I had thought so at the time, I had convinced myself that I wanted to run around naked because I loved my body, and thought I was awesome, etc. Not so. Truth be told, I hated myself in high school. That's why I'm so passionate about young women, and telling them how wonderful they are. I totally hated myself, my body, and everything about me, and no one reached out to me. No one told me, "it gets better" no one said, "you have more value than this" not a single woman reached out to me when I needed her to most. So, I've made it my personal mission to reach out to as many "Amandas" as possible. My goal is to be that woman that I so desperately needed, but never came.
Those of you that knew me then are probably like "What? No!" It's true, I tried desperately to portray confidence, security, and an attitude of not caring what people thought, but it was just a front. Inside I was miserable. Absolutely miserable. I just wanted so desperately to fit in that I would do anything to stand out. I was loud, obnoxious, wore crazy outfits, said crazy things, I was over the top. I just needed attention, and so I sought it out in the only foolproof ways I knew. I would be that person that you all knew in high school, and then I would go home and cry myself to sleep at night most nights. I was so unhappy with myself, but I didn't know how to change it, or what I needed. I even went through a bout of self mutilation-I stuck to my feet and legs, because that is something I didn't want attention for. I really, truly hated myself.
I hated myself so much, and wanted to be loved and given attention so desperately that I would do anything to prove that I loved myself, and to get some sort of attention, even if it was just by being objectified. That's how at fifteen I could say; "I want to be a nudist" and if I wouldn't have came to Christ, I probably would have, or something equally as bad. I thought that if I said often and loud enough that I was comfortable in who I was, if enough people heard it, that I would start to believe it. Nope. What I needed was God, and someone to tell me I was beautiful, and worth much more than the way I felt about myself.
Thankfully, I found Christ, and through Him realized where true inner beauty comes from, and how precious my body is, I didn't even realize that it was happening at the time, until I was there, healed and truly loving me.
Having lived this type of attitude and self loathing is why when I see young girls on Facebook taking pictures with their breasts hanging out, posting about sleeping around, and things like that, I cry, and I try to reach out to them. I just want to hug them, and tell them all the things I never heard. I see people like Femen and my heart breaks. All I see when I look at them is a lot of hate. Hate for everyone around them, and hate for themselves. They are so angry, and full of that same angst I had. I made this photo and posted it on the Christian Women Against FEMEN Facebook page:
Yes, I know, two letters hanging off the bottom, totally ruins it. My handwriting is atrocious!
This morning S sent me a link to this article, I was so sad as I read it ((warning-bare breasts)) I was even sadder as I watched the "freeing" video clip at the end, they are selling this as a freeing thing, but it's not. It's more 15 year old Amandas, but in their thirties. I watched the video as these topless women stuck their chests out more, getting more attention, I watched as countless men gathered around to objectify them more, I watched in horror as people yelled "show me your titties" and men said "this is my kind of protest" How can you see that as freeing?
You are opening yourself up to being further objectified, isn't that what you claim to stand against, but yet you stand in the middle of the street topless, making yourself into an object to be stared at and lusted after. You mean more. You are worth more. Your breasts were created to sustain life! Not to show to the world. The only people that should ever get to see your beautiful breasts are your gynecologist, husband, and the children you're nursing. Maybe a lactation consultant, but you get the idea, they are yours! They are unique, and precious, they have a beautiful purpose, don't devalue them by showing them to all of NYC.
I have a solution to this whole "why do men get to be bare chested?" argument, are you ready for this? It's absolutely mind-bogglingly profound....MAKE MEN WEAR SHIRTS, TOO! Whoa, I should go into politics with all of these brilliantly deep solutions of mine! No one should go topless, problem solved.
This whole idea that the less we're wearing the more comfortable we are and the more we love ourselves is a bunch of manure. I'm sorry you've been sold it. I'm not sorry I bought into it, though, and I did for a long while, I'm glad I did, because now I can see me, on the faces of women of all ages, and know why they're doing it, I know what they need to hear, and I can tell them that they are loved, and beautiful, and WORTH IT! It doesn't always make a difference, but I pray that it does, I pray that one day all those little seeds sown will make a difference.
Please stop trying to convince yourself that the more skin you show the more beautiful you are, the more people will like you, the more confidence you'll have, because none of that will make you love yourself more. Beauty, true beauty comes from within, from God, we are all beautiful because we're made in His image, and His image is a mystery, our bodies should be also. Free yourself from self hate, not your breasts.