Why self-love isn’t sexy

It’s not meant to be.

In a recent fun turn of events one of my pictures was used for an article on Rappler.com because they were covering the new hashtag #IAmFlawsome started by Plump Magazine. The coolest part is that is a on-line body positive magazine in The Philippines! Anyway, here’s one of the two pics they used:

#IAmFlawsome Campaign Pic
#IAmFlawsome Campaign Pic

Then, the one thing I didn’t want to have happen, even though I knew it was a matter of time, was that someone called me “sexy”. I need to respond to this because that comment reduces me to a sexual being and therefore all my body is created for and no. Just no. This is a picture of me having an AMAZING time on the most AMAZING family vacation ever. There are 10 of us on a boat, my sister took this picture, and I’m soooo excited to jump off the boat and dive into that volcanic water right behind me. Nothing about this entire situation was sexual.

People often use the phrase as complimentative but never really stop to think about what terrible stereotype they are perpetuating.

Imagine if my only goal in finishing a triathlon was to finish. Let’s say I never took the time to research technique, nutrition, or training plans. All I was ever told was to swim, bike, and run. Would I be successful? Maaaaybe because there’s that slim chance that I was natural gifted athlete who effortlessly completes any and all physical challenges with ease. Kudos to that unicorn but it’s not me. I required every ounce of information and help I could get! I learned that completing a triathlon is so much more than physical. You have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally because even the best laid plan go wrong and your heart is the only thing that pushes you through.

We were all created for so many purposes. My stretchmarks first came from just going through puberty when I was 11. If I was posing in a bathing suit then would my confidence be correlated with sex? Man, I hope not. Now at 32 and two kids later, those stretchmarks now have some solid real estate on my tummy, thighs, and lower back. Growing up and seeing what perfect was supposed to look like then looking in the mirror and not seeing that exact replica was really devastating to my self-esteem. That was masterfully presented to us by marketing company as our ultimate goal. It still is today but more and more people are coming out and taking a stand because a one dimensional goal is detrimental to ourselves and our society.

Make it your life goal to live to your fullest potential. Never stop exercising your mind, body, or spirit. Don’t seek out a label. Create your own even as people continuously attempt to apply them for you.

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