My own feminism

My journey to feminism has been the most exhilarating and freeing adventure Ive been on to. It taught me things about myself, about others, and about the world. Because of this movement, I became a better person and gained the freedom and courage to live my life outside the confines of the limiting patriarchal beliefs of society I grew up in. For years, I gained understanding and defined my own meaning of what it really is to be a feminist.

Feminism is lifting other women up.

Growing up, it was engraved in our minds that girls are each others’ competition. While competition could be healthy if it was for the right reasons, girls are thought to fight over men’s attention and over who has prettier superficial features. We were taught that our value as a person depends on whether boys found us attractive and that the size of our body is the basis of our beauty. Learning to let go of the notion that I need to tear other women down in order to lift myself up was so freeing and empowering.  Other girls were never my enemies. I realised that we are stronger when we build each other up, that empowering others is a sign of and a way to be empowered myself. It is in finding beauty in others and helping them see what I see that I found the confidence and love for myself.

It is to learning to love myself and to embrace my femininity.

With all the magazines and commercial advertisements telling us that there’s always something wrong with our bodies, it is an act of rebellion to accept yourself, with all the flaws and weird quirks, I started doing squats when I was fourteen. Maybe even younger. I starved myself, , abused my youthful skin with chemicals that promised a better glow. I never became content with the results, the more I try to “solve” the problems, I just saw more and more that needs changing. It was a never ending process. There was always something to alter- belly fat, scars, uneven complexion, overbite. Along the way I grew tired and decided to love and accept myself wholeheartedly. I decided I was worthy of the love I was trying to give everyone else and turned away from all the things making me feel incomplete. It was a long process but it was very much rewarding. Believeing I am worth it has made all the difference.

Lastly, feminism is giving other people a choice and respecting each others individuality.

Let others love freely who they want to love regardless of sexuality, gender, race or social status. Let others, boys and girls alike, to wear makeup if they want, if that’s what makes them happy and confident. Let them wear what they want. It's time we stop putting genders on everything and let go of the idea that they are doing it for other people’s attention.  Being a feminist taught me that a person alone holds the right to their body. They can share it with whoever they would like, just as they do not have to if they dont want to. They have the choice to shave or let their natural hairs grow, wherever they may be. They can choose to explore their sexuality, their beliefs, their spirituality, their passion. We are all different but it doesnt have to divide us. Respecting the choices others make instead of throwing judgment goes a long way. It broadens our understanding and at the same time, gives them power.

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Feminism made me realise just how powerful I am and how beautiful womanhood can be and really is. I don’t only embrace my femininity, but I feel empowered by it. 

Nicole Constantethoughts