Self Worth and Dismissiveness of Personal Qualities

How can I overcome the dismissiveness of my own personal qualities and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

I have been dismissive of my personal qualities for as long as I have been aware of them. From a dismissive approach towards my strengths to a disregard of any other good personal qualities, I have largely been rejecting of my personal strengths and unique qualities as a person.

What and why makes me reject and dismiss my own personal qualities?

Shame is one of the reasons why. I feel embarrassed listing any good personal qualities about myself to other people. This feeling of sharing my own good qualities to others fills me with a sense of lack, perhaps that I am unable to prove any of the good qualities I have as a person. Beyond this, there is the feeling that perhaps, I am making these qualities up and pretending to have them when I actually lack them in reality.

A sense of imposter syndrome and a need to prove myself constantly to others makes me believe that I either don’t have these qualities or am making them up.

Why do I feel the need to prove myself to others all the time? Why isn’t my present self enough for other people? Growing up, I was faced with a number of comparisons to other people from my caregivers. My relatives, neighbours, classmates, and occasionally persons of famous reputation, were usually points of comparison for me. I was repeatedly told that I would only be loved and respected if I had been able to prove that I could live up to the qualities that were stated or embodied by these people.

Being compared to persons and told that the only way for me to feel loved and respected would be by proving myself and living up to certain qualities embodied or stated by others created this constant comparison in my head with others.

For my child self, it became a matter of concern. Was I unable to be loved because of my grades? What about other children? Are they loved by their parents simply because they are intelligent or sharp, good at school or at household chores, sometimes both? What is this comparison barometer? Why am I always the last one on the barometer?

Subconsciously, I felt confused and unsure of whether I was loved. I wondered whether love itself was something other children only had because they were able to prove certain qualities to their parents first and foremost.

From here, this belief began to build. I began to obsess and compare myself to classmates. Persons who were somehow able to embody these qualities or were recipients of good grades, were intelligent or somehow had a good relationship in their homes with their families, not bound to these expectations filled me with a strong sense of envy. I began to feel inferior and unworthy as compared to other people and this feeling devolved into a sense of unworthiness for me as a person, my good qualities, my strengths and my fundamental self worth.

The comparisons made me envious of classmates, neighbours and persons I had just met, if they were somehow recipients of loving relationships, were intelligent or somehow better than me in some respect. Eventually, these comparisons devolved into a sense of unworthiness.

I began to grow depressed knowing that not only were people around me not facing the same pressure, that I was somehow not being loved and respected at the same time even though I was working for the same quality they received automatically. It became a sense of failure in my head which began to root itself in my approach to relationships with others. I began to fundamentally believe that I needed to prove myself in some shape or form to others around me, in order to feel loved, respected and worthy. While persons around me who automatically received this quality had self worth, or what I thought was self worth at the time.

I grew depressed because of these comparisons, and envied persons who didn’t feel this insecurity in their lives, and who perhaps embodied what I perceived to be authentic self worth.

From this time onwards, the feeling – now already having contributed to my feelings of depression – became a source of personal misery which began to follow me around into new environments and situations. Instead of finding myself excited and inspired to meet new people, I grew angry and resentful of people I met and attempted to avoid people as much as possible. I found myself becoming addicted to a sense of inner and outer loneliness, rejecting the thought that I could build healthy relationships with others, believing that I had something wrong with me as a person, and could never escape this feeling of unworthiness I collected from the false narratives I was told as a child.

How can I heal this belief and remove this myth to continue building the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

The first truth is that this is an untruth. Self worth is never dependent on any external accomplishments, and a large number of people believing this to be false doesn’t make it so. It is also true that people who share these beliefs with others don’t understand how to inspire and motivate them as individuals to seek authentic joy for learning and intellectual experiences beyond the school. Scare tactics and false perceptions are shared with the recipient to make them fear the negative outcome instead of appreciating the joy of experiencing positive outcomes and working towards them instead. Thirdly, persons who share this belief with others perhaps have been told this mistrust themselves, by someone and have somehow believed this to be a tactic which is applicable to others, regardless of the consequences. Fourthly, persons who hold this mentality often don’t have an understanding of good intellectual development in the emotional sphere. They believe that scare tactics and aggressive communication are fundamental to intellectual learning, instead of believing and understanding that intellectual development is a natural process which occurs with an inspiration, positive discipline training, and educational support.

Beliefs of aggressive scare tactics and aggressive communication being appropriate teaching and caregiving methods are rooted in toxic experiences, a lack of understanding of inspiration and positive intellectual growth, and ultimately, a false belief in the lack of authentic self worth for each person regardless of achievements.

In results from this tactic, the major consequences are depression, anxiety and a lack of self esteem in the recipient. Not academic success or intellectual growth. I did not become academically inclined because of scare tactics or aggressive communication. I became interested in certain subjects at school individually, with additional interests undertaken through my own personal time reading and encountering subjects. My intellectual growth would have continued regardless of aggressive parenting and scare tactics, not because of it, as I was a student in a school where teaching already occurred and it was the natural progress from one class to another which marked my intellectual growth.

As I write this, I recognise that my intellectual growth was never going to be driven by scare tactics and aggressive communication, but by natural progress and personal interaction with subjects and topics of interest.

If anything, I became less inclined to pursue intellectual growth and academic success because of these scare tactics. One of the reasons was that people around me were not recipients of this behavior, and remained academically successful on a comparable if not better level. Another was that the scare tactics induced a sense of fear of the subject itself, creating anxiety where interest should have been cultivated. Third was that people around me who didn’t have these consequences found themselves happier and more sociable, capable of interacting with others, making friends and ultimately, becoming emotionally fulfilled from the school experience which left me exhausted and anxious on a daily basis.

Where I should have been interested in a subject, I became afraid and rejecting, noticing the classmates who succeeded academically without these tactics, and classmates who were happier just by making friends and enjoying an experience which left me tired and anxious at the end of a school day.

In these two environment comparisons, I found myself at the lowest rung of both. Neither was I enjoying the school experience fully, and I wasn’t succeeding academically either. Ultimately, I was left with a sense of unfulfilled desires, hopes and dreams, upon my graduation from school. I felt as if my hard work and the emotional resilience I had built over the years were both resulting in limited successes for me in my personal and intellectual settings.

Finding myself unfulfilled emotionally and not extremely successful academically, I was ultimately left dissatisfied by my educational experiences, feeling as if my hard work and emotional resilience resulted in limited successes for me in personal and intellectual settings.

I found myself tired of the consequences of negative academic success and rejecting of the social unfulfillment which resulted from a lack of time and energy for relationship building in school. I was ultimately left to my own self and a self worth which needed healing after the completion of my school experience, of 13 years in total.

I was left with a self worth that needed healing after the completion of my school experience. How can I continue to heal my self worth and build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

The first thing is to distance my negative experiences from my authentic self worth. I had negative experiences in my academic settings, which is extremely normal and expected for all students. But these negative experiences do not and will not define my self worth, and never have.

My self worth is absolute and cannot be negotiated for a series of negative experiences in a setting where such experiences are normal and expected. The next thing to work on is to remember that self worth is never, ever dependent on one’s external accomplishments, on the approval or consideration of others, or the number of social connections one has. Authentic self worth comes from internal fulfilment, an acknowledgement and celebration of one’s strengths and unique qualities, and a belief in one’s authentic, non-negotiable worth as a person.

My self worth is not defined by academic experiences, the approval of others or the number of social connections I may have had or have.

I need to also remember that the perception of self worth being dependent on love and respect from others is also false. Self worth is dependent on love and respect from oneself towards oneself, not towards other persons. My own respect and love for myself is what is most important for my self worth. Never the love and approval of others.

I am defined by the authentic self worth I have, not the worth I believe others need to give me. I am most in need and most deserving of my own love and respect.

In remembering this, I also need to remember that my respect for me defines my ability to put my worth into action. My respect and love for me defines my ability to rejuvenate and build self worth on days where I may feel unworthy. Ultimately, my self worth is the most important aspect of me that I need to grow, and needs the most respect and love from me.

How can I build these feelings of love and respect which help me build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

Firstly, distancing myself from all sources of inauthentic self worth. Social relationships built for the sake of personal connections and nothing more. Activities pursued for recognition and respect from others, and their approval and nothing more. Ways I have committed my time, energy and space just to please others instead of focusing on my own needs and values as a person.

I commit to making these changes in my lifestyle for me to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.

Self Worth and Toxic Self Rejection

How can I overcome a toxic habit of rejecting myself and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

I have experienced rejection from myself in the past. In the past, I rejected myself for being a person who was largely introverted, shy, and imaginative. I refused to acknowledge these qualities as unique, positive strengths which when applied, allowed me to explore my personality. Instead, I used them to shun myself and shut down my own sense of self worth.

Growing up, I was surrounded by people in large groups. In school, at home, and in social communities. This made me feel as if my quiet, introverted nature was somehow wrong and incorrect. I believed that the only way to be normal was to be extroverted and outgoing. For years, I refused to acknowledge my deeper nature, and kept disrespecting myself under the guise of “self betterment” for the sake of being accepted by others.

I realise today that this self rejection led to depression, anxiety, low self worth and ultimately, to suicidal thoughts and urges. As a person, I am unique and worthy because I exist. My qualities are unique and not good or bad. I am a person, first and foremost. I am worthy simply because of my existence and nothing more, nothing less. Today, I choose to shed this self rejection.

I choose to acknowledge that my introverted, quiet nature was and always remains worthy. That I am not pathetic or simple because I am introverted. That my introverted nature allows me to think deeply, feel and be enchanted with the world in ways that extroversion doesn’t. That my imaginative nature allows me to conjure up scenarios that a pragmatic mind would never be able to come forth with.

I am worthy because I exist. Because my introverted and shy nature are worthy. Because my imaginative nature is worthy. Because I am not unworthy for having been myself. Because I am not unworthy for being myself. I recognise, celebrate and appreciate my qualities as a shy, introverted and imaginative personality.

I commit myself to ending toxic self rejection, and continuing to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.

Self Worth and Feeling Like A Loser

How can I overcome the feelings of being like a loser and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

The term loser in popular culture has permanently changed the original meaning of what loser means. Loser is originally defined as an entity that loses a commodity of some kind. In popular culture, a loser is roughly identified and not clearly defined, let alone applied correctly.

I have often used this label to describe myself, attempting to try and rationalise bullying or toxic relationships in my mind when other explanations didn’t register. Yet, even then, this label was defined based on a meaning which was factually incorrect.

Loser is not a person who lacks something. Loser is a person who loses a commodity of some kind. I have not lost a commodity of any kind, so by right, I can’t be defined as a loser.

The concept of self labelling has become more entrenched in the rise of popular culture. This concept didn’t exist earlier as persons failed to use labels to define themselves. Today, I choose to peel off this false layer of identification, and embrace the real me.

The real me is a mixture of different qualities and strengths. I am unique and yet I am similar to others in different ways. I am a person and that is what defines me. No other labels apply and cannot define me as a person.

Labelling reduces a person to a definition which is incorrect because it is applied to people when it shouldn’t be. It’s a form of false identification, and needs to be removed from our vocabulary for describing our own selves.

Here is my new description of who I am:

I am a person. I have strengths such as compassion, sensitivity and commitment. I have unique qualities such as introspection, creativity and imagination. I have different moods, experiences and goals in life.

I pledge to commit myself to peeling off the labels falsely applied and misused to define me and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.

Self Worth and Feeling Worthless Because of Expectations

How can I overcome feelings of worthlessness coming from expectations and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

In the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly increasing my expectations for finding a full time job. This increase in my expectations has resulted in much more anticipatory stress, feelings of depression, anxiety and unworthiness, as well as suicidal thoughts and urges.

Increasing my expectations has not resulted in a dramatic increase in productivity; my stress, depression, anxiety and unworthiness feelings, as well as suicidal thoughts and urges have increased.

This is proof of the failures which come from having expectations. An expectation is not an action, a result or even a guarantee of one. An expectation does not promise success, winning or succeeding in what you’re looking to accomplish. The only thing it does do is set up a sense of disappointment should these things not happen.

An expectation does not promise success, winning or succeeding, it only promises the feeling of disappointment and self punishment should these things not happen.

I’m an addict of expectations, I modelled this behavior off the expectations I experienced from my caregivers, Teachers and friends in differing capacities and contexts. Ultimately, expectations for me is a learned behavioural pattern, not an innate one. I learned to set expectations because I was convinced to believe that expectations guarantee success.

The fact that expectations guarantee success is one of the biggest fallacies of human logic to exist; because an expectation can not change the probability of an outcome occurring.

I’ve had to realise over time that setting up expectations isn’t really a formula for success. It’s just the set up of a mechanism which condemns failure. It doesn’t incentivise any of the qualities which result in success or influence the probability of a successful outcome. All it does it act as a mouse trap for a person should they come too close to the cheese, making the concept of success and failure completely black and white.

Expectations act as a mechanism to punish failure, not as a mechanism to guarantee success in any shape or form.

I’ve found myself feeling brutally depressed and anxious when I’ve missed an expectation set inside my mind for an area of my life. However, in no way has a missed expectation influenced my ability to succeed or influenced my chances of success. All an expectation does it make me feel miserable for failing.

Expectations divide success and failure into black and white terms.

According to expectations, success and failure are black and white. Success is the only positive outcome and failure, only worthy of punishment and nothing else. It doesn’t emphasise the numerous qualities and efforts required to increase the probability of a successful outcome. It also doesn’t emphasise the fact that the concept of failure is just a concept – it doesn’t actually exist.

A bigger fallacy than that of expectations is that of failure – expectations are what define the concept of failure.

The concept of failure is a result of the expectations we have. In reality, not achieving a desired outcome isn’t a failure. It is just not achieving a desired outcome. The probability of achieving a desired output may just have been higher than not, making the entire game less than one defined purely on success and failure terms.

I’ve been wondering how success and failure can be redefined according to a new concept – probability. The probability of achieving a desired outcome is completely unlike setting up an expectation punishing oneself for a failure. It is the concept of working with the factors influencing a positive outcome to increase one’s probability of succeeding.

Ultimately, refocusing onto probability instead of expectations changes one’s mentality from being black and white into one aware of and actively working to challenge any impediments to a positive outcome.

Deeper yet, it also changes one’s concept of success and failure. Instead of looking at the world and everything inside it as just success and failure, it is time to also appreciate how much can be done to work on improving one’s probability of obtaining one’s needs and wants. We may have a range in which we wish to achieve things and we can study that for more options on how to obtain a desired outcome.

I’m pledging to work on breaking down the fallacy of expectations and shifting my focus into probability for a probability based mindset, in order to continue building the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.

Self Worth and Feeling Deep Unworthiness

How can I heal feelings of deep unworthiness and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?

I have been feeling feelings of deep hopelessness, unworthiness and general compassion fatigue towards myself and my own ability to move forward in life. These feelings, when mixed together, serve to create the feelings of deep unworthiness, which are difficult to share for many, many people across the world.

I have been experiencing deep unworthiness since I was extremely young.

My first feelings of deep unworthiness came from the social isolation, cultural isolation and struggles in adapting to my new school environment in elementary school. I started elementary school a few weeks after my peers, and with little guidance on how to adjust to the realities of a busy, foreign, new culture to me. My only way to adapt was to use my language skills to build relationships.

For an entire year, I played alone during the afternoons. I would eat alone and rarely spoke or spent time with classmates. I would then return home on a bus, which had several new students, and was full of people I had never met before in my life. I began to feel isolated and deeply unworthy in a social scenario where I was an outsider, and everyone else was already adjusted and well used to the cultural and social norms of school and of living.

I felt this feeling when I moved out of my house and into a new place. I was experiencing cultural isolation in a city where persons were used to fast paced, independent and non-social living on an aggressive scale. For someone who had not been adapted to those specific aspects, adapting to them rapidly in a short period of time took tremendous work. I felt isolated and alone in my struggle to adapt. The feelings of deep unworthiness came out from my isolation.

I felt deeply alone as a working adult in a country where I was suddenly now a very obvious minority, at the bottom of the social hierarchy where persons of other countries were considered to be second class citizens. I was also now a person who was an “other”, of a foreign race and cultural background. Someone who had little in common with the persons already living in the city. These feelings made me feel confused and alienated; I had assumed that my relationships and knowledge of my new home would take me through this feeling. But it surprisingly was only an intellectual experience, where the emotional experience was of seeking security and a home, which took more time to adapt.

I’ve been learning and working to adapt to new cultures ever since I was a child. But this experience was new because of the very obvious lines between local and foreign. Persons were against the integration of the two and often rejected the opportunity for locals and foreigners to spend time together. So many people rejected and mocked the idea of social integration between the two, making the process of adaptation through relationship building difficult and often full of rejection. Today, having experienced this, I recognise that there are certain beliefs and insecurities which a person residing in a country may already have towards foreigners. But, I believe that forcing a foreigner to bend to your expectations is unruly and unrealistic.

I’ve been realising that deep unworthiness has its roots for me in the feeling of being different, separate, isolated from people.

This feeling is coupled with a sense of failure, a false prediction that whatever I do, I will not succeed in my attempts to become integrated and woven into the social fabric.

There is also a sense of impending doom which comes in the fear of not being able to succeed, which takes over when I begin to think about trying to integrate or succeed in doing so.

The feeling of not being able to do anything, of being motionless and completely self defeating is the most painful feeling of all, because it rests deep within the psyche and makes it difficult for me to share how I’m feeling with peers and fellow relatives, even mental health professionals.

There’s a sense of deep personal sorrow, grief and depression, in the feelings and frameworks which may come from the above concepts. For periods of time, I believe myself to be unable to move beyond what I am experiencing emotionally. This belief then transforms into depression, extended sorrow and grief. It makes it difficult for me to feel at home in my physical body and personal space.

Deep unworthiness has its roots in cultural maladjustments, and also in social isolation and a fear of failure. Two of these things are rooted in the self defeating mindset which rests beneath and is ultimately, what causes the feelings of grief, sorrow and depression which make it hard to come out of the deep unworthiness.

To build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment, I have to recognise that a lot of this emotional experience needs to be shared with mental health professionals and in supportive networks to remove the buildup of repressed and suppressed feelings over time. Then, I will need to extract a lot of the feelings and emotions related to personal failure and the shame and inability to express and reframe personal failure. Then, I will need to work on treating and removing the self defeating mentality which rests beneath, while using this to reduce the fear of failure and the sense of personal failure.

I pledge to work on treating my feelings of deep unworthiness, to restore the belief that I am worthy, to continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.

A List of Media Programs Which Have Body Shamed Me as A Woman of Color

1. Botched on E! Television Network.

2. America’s Next Top Model on the CW.

3. Australia’s Next Top Model.

4. Canada’s Next Top Model.

5. 90210 on the CW.

6. Gossip Girl.

7. The Only Way Is Essex.

8. Are You The One.

9. Love Island.

10. Glee.

11. The Real Housewives Franchise.

12. The Simpsons.

13. Family Guy.

14. Dexter’s Laboratory.

13. The Powerpuff Girls.

14. The Fairly Odd Parents.

15. Hannah Montana.

16. Sonny With A Chance.

17. Even Stevens.

18. American Idol Franchise.

19. The X Factor Franchise.

20. America’s Got Talent Franchise.

21. E! News.

22. Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

23. Toddlers and Tiaras.

24. Harry Potter.

25. The Simple Life.

26. Big Brother Franchise.

27. The Voice Franchise.

28. Eastenders Series.

29. The Hills.

30. The Royals.

31. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.

32. Vanderpump Rules.

33. Project Runway.

34. The Bachelorette.

35. The Rachel Zoe Project.

36. The Kandi Factory.

37. 16 and Pregnant.

38. Young and Pregnant.

39. My Super Sweet 16.

40. MTV Cribs.

41. The City.

42. Sex and The City Franchise.

43. The OC.

44. One Tree Hill.

45. Charmed.

46. Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

How Body Shaming Has Affected My Perception of My Cultural Background

Body shaming has not only been toxic for my self worth, it has also affected my perception of my cultural background. Instead of viewing my heritage, traditions and background as unique, ancestral, and rooted in a series of religious, nature based and community based practices, I began to view my own culture as something to reject.

Body shaming made me believe in a narrow minded view of my own culture, where my perception of my own appearance was something I had to obtain from other persons instead of myself. It made me believe that my culture was rooted in a tradition of basing one’s self worth on the opinions of other people.

It made me believe that my opinion and perspectives mattered less than the people around me, regardless of their intellect, education, world view, mind frames and open mindedness. It made me believe that the “other” was right no matter what simply because they existed, and it didn’t matter who the other was, really. Just as long as they were not me.

It made me believe that I had nothing to obtain and nothing to contribute to my own culture, because my thoughts were not valuable to begin with. It made me perceive my role in my own culture as that of a passerby, as opposed to a formulate, consumer and creator of unique and authentic practices in a community framework which has been evolving since the beginning of time.

It made me believe that I was never going to assimilate into my own culture, even though I had already assimilated into it. My identity is my assimilation. I don’t have to do more to assimilate. I am assimilated because I am here. I don’t have to depend on the opinions of others to determine my assimilation. I don’t have to view my assimilation from a gauge. It is already complete, however it may be. Because I am present and here as I am, a part of my own culture as I live and breathe.

The most painful aspect has been the self isolation which I have experienced because of the imagined belief that I didn’t have a role to play as a consumer, formulator and creator of culture. It has been painful because it made me perceive myself as permanently isolated and unable to provide or contribute myself to a culture which I am fully a part of, others opinions notwithstanding. It made me believe that I was never a part of my own culture to begin with, when the reality is that I have always been a part of my own culture and always will be a part of my own culture. For as long as I live.

I believe that culture is not dependent on the opinions of “others”, but that it is constantly evolving and fluid. It is dependent on my contribution and my consumption. My formulation and my breakdown of it. Because I am a part of my own culture regardless of what anyone says or thinks about me. I am a fully and absolutely capable aspect of my own culture, which is fluid and diverse enough to accommodate everything and everyone because it always has been, and always has been since the beginning of time.

I pledge to work on peeling off the layers of imagined isolation. To deepen my own consumption, formulation and creation of my culture, and to continue this formulation and breakdown for as long as I am alive. I pledge to continue building the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.

Body Shaming As A Part of Cultures of Color

The cultures of coloured persons – across Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as Oceania – have historically been objectifying women. While part of this was a consequence of imperialist rule in these territories, part of it was ingrained in the cultural fabric.

Women have historically encountered body shaming in cultures where they are not treated as equal members of society. These same societies usually body shame persons of disability, inherited conditions and victims of violence or accident.

Deconstructing this mentality, we see that in such societies, women, disabled persons and victims of violence or accident have usually been seen through the male gaze. The physical appearance is seen as the most crucial, followed by the ethnic and religious beliefs, followed by social status and then the intellect of such persons.

A reversal of this mentality is needed for a total reform in the attribution of worth towards such persons. While codes of law guarantee such persons their rights, certain men consider themselves entitled to their gaze above the law. In Essence, some men believe that their beliefs are above the law.

Instead of condemning body shaming as a systemic issue, we need to approach it as a legal issue. It is a perspective of slander, of violence and public harassment at work, in places of recreation and commerce, as well as online, which make it a legal issue. Men consider their beliefs to be above the law, and subsequently, their acts based on those beliefs.

It is time to start treating matters of personal slander, harassment and violence towards women as legal issues and not misogynistic issues. Not all men subscribe to these beliefs and so, it is important to hold the men that do, prosecutable for their actions in full view of the legal rights which women possess.

Women in coloured cultures need to start viewing institutionalised misogyny as a legal issue which can be taken to courts and tried as necessary. It can be reformed through the use of law and with the cooperation of the legal authorities of the country they reside in.

A List of Comments Men of Color Have Made on My Appearance

1. “You need to lose weight”.

2. “The earth just moved when you stepped down on the floor.”

3. “You’ve worn this dress because you can’t fit into another one, right?”

4. “You seem to have gained weight.”

5. “You look ugly in this shirt.”

6. “You look so much more graceful in this dress than that other one.”

7. “You can’t wear this shirt because you wouldn’t fit into it.”

8. “You look like an aunty”.

9. “You look like a fat woman.”

10. “I’d have to protect my eyes if I ever saw you wearing this outfit”.

11. “Stop being fashionable and embrace simplicity.”

12. “I’d use gluttony to describe your habits”.

13. “What causes your hair growth?”.

14. “Has your hair stopped falling out now?”.

15. “Why did you wear this outfit today?”.

16. “You’ve started wearing all these different clothes now.”

17. “I’ve never seen you in a dress.”

18. “I see some sand in your eye.”

19. “Don’t you shave?.”

20. “You’re so fat”.

21. “You look like a pregnant woman with that hairstyle.”

22. “You look like a boy with that hairstyle”.

23. “I need to avoid her being thrown on me.”

24. “Your name rhymes with fart nose”.

25. “Your name rhymes with fat ass”.

26. “You can’t sit in the same car as her, you’re too fat.”

27. “Why are you wearing that?”.

Dear Men of Color, I Am Not Your Appearance Punching Bag

Dear Men of Color,

I have seen you attempt to break down my physical features because you believe that you have the absolute privilege to do so. It is shocking that you believe that my appearance is somehow your property, because you deny me my basic ability to exist independent of your judgment.

Today, I take back this right from you. You do not have the privilege to break down my appearance because you believe I am weak and unable to stand up for myself. You do not have the privilege to determine my worth because of my appearance. You do not have the right to decide how I am treated in society. I am a person with authentic self worth, legal rights and self determination.

I see your gaze, the misogynistic gaze with which you objectify women on one side and strip them of their rights on another. I see your double standards for women you believe are independent and self governing (most of the time, Caucasian in ethnicity). I see your use of male privilege to decide the worth of a woman from the moment you set eyes on her appearance. I see your use of male privilege to break down a woman’s potential based on her appearance.

Men of Color, it’s time to start uplifting women of Color as allies. Not as misogynistic, racist and colorist enemies. You don’t possess the right to govern a woman of color’s worth in society. Women of Color possess that right. You do not possess the right to strip women of their rights as a result of their appearance. You do not possess the right to determine the position of women in society because of their physical appearance.

Women of Color take back their rights and worth from you because you never owned them in the first place. You never owned their worth and position in society. You never owned their ability to build authentic self worth and self empowerment in society. You never owned their ability to feel comfortable in their own skin and physically capable of embracing their own physical appearance.

Men of Color, it is time to stop being enemies of women. It is time to start being allies and supporters of women regardless of their appearance. It is time to stop believing that you have the right to treat a woman a certain kind of way as a result of the worth you give her. Women of Color are not governed by your gaze. They are governed by their own rights and their own self determination.

Signed,

A Woman of Color