Task Rabbits

I have noticed that many of my single girlfriends are simply exhausted by men – they  are so fed up  that they have given up the search for a life partner. They feel that it is better to be alone than with a man. As a married woman, I try to explain to them that marriage is a blessing. I tell them anecdotes of my husband killing bugs and changing light bulbs and they sigh at me. One friend recently said something that gave me pause,

“That’s it? That’s all I am getting? Someone who kills a spider and changes light bulbs. My super does that. You can’t expect me to give up so much for so little.” 

Disclaimer: my husband does way more than kill spiders and change lightbulbs. He is a wonderful man who provides me with love and stability.

But why is it that I only recount those 2 attributes when talking about the benefits of having a man? It’s not just me, my other married friends always chime in with things like:

  • Changes tires
  • Fixes laundry machine
  • Does the taxes
  • Mows the lawn
  • Grills stuff
  • Installs home theater

Are we married to men or task rabbits? Are these the best things about the men in our lives? Is this all we expect from them? Or are we all stuck in a vicious cycle?

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Gender Roles:

Gender roles are a set of societal norms that dictate the types of behavior which are acceptable and appropriate for people based on their sex. These roles mainly center around femininity and masculinity.

While gender roles vary from culture to culture – the typical male attributes are supposed to be: strength and self-reliance, success, no sissy stuff or don’t be like women, sexual interest and prowess, active, independent, tough, aggressive, dominant, stoic and never cries (Bem, 1974; Broverment et al., 1970; Herek, 1986; Zilbergeld, 1992). These defaults define the standard for masculinity

One of the biggest shortcomings of masculinity is that it limits men’s emotional development. Being emotional is perceived as negative – a female attribute and therefore negative.

Emotional Intelligence:

EI is the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to a specific environment or achieve specific goals.

Studies indicate that women have higher EI than men because emotion is considered feminine . Masculinity calls for men to be free of emotion because boys don’t cry.

And yet succeeding in life depends in large part on succeeding socially, and a part of social success depends on EI.

How can we expect young men to succeed in relationships/life if we do not provide them with adequate tools to do so?

The Bottom Line:

Yes, our gender roles are evolving, slowly but surely and maybe one day we will realize that gender roles are just cultural norms and we should not force girls to wear pink and boys to wear blue. But until then we must realize the importance of emotional intelligence. The ability to understand people around you – we teach this to our girls. We allow them to grow emotionally and thus we have raised some very remarkable young women.

But our boys are stunted. They are unable to deal with the realities of life and are instead crushed by expectations of masculinity. Being a man must be more than grilling and changing lightbulbs.

Going back to my conversations with my single girlfriends, you are right. You need a man not a super. The stories I share with you to illustrates the benefits of having a man are pathetic. I need to reset and stop holding my husband to rigid gender norms.

So here is my challenge to you ladies: Stop accepting society’s norms on what men should be, expect more from them . Don’t simply ask, demand it! They will hate you, they will fight you, but ultimately you are helping them.

Mothers, teach your boys how to cry. Teach them how to label emotions – teach them the difference between sadness and anger. Teach them how to communicate. Give them the gift of emotional intelligence so they grow up to be more than task rabbits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage Transactions

A friend of mine is tying the knot with a man she has known for barely a year. We have had many conversations where I have advised her against it.

Marriage is sacred, it’s about finding your partner in life – somebody who will love and support you. You need more time to properly vet someone. This is a major life decision.

My friend however, feels that she knows this man well enough and they are clear on what the expectations of the marriage are. She wants to have children and be a stay at home mom and he wants a marriage where his career will be the priority. He can financially support the family and has purchased a house in the suburbs.

The way she presented it to me made me cringe – but as I think about this more I wonder if I have placed too much emphasis on the love part of marriage? Can transactional marriages be successful and is it smart for a woman to be frank about what the roles and expectations are?

I have grown up around the concept of arranged marriages. My parents only knew each other for 15 minutes prior to their wedding – they have been happily married for 34 years.

Their marriage was a transaction– both parties were aware of the expectations:

  • My father was to be the breadwinner
  • My mother was to be a housewife and mother

And while this doesn’t sound romantic it is clear. Everyone agreed on what was going to happen.

Modern Marriage:

I am beginning to think that modern women are being swindled into vague marriages under the guise of love, and that perhaps it’s time to take a page from my parent’s book and look at marriages as transactions with clear roles and responsibilities.

In “Even Among Harvard Graduates, Women Fall Short of Their Expectations,” Claire Cain Mill addresses a study of HBS alumni and its findings are not surprising –

Ms. Mill writes,

“…women in business overwhelmingly want high-achieving careers even after they start families. The problem is mismatched expectations between what they hope to achieve in their careers and family lives and what actually happens…Men in general expect their careers will take precedence over their spouses’ career and that their spouses will handle more of the child care, the study found – and for the most part, men’s expectations are exceeded. Women, meanwhile, expect their careers will be as important as their spouses’ and that they will share child care equally – but, in general neither happens…”

So, women in business go into marriages expecting their spouses to handle half of the work while their spouses have other plans.

You see what I am getting at here?

Marriage Contracts:

In Islam marriage is a legal contract between two people. A formal contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride is signed by both parties. While I don’t agree 100% with terms listed in an Islamic marriage contract, I do admire the concept of creating a legal document that clearly define rights and responsibilities.

The 2nd Shift:

I’ve been married for 3 years. I love my husband and the life we have built together.

We both work high stress jobs and we both have great ambitions to be successful.

We both wake up at 6 am and leave work around 7 pm (on average). However, when I leave my office I prepare for my 2nd shift.

This is the other job I have – the homemaker. This job requires the following things:

  • Dinner preparation
  • Laundry
  • Walking/Feeding the dog
  • Cleaning
  • Social calendar management
  • Groceries

These things happen from 7 pm – 11pm.

Do I like to do these things? No. Did I think I would be doing these things at the frequency and volume that I must before we got married? No. Did we talk about these things before we got married? No.

I am sure I am not the only woman working the 2nd shift.

Women make up approximately 47% of the workforce in the US – almost half of the total workforce. So why haven’t we updated our gender roles to match this statistic?

Why are women now working and managing the household?

Ms. Mills  writes in the HBS study,

“The highest-earning female executives with small children spend 25 hours on child care a week, on average, while male executives spend 10…”

There is an imbalance between the expectations and reality.

Final Thoughts:

There is a stigma around married women who work – employers often feel that they will prioritize their home life over work. I have seen it happen, mothers pushed out because they simply cannot lean in enough.

But I think that we have it all wrong – It’s not that married women prioritize their home life more than anyone else. It’s just that they didn’t get clarity prior to marriage on who was going to do what. They entered a verbal agreement with no clear definition of roles and responsibilities –cultural norms rule their marriages.

Men are not at fault; they are just behaving the way they have been taught to behave and doing exactly what they have always been doing.

I think to change these outdated gender roles we need to start looking at marriages for what they are – contracts. Love is vague. Love shouldn’t be the basis of marriage.

I know this doesn’t sound romantic and it isn’t but romance is only a 1 part of marriage. Marriage requires hard work and a disproportionate amount of that work falls on women because of antiquated gender roles – this affects everything – from women’s careers to their social lives.  Everything takes a hit because women do not take the time to create rules. Women let society create the norms for their marriages.

Are contracts the solution? Maybe. But we should at least think about these things before tying the knot.

Going back to my friend who is marrying a man she barely knows – I wish them success and I think they are on to something. She knows what she wants in her partner and he agrees. They haven’t created a formal document outlining this- but they are more prepared than most people.

My Gussie

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now, but every time I start to type –tears blur my vision. I can’t even see what I was writing. Even now, as I type, I am sobbing.

My sweet little puppy passed away about a month ago. He had a very aggressive form of cancer. He fought hard – he went through surgery and 5 rounds of chemo. My little puppy weighing in at 24 lbs. – battled through 5 rounds of chemotherapy.

Gus was more than my dog, he my was child. I always said,

“when I travel I miss him first and then my husband”.

Gus was my greatest love. He was always there for me –  in 2015 I went through a lot of pain and suffering – there were times when I didn’t want to go on. I felt like my life was meaningless and I needed to let go, but every time I fell into this despair, he would be there, giving me a reason to live.  He was whatever I needed him to be – he was silly and would thrash around the sheets, he was calm and watched real housewives with me, he was energetic and took long walks at 6 am and he was loud, barked at the seamless delivery guy. He was everything and now he is no more – I feel so lost without him.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.35.43 PM.png Gussie in 2012  – not 100% trusting me

When I met my husband in 2011 – I met Gus, and I didn’t like him. He had wild fur that was all in knots and his breath was terrible. I thought he was too quiet and had no personality. The first couple of months – I wouldn’t even interact with him. I had never experienced a dog like this, he wouldn’t bark or be aggressive – he was just calm. But as I slowly got to know him I realized he was onion, you had peel back his layers.

In 2012, I took Gussie to the vet for a teeth cleaning. I dropped him and I went to work. It was a busy day and I had a lot of back to back meetings. I didn’t check my phone. When I finally got to my desk, I saw 3 missed called from the vet. I immediately called them back – I was terrified. The vet informed me that he had really bad gum disease and because I didn’t’ pick up the phone they went ahead and removed all his teeth except 8.

That was the moment I realized just how much I loved him. I began to hysterically cry at my desk. I felt horrible. The vet called and I didn’t answer and now my little guy only has 8 teeth. When I picked him up he was loopy. I carried him home in my arms and I sobbed. I let him down and it was the worst feeling I have ever felt.

But, he was fine. My Gussie, was so tough. Soon, we realized that the tooth removal was a blessing. He was in pain and now that the bad teeth were gone he could eat a lot more. He even chewed through bags looking for treats.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.36.22 PM.pngwhen I found out doggie pajamas were real

In 2014 when my husband and I tied the knot – I refused to leave Gussie behind. We were traveling to Savannah and I needed Gus to be there. We carried him on the plane – a 2.5 hour JetBlue flight. He slept the entire way. Another passenger commented that they didn’t even realize a dog was on board because he was so quiet.

The night before the wedding everyone went out to a bar. I left around midnight so I could have my beauty sleep. I changed into pajamas put Gussie in the bed-force cuddled him until he slipped away and drifted to sleep.

I awoke at 5 am to get ready and as I opened my eyes I noticed that Gussie wasn’t there. My friend and I ripped apart the room looking for him. I was so afraid that I had left the door open and he ran away. We ran into the main house and climbed 5 flights of stairs to where my husband was. As I tiptoed into the room, I saw the bed and a little head popped up – it was Gus. He was sleeping on the edge of the bed.

My husband had walked home from the bar at 3 am – come into my suite taken Gus and carried him up 5 flights of stairs.

The last few months of his life, he was so tired – he had chemo every 3 weeks. That meant, that he would have 1 good week and then he would be sick for the rest.

His last treatment the vet brought him out with a yellow bandana and a certificate that said, I Kicked Cancer’s Tail! He has no visible tumors. I felt a sigh of relief. I thought that everything we were doing was working and that we had more time.

What I would give for more time with him.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.36.41 PM.pngAlways so happy

As I was creating the guest list for my husband’s birthday party – it occurred to me that Gussies x-rays were the next day. I felt a lump in my throat.

The day before I was supposed to spend the day with him – I had taken off. But something came up at work, so I said would be gone for an hour. It took the entire day. I got home at 9 pm. I walked him and tried to feed him. He didn’t want to eat the dog food. He wanted chicken.

I went to cook him some chicken and my husband and I argued that we should only feed him the specially formulated food to fight the cancer.

I put the half cooked chicken in the freezer, it’s still there.

He didn’t eat the dog food.

The next day I had to work again. I woke up at 8 am and took him for a walk, gave him a kiss and went to work.

I got home at 1 pm and my husband and I argued about something while he sat patiently on the couch.

I took him for a walk at 6 pm. We walked down his favorite street – he pooped in front a restaurant where people were eating outside (his favorite thing to do). I brought him home and fed him. Then I picked him up and sat in the window with him. He loved looking out the window.

He threw up 2 times after that and the 2nd time was the last. Something had happened.

We had to rush him to the vet that night, during the party. We slipped out and I held him in my arms as my husband drove. He was breathing so heavy, I kept whispering in his ear “I love you, you’re a good boy.”

When we got the vet, it was clear, he was bleeding internally and we had to let him go.

That day at 4 am – we put him to sleep. In my husband arms as I stroked his head. He left us.

I have never felt such pain.

I have never felt such guilt

All I wanted was time with him and yet I never gave him time. I live with this guilt every day. My greatest regret was not spending that Friday with him. I am so sorry my Gussie.

The lesson I have learned from all of this is to spend time with those you love because you never know when it’s going to be over.

But the truth is, I haven’t even given myself time to grieve – I’ve been so busy. I had an epiphany this week, I need to find my balance. I need to center myself again. I feel so sad every day. I feel so alone in my grief. I feel so pointless.

I have been taking medication to fall asleep and medication to wake up. Inside, it feels like I am running on fumes – I don’t know how I’ve been existing.

I need to accept that I’ll never hear his collar tag jingle (my favorite sound). I need to forgive myself and let go of the guilt. I need to feel this pain, let it wash over me.

Gussie,

I love you so much. I miss you so much. You were such a good boy. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for coming Savannah for our wedding. Thank you for wearing that ridiculous bowtie collar. Thank you sitting in that stroller I got for you. Thank you for playing with the hand puppets I bought from Ikea. Thank you for being my guard dog when my husband was away. Thank you for always sleeping on my side – warming my feet.

I hope you had a good life. I hope we gave you everything you wanted.

I’ll never forget you. I am sorry I tried to push these feeling away.

You are forever my favorite.

❤ Aditi

 

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My last mothers day with Gussie (featuring Rikee my family dog)

Love

I used to think that love was a certain way – a heavy emphasis on sex. The can’t keep your hands off each other kind of infatuation – kissing and hugging and touching. That’s what I thought of love.

But now, older and maybe wiser, I realize that, that is not love. Not even close. Love is comfortable. Love is sweatpants and Netflix. Love is kisses on the forehead and backrubs. Love is more about feeling at home than anything else. Love is not sexual, at all but its intimate.

 

 

Suffering and Social Media

A dear friend of mine recently had a miscarriage.

(its ok, she said she didn’t mind that I wrote about it if I changed her name)

She woke up one morning and didn’t feel great and then she realized what was happening. She informed people by the timeline below,

  1. She immediately called her husband to meet her at the hospital
  2. She called her sister right after she found out
  3. She called her parents before the procedure
  4. She called 3 of her close friends and emailed her boss a couple of days after.

Then she wondered, how should she tell people? It was a late term miscarriage, so a lot of people knew she was expecting. She slept on it for a few days and then finally decided to post on Facebook. She wrote,

“I’ve been struggling with this for a few weeks now and I wanted to let my friends and extended family know, Josh and I had a miscarriage. We are both ok but very upset and need some time to heal – so apologize if we are MIA for a bit. Thank you for your love and support”

Immediately, she had hundreds of people commenting and liking – offering their condolences and support.

Judy felt a little better. She felt as though, posting on Facebook was the right decision and for a little while she didn’t feel so alone in her suffering.

—-

A couple of weeks later I had lunch with some mutual friends. Judy didn’t attend, she still wasn’t feeling up to it.

As we ate our meals one friend mentioned Judy. She asked me if I knew and I replied yes, she had told me. Then another friend asked, when she told me. I was confused, I didn’t understand what did timeline have to do with it? I said, “Um. Maybe a couple of days after.”

Silence consumed the table.

“We found out on Facebook” One friend mentioned and the rest of the table nodded their heads.

Then one friend had the courage to say what the rest of them were thinking, “I just think, it was tacky, the way she did it. I mean, I get it, you are upset, but posting it on Facebook? It’s a lil……. attention seeking”

I know, as you read this you are horrified and in that moment, I was horrified too. How could they be so cruel? This poor woman lost a child and they are talking about etiquette?

But,

When I thought about it – I realized that the only reason I felt such compassion toward Judy is because she is a dear friend. I too have judged people who posted about illness and loss on Facebook and I guarantee so have you.

We can’t help it.

If you search “How to post about cancer on Facebook,” there are hundreds and thousands of articles instructing you on how to announce to Facebook that you have been diagnosed with cancer. There are equally as many articles arguing that you should not post about cancer on Facebook.

According to some sharing your illness on social media dilutes the grief so that its comprehensible to everyone, including those people who are only distantly aware of the situation.

I read through the comments posted on Judy’s status,

“I am so sorry for your loss. Please let me know if you need anything at all. Remember, God has a plan for all of us”

and another,

“You are strong passionate woman and I am praying for you. Everything will work out in due time”

It makes complete sense, it’s the human condition – trying to control uncertainty.  People were trying to control the situation – letting her know that her loss was part of some master plan.

In 1990 researcher Aerie Kruglanski introduced the concept of “need for cognitive closure”- Need for closure means: individuals need to have an answer for any given topic. This concept explains the comments I read on Judy’s post.

Judy didn’t ask people for explanations. She was simply letting people know about this tragic event that happened. But to comprehend and accept what had happened to her people were offering their reasons, “It’s all part of God’s plan.”

Why do we consider peoples suffering oversharing? It’s because it makes us uncomfortable. It reinforces the reality that we run from – that life is messy and uncertain. That despite all our systems, measurements and procedures we cannot control anything.

Social Media is our security blanket. It is a world we have created to protect us from the real world and any mention of reality upsets us. Judy’s miscarriage was tragic and unexpected. Her grief is a reminder that we cannot predict or control anything and what my girlfriends were upset about was not etiquette. Her Facebook status destroyed their perfect feed. It reminded them about how horribly messy life is.

If you are suffering in silence, I encourage you to post about it. If you are struggling with how to announce your grief. Check out these sites:

Begin

I didn’t die that day. I lived. Unwillingly, I lived.

I peered over the railing…below me was street, concrete street. If I fell I wouldn’t survive. It would be quick. Probably very painful. But it would be quick.

I read that people who jump end up regretting the decision seconds before they land. A few survivors have testified to that. That the second before they made impact they wish they had not jumped. Is it fear? Fear of the unknown?

I often think about what happens after. When it’s over. Where do you go? Do you have thoughts? The world has woven a story about life after death….Heaven and the less pleasant Hell. To be honest, I don’t believe it. My faith says that you are reborn, that your soul stays the same but your body, mind, and life is different. I don’t believe that either.

I think it’s over. I think you’re done. You cease to exist. No more thoughts. No more. Believing that brings me greater peace than heaven or samsara.

These are morbid thoughts but they run through my head everyday. I think about death constantly. But, I don’t  die. I live, unwillingly, I live.


Chapter One:

My earliest memory is this,

It was dark. My father and I are walking hand in hand down a dirt path. I could tell that there used to be street under all the dirt. To my right and left there were houses, some standing, some destroyed. My father is holding my hand and clutching a plastic grocery bag. In the bag, is bread. All of a sudden we hear a sound. Like a loud crash – like two pieces of metal crashed into each other. We turn around, there is a tank behind us, just a few  hundred feet behind us. My father screams. We run. I am only 4 years old and my legs cannot keep up. I fall. I scrape my knee badly. There is so much blood. My father drops the bread and picks me up and runs. We run away with our lives but without the bread. Who knows how long we have.

It’s 1990 and we were in the midst of the Persian Gulf War.

It happened suddenly. Not the way you would imagine it. We didn’t even know. One morning, my father woke up and went to work and my  brother and I woke up went about our day like normal kids – running around, making a mess, and pretending we were superheroes The superhero game was a favorite of ours – we would pretend we were secret agents with powers and the couch was our nemesis. We played this game well into our teen years even.

Our father came home midday which was unusual but I was four so I didn’t care much. He stayed home the rest of the day and the day after and the day after. I didn’t understand but as a four year old- i was happy to have my dad home.
I finally realized something was wrong when i noticed that we had been eating the same meal for a week at least. Eggs and toast, every meal. Initially three times a day but slowly two times a day and soon just eggs or sometimes just bread. I finally figured it out.

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The First Time

Do you ever miss the feeling?

Youth.

Freedom.

Summer.

Sun.

Sundress.

Cool breeze.

Cocktails.

Laughing.

The first time.

First crush, first flirt, first kiss, first love.

Death and Social Media

In 2012 there was a rather morbid debate on what should happen to the Facebook pages of deceased users. Loved ones felt that they should have the power to delete these accounts or at the very least control them.

Facebook responded by creating legacy accounts. Accounts that memorialized a user once they passed away. Users can decide who their legacy contact is and what to do with their account once they pass.  In essence, Facebook created a virtual cemetery.

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(https://www.facebook.com/help/103897939701143).

In 2098 dead Facebook profiles will outnumber living.

Because we are aware of our mortality, unconsciously even, all of our behavior is a way to survive and cope. Social media keeps us alive. It helps us deal with death – our own or a loved ones.

**

Earlier this year a beautiful young girl from Queens, NY was brutally murdered. She went out for a jog and was attacked.

After her death, this young woman’s social media profile went from 1000 followers to 10.5K – her name became a hashtag. She was immortalized. Thousands of users from across the globe commented on her photo’s – speculating on what could’ve been.

I began to follow her as well – scrolling through her photo’s to comfort myself. She was gone, but looking through her vacation made me feel like she was still here, at least a part of her.

**

Five years ago my sisters friend passed away. She went to a party and overdosed on drugs – She was found passed out in her apartment. It was very sad. She was only 19. Our town was overwhelmed with grief, she was very young and had a lot of potential. Who knows what she could have been? A doctor, a lawyer …

Left behind was her Facebook profile – the weeks after her death friends and family posted messages on her wall. “We miss you.” “Always in our thoughts.” Soon, those comments stopped. However, when I look at her Facebook every now and then – I see messages from her mom.

“Hello sweetheart missing you soo much Ashley! Stay close to mommy love you !!!!”

Her mom post on her wall every single day. Leaving her messages about how the day was, if she ran into a friend, a memory she remembered of them together. I think Facebook realizes the value of these pages – they bring comfort.

Our lives are fleeting. We cannot say with 100% certainty that we will wake up tomorrow and that is horrifying. These pages are our permanent footprint. They represent us and in our heart of hearts we feel that having these profiles will keep us alive.

#BoPo

As I scrolled through Instagram this morning, I noticed that my entire feed was filled with bikini clad women, these images tagged “#fitspiration”. I follow a handful of personal trainers and fitness experts because I enjoy tips for making an avocado smoothie and how to run without destroying your knees.

But why was everyone posting basically naked photos? I went back and examined the copy –

“New Year, New Me. Promoting body positivity and being happy with how I look!!  #bopo #fitspiration”

Oh, I see.

Because we are an image based culture that is driven by social media, we have warped how women perceive empowerment and body positivity. Women today feel empowered when there is a positive response to objectified and sexualized images of themselves.

Please put down your pitchforks and hear me out.

Demi Lovato has been a feminist champion – speaking openly about her issues with weight, an eating disorder and body image. I respect her candor and I believe that we need more female role models that speak openly about these issues.

But, why is it that she has to prove to us that she truly loves her body? And is comfortable in her skin?

Below, you’ll see 2 images. The first is an Instagram Demi posted, captioned,

“Learn to lurrrrrrvveee yerrrr currrrvveees. I actually used to hate them…But then a special someone helped me learn how to love them…And he sure loves them…”

The second image is the Complex Magazine cover from September 2015 – known as Demi’s coming out. Complex has shot a few controversial covers to date (most notably with Kim K and the champagne bottles aimed at breaking the internet). This photo shows Demi topless, in lingerie and sitting on an inflatable banana.

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I ask you this, if you cannot tell the difference between a sexually objectified image and a body positive image – is it really empowering?

I know what I am saying goes against modern feminism. The idea that anything goes and we must not critique women. For a long time, I too believed this idea. I was fuming when people criticized Kim Kardashian nude selfie. She should be able to post whatever the hell she wants. It’s her body, it’s her choice.

I still believe that it’s a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body. But the thing is we only reference women in relation to their bodies. These nude selfies and topless photos reinforce the message that women are just bodies and is stark reminder that there is fine line between empowerment and objectification.

We live in a patriarchal society – designed by men to benefit men.  Despite what Beyoncé’s song tells us, women run the world. Women are indoctrinated into believing that beauty is capital and our bodies are a commodity. We are conditioned to believe that true empowerment comes from our bodies.

We would never ask this from a man.

“Feel great about yourself Gary? Prove it. Take off your clothes and post a selfie.”

Ridiculous, right? But this is what we demand from women. If a child star needs to tell the world she is ready to be cast as an adult, she poses half nude in GQ or Maxim magazine. Why?

Why do we post nude selfies to portray female empowerment? Because this system has told us that women are just bodies – our value is only in how we look and are perceived.

Instagram is not immune to this system; it runs within it.

Below you’ll see a few images tagged “#bopo”, short for “body positive”. The images show women in bikinis, lingerie and even topless – the messages are truly positive,

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The comments underneath the messages are positive as well – women are thanking women for their strength and sending messages of encouragement. I admire these women for embracing their bodies.

But,

I worry about the effects of this type of behavior. 1. You must pose half naked in a photo and share it on Instagram in order to embrace your body. 2. The likes and comments you receive equal the amount of confidence you have

You must be thinking, what do I have against getting confidence from Instagram?

A time-honored adage sums it up: “Confidence is silent, Insecurities are loud.”

My Final Thoughts:

Is the #BoPo movement truly body positivity? Is it how we want our daughters to express empowerment?

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 12.22.10 PM.png

we need to stop reducing women to nothing more than the bodies they come in.

We, us, women, we need to stop playing by the rules created for us. We need to stop operating in the current system because by doing so we perpetuate it. We need to show our girls that body positivity does not come from others’ validation of how we look on Instagram. And yes, while feeling good about how you look is important – you are more than your body. You are your mind, you are your relationships, you are your work, you are your accomplishments…more than just a body. More than just a bra size, a waist size – more than your ass, your thighs, your vagina. That is not what defines you.

Feeling good about yourself comes from a deeper understanding of who you are –

You are part of a sacred sisterhood – You are the goddess of life, a creator – You come from a long line of powerful warriors.

“It is time to look within to find the source of your feminine identity, essence and self. Look within to heal and find the truth your voice, wisdom and heart. Look within to find your courage and to embrace your inherent intuition, wisdom and healthy sacred sexuality and wholly embrace the sovereign state of womanhood…Re-align with that with that which exists of life and truth so that you may embrace your fullest expression of your whole and feminine self.”

For More: http://www.beautyredefined.net