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I’ve just discovered Sommer Ray’s insta account.
Here’s my journey.
“Wow. How can anyone have a waist that small and a bum that perfect? How can that body even exist? Oh my god, look at that picture. She’s incredible. Ouch. Why is my stomach twisting? Oh because I’m imagining my boyfriend seeing this and getting turned on because he loves bums and her bum is perfect. She is perfect. My body is so far from perfect. How can anyone compete when the standard is this high? How can we compete with-” WAIT. WHAT? Compete?! Compete?!!!! My motto for life is not “it’s a competition”. This is not Good JuJu Competes. Life is an exploration, a world of discovery. And I just realised the extent to which my mind has been twisted and warped by an advertising industry designed to make us feel shame and revulsion at ourselves in order to send us into a frenzy of furious consumption.
We are blessed with health (if we are very lucky) and yet we waste precious moments of life feeling disgust at our incredible bodies. Bodies that Deepak Chopra calls esquisite pharmacies - constantly inventing chemical solutions to problems we don’t even know we have. Our beautiful brilliant intelligent bodies that keep us alive and allow us to experience the wonders of this earth and we spend time “hating” them. Sister pulease. We have to get to the bottom of this.
Imagine a snow leopard. Its physical perfection stuns you. Its breathtaking fur, powerful muscularture and majestic grace, inspires you to think “my god, the world is an incredible place of astounding beauty”.
If the advertising machine designed to make us hate ourselves so we buy products we are duped into thinking we need, wasn't holding us in its grip; if we saw patriarchal projections of desirability as the fear based propaganda they are; if we could recenter ourselves and reclaim our powerful blood and bones, perhaps we could see Somer Ray, or any other stunning creature, and have the same pure-hearted reaction to her astounding physical attributes as to that of the snow leopard. We could see her and simply think “wow, look at that phenomenal beauty.”
But so often we don’t regard each other as spectacular, we regard each other as competition. We don’t want our partners to leave us for a better model, we want to be the best. And we suffer intensely and needlessly competing when we could be celebrating ourselves and each other.
I could look at Einstein and be incredibly impressed by his brain. I could look at James Franco and be incredibly taken by his grin. But I don’t then look at my boyfriend and suddenly find him lacking because other men have attractive qualities that impress me. I love him. For all that he is*.
So, this competition idea is kind of a fallacy. And the drive to “be the best” physically is so limiting because there are so many more aspects to being alive that are meaningful and fulfilling and life affirming. And being at peak physical fitness is just one option amongst some pretty fantastic options.
Shame, self loathing and competition-mentality needs to be unearthed, picked up and really looked at. The idea that someone else’s beauty is in some way harmful to us is actually quite bizarre. We are not competing to be the best female to be mated with; we are so much more than animals showing off our fine feathers. We have evolved so that we get to choose a mate that we connect with on a multitude of emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical levels and we get to enjoy the richness and bounty of that evolution.
Beauty is a feast for the eyes. Let’s gorge and celebrate and acknowledge each other’s strengths and attributes and keep building our own self love and self worth as we explore and discover what about us is as unique a gift as that perfect Sommer Ray ass.
Today I celebrate my capacity to love and connect with my friends who make my world an amazing place to be. That is a gift I treasure. It’s far from a bum deal.
*We’ve since broken up, so Einstein, you know, I’m like, available or whatever.