Let’s say you were making a drawing of yourself.
And it was a drawing of how much you listened to your head, versus your body.
What would the drawing look like?
Would it be a giant head with a tiny body attached?
Or a giant body with a tiny head?
Like most women, I was raised to hate my body.
To discount and overlook her.
Here is proof that the campaign was effective: My nickname when I was in 6th grade, and moved to a new school, was Alice the Goon.
Alice the Goon
1.) A profoundly unattractive female member of a fictional aboriginal people called “the Goons,” featured in the old “Popeye” cartoons. Alice had a squiggle for a mouth and a flowerpot for a hat, and wore a grass skirt, of sorts. She fancied Popeye as a love interest, but Popeye wanted nothing to do with Alice, understandably. However, she was much larger and stronger than Popeye (when he was sans spinach, anyway), and she would pick him up and croon, in a robotic monotone, “I love Popeye. I love Popeye,” while he struggled to get away.
2.) A term used to describe an unattractive female.
I was living and breathing every girl’s nightmare.
I had braces, wore large, heavy orthopedic shoes, had a storm of pimples, my formerly bone straight hair had started to frizz, and “awkward” was my inner symphony.
I gotta say, this memory makes me sweat.
I know some part of me has never recovered.
I agreed to be called “Alice the Goon” because I was so hungry for approval at my new school. Just being noticed by the cool kids was a step up for me.
And I was completely out of control as to how to find my way home. Wherever “home” was. My body was my not my ally, it was more like my enemy.
But what girl makes it to 6th grade, middle school, high school, college, without feeling disenfranchised from herself, her body?
And – hello – what woman does not feel alienated from her true power, strength and beauty?
For some women, age, and the attending wrinkles, can slash and burn her confidence.
For other women, an extra 5-15 pounds can completely pull her off her game.
Dimpled skin, a fact of a life well lived, can make a woman never want to go to the beach again.
Welcome to the unbearably hostile conditions of what it means to be a girl, growing into a woman.
And these deeply planted points of view have a huge impact in a woman’s life.
They act like giant invisible and impenetrable barriers between a woman and her most deeply held desires.
If I was only 5 pounds thinner, I could have the man I wanted.
If I were 10 years younger, I might have gone for that promotion.
If I were prettier, I would have been married and had a baby by now.
Women have no idea that they are hot. (Click to tweet!)
And filled with beauty and divinity.
Unless they open a new doorway, and choose a new practice.
I never knew there was another option for me, besides being Alice the Goon.
Because my inner viewpoint was being reflected in my outer world, I marched willingly towards my outcast fate.
There was no one to talk to.
Almost every girl I knew was in some version of this purgatory.
And it is not different for my daughter, today.
A girl, a woman, who does not trust her own body, or her own beauty, is powerless in every area of her life.
This is something we can no longer tolerate, as women.
It is time to wake up, to rise up, to take action that will deliver a different outcome.
Body hatred equals powerlessness.
When you teach a woman to not trust her body, you teach her to be a victim for her entire life.
This was why I started the School of Womanly Arts.
I had a daughter, 16 years ago, and I was unwilling to stand by, and let an unconscious culture steal her life force.
I needed to awaken myself, and an entire culture of women, from a 5,000-year-old legacy of self-hatred.
We have no time, Sisters.
Generations of women are being wasted in a legacy of thigh hatred, flab loathing, age avoidance, and other empty, life-draining pursuits.
This very second, right here, right now, as your eyes grace this page, is a moment.
An opportunity for change, for transition.
No matter how filled with body-loathing you have been, you are.
You, we, can choose another way.
It is time. Now.
To remind women of the truth about ourselves.
To re-member us to our bodies, our beauty, our perfection.
Unless we begin to actually practice beauty, beauty does not exist.
And the way to practice beauty is to practice The Womanly Arts.
Because practicing The Womanly Arts will connect a woman to the simple pleasure of being her.
The experience of feeling delicious creates beauty.
And how do we feel delicious?
We choose pleasure.
We have to reverse the equation we have been handed.
It is not the outer that generates inner beauty.
It is feeling delicious inside that creates outer beauty. (Click to tweet!)
This is what we spend 6 months investigating and practicing in The School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program.
Which starts in March.
Let’s practice right here, together, right now.
In the comments below, I want you to describe the body part, or parts, that you have been taught to hate. And what that body hatred has kept you from experiencing in your life.
For example: “I am awkward and clumsy and flat-footed, with bad skin, and I try too hard, and I know that no one will ever love me for who I am, so I don’t even try to date. Why bother? Men only want women who have it together.”
And then I want you to send a little body love your own way.
Write a tiny tribute to your body.
Let us all hear a brag about how your amazing magnificent perfect body has served you in some way.
For example: “I love my awkward, clumsy, shy, body. She is so beautiful in the way she yearns.”
As if we could reach into the past and give our inner “Alice The Goon” the love she deserved all along.
When we transform the legacy of body-hatred, even just for a moment, we transform it not only for ourselves, but for the girls of today, the women of tomorrow.
I look forward to reading your comments and feeling all the body love we can release, together, which can only happen in a community of support and sisterhood, like this.
With so much love and pleasure,