Sixth Blog: Why not hating yourself is a political act.
These days, it seems like the world requires you to be everything and nothing at once, a perfect dichotomy in order to survive. You have to have the perfect hair, skin, clothes, grades, friends, laugh, and that is all to be adequate. In order to really excel in our society, you have to adopt doublethink, to consciously strive for perfection, whilst convincing yourself that this is an authentic version of you. But there is one fundamental flaw: humans are not perfect, you are not perfect, and you never will be. Coming from a perfectionist, I know it is one thing to understand it, and another to reconcile the idea within yourself.
Even so, why would you want to survive in such a world? In a world where no one can win, why do you compete? Why do you hate yourself for not reaching the unattainable? Thus, I propose we all become selfish instead. If no one can win, why bother? If you love yourself as deeply as you think society would if you were perfect, you are in essence, a radical, an extremist. I call on you to reject the patriarchy and expel notions of propriety from your mind. When you start living for yourself, you will realise that any other life is a death of the soul.
I am not trying to be harsh, but stop feeling sorry for yourself, turn that pity into understanding, that understanding into love, for only when you love yourself will you be willing to accept the love you truly deserve.
I guess this article is, in some weird way, an ode to my first pair of flares. I used to be perennially insecure and laboriously self-conscious, and now I am writing my thoughts in this article, so that the world may see my soul. I know you are probably thinking ‘why did she mention her jeans, and then proceed to talk about insecurity’, but for me, it has been through my clothes and style, that I have gained confidence. Those jeans symbolise to me, a quiet revolution of the mind, against all that has been ingrained in me since birth; those jeans gave me new life, not because they were nice and fit well, but because they represented non-conformity.
Naturally, it is possible that this is just a phase, but it is not the jeans themselves that are important, but rather the realisation that they struck within me: not hating myself is a political act. By consciously divorcing myself of convention, I am severing all ties with gender roles and society in general. Of course, my paradigm is fundamentally shaped by my identity as a woman, and what that means to me, but your ‘jeans’ may help you examine race, class, beliefs, and many more sensitive subjects that would be censored if I wrote too critically of them.
Thus, when you find your ‘jeans’, and you will, apply that same logic to all aspects of your life: do your clothes express your likes? Do your friends challenge and support you? Do you challenge and support yourself? Life is one big battle between what is expected of you, and what you expect of yourself, do not fall into the trap of believing you are not meant to enjoy it.
Alison Balint, year 12.