I’m back! After an embarrassingly long hiatus from this blog — huge apologies to everyone — there is going to be an exciting new theme for this freshly arrived month:
|From Fabulous Women in Network Marketing on Facebook|
It’s Self-Image Month!
|Me, photographed by Argentina Leyva|
Now, the reason I’ve been MIA lately is because I was recently hired to do part-time, yet regular, blogging, for Argentina Leyva Photography. You may understand how accountability works — usually, when you’ve got a partner (especially if they’re paying you!) that you’ve struck a deal with, it takes priority over your “lone” projects.
I realize this is unfair to you guys. If anything, I have an unspoken agreement with all of you to keep the content coming, so again, I deeply apologize.
Anyway, about Self-Image Month — it has occurred to me that there is a lot that is unexplored about the effects acquired disability can have on a person, and that obviously influences inner factors such as confidence. Confidence in what you can physically and mentally do; confidence in your role(s) in society, in your friendships, in the family; and of course, confidence in the way you look.
This last one is often controversial because our society has a tendency to both place far too much emphasis on how people appear and at the same time undermine its importance. “Inner beauty is more important than outer beauty,” blah blah blah.
Sure it is, but as much as white is lighter than black, they are both extremely significant colors! Let’s stop pretending that in order to have one thing, you CANNOT HAVE the other. (I have the same complaint about people arguing that “love is more important than money,” but never mind.) I strongly believe that inner and outer beauty have a tendency to go hand-in-hand, and that it is very difficult not to let your inner peace suffer if you’re constantly distracted by the insecurities of how your physical body has changed.
This has come far more into my awareness lately mainly because of the work Argentina does. She’s the women’s photographer, and she deals with clients that all come with body hangups of their own. Yet despite this, it is her job to gently guide them out of their shell and get them to embrace their own beauty anyway. I find this both empowering and inspirational, so much so that when I did my own shoot, it was the topic of my first post for her.
Also, I was recently contacted by a group that is connected to me via my past involvement with Erasing the Distance (remember Falling Petals?). When I was first referred to the Falling Petals production, my initial reaction was kneejerk: It was a show exploring Asian-Americans with disabilities, and I was loath to volunteer my story for fear that it would define me. Instead of portraying me as simply a person (how I think of myself) who just happens to have an Asian heritage and have acquired a physical condition, I was being asked to represent all “Asian-Americans with disabilities.”
I only changed my mind and decided to go ahead with it when I realized that doing so might benefit many others, rather than affecting only me. So for the sake of possibly inspiring other people, I opted to participate.
I’ve never regretted the decision, but recently I’ve been asked to participate in some initiatives focusing on Asians with disabilities, and the same exact issues are cropping up. So this kind of inspired me to explore further how “threats” to our own identities can affect our lives, too.
I have also recently met an inspiring woman who is currently battling cancer and undergoing chemo. She’s lost her hair, and as she says, “When I lost my hair, I lost a huge part of myself . . . I realize it’s JUST hair, but as any woman can imagine, losing your hair makes you feel ugly and it does something to you I just can’t explain.”
I’d like to explore topics like these this month. Things are going to get introspective! Get ready — it’s Self-Image Month, and things won’t always be pretty. 😉
PS. If you would like to participate and share your own story of how your self-image has been significantly affected, please either comment below or send me an e-mail. Thanks!
To our healing,