trying to get attention or to attain perfection…sometimes it is simply that yes we do accept our flaws and imperfections, however, some things we just don’t want the world to see…and that is ok. We also need to understand that our own personal epiphany’s are not always going to become public movements.
Tia Mowry thank you for your podcast. I find you to be smart, beautiful, entertaining and funny and I applaud you for deciding to take your stand. However, please understand that taking a stand and empowering others is not just inclusive of talking about the stand you have taken and telling those same others that they should follow suit. This is your stand and your journey. You have however, inspired me to take a stand also. I have decided to live in my power, to live my life in a way that honors and reflects who I am in whatever stage of life I am in. I will live more powerfully, laugh more powerfully and love more powerfully and maybe, just maybe someone who is watching will be inspired by my actions and realize that they too have the authority to live in their power…
Love you guys and thank you so much for reading!
1 John 3 vs. 8 KJV
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”