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An Unfiltered Journey Towards Self-love

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

by Lillia Rockamore

This year, I left my twenties and walked into my thirties. This transition brought about a lot of self-evaluation. I’ve spent 2018 reflecting on who I am now vs the woman I want to be. One of the hardest things has been rewiring my brain to authentically love myself in my natural state. To see the beauty in what God has given me because social media, as I see it, is the double edge sword that can either boost your confidence or strip you of what little you may have left. Honestly, if you struggle with body image issues or low self-esteem, social media can further validate the negative feelings you have about yourself. That’s why it’s important that we learn to love who we are in our day to day and not just who we portray to be online.

In January, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. Having a daughter has really changed my perspective on many things, specifically beauty and what it means to be beautiful. Kids "do what we do and not always what we say". This saying has always been at the forefront of my mind when it comes to raising my daughter. When the doctor told me I was having a girl, I immediately realized the importance of dealing with my self-confidence, my self-worth, and my self-esteem. Ok, I lied. I spent three-months crying, beating myself up for every mistake I had made in life and feeling unequipped for the task of mothering a girl. However, I soon came to grasp with the fact that I had to start dealing with my self-confidence, my self-worth, and my self-esteem. I started by doing the very thing that I equated to self-love and confidence. I did the big chop and went natural. I have no idea why I equated self-love with natural hair, but it was the start of the process.

I can recall one Sunday, also known as "hair wash day" at my house, of really looking at myself. My physical self. After getting out of the shower, I remember staring at myself in the mirror. I was completely naked. I scanned my body and felt unattractive. I made note of my eyes which I think are a bit big and my blemished skin. I couldn't skip over my breast which nursed 4 children, my stomach, and many other "imperfections" I saw. I felt low. So, I did what many people do when feeling unattractive. I put on a robe, grabbed my phone, found the right lighting and perfect angle, and snapped a picture. I spent 10 minutes choosing a filter that didn’t really look like a filter and posted it.

As the number of likes rose, so did my confidence. I remember my 8-year-old son watching me while I edited the picture. After I posted it, I showed him and said, “Mommy looks pretty huh?”. He replied, “Yeah but that’s not your real face on that picture so people can’t really see you”. I rolled my eyes and told him to hush, but those words replayed in my head over and over. “That’s not your real face”. Sadly, he was right. Instead of dealing with my self-esteem issues, I masked them with filters and angles. It made me consider how I am contributing to society's twisted idea of what beautiful is. It made me think about its impact on girls and young women.

What we are teaching our daughters? That it’s not ok to love your body as it evolves into womanhood? Are we giving them the confidence to love who they are at every stage or are we giving them unrealistic ideas of beauty that they will tear themselves apart trying to reach?

How you look at yourself matters. If you’re always critiquing and beating yourself up, your daughter is likely to hear and see it. Imagine one day you are out with each other and someone mentions how much your daughter looks like you. Consider how she may feel after hearing you constantly talk down on yourself. How likely is she to see beauty in her reflection if she is told she looks like her mother who doesn’t love the way she looks?

I recently posted a video on FB and IG asking women to post a picture or video with no filter and no makeup and say one thing that they love about themselves. I had a total of two women participate. I realized that woman are hardly posting pictures and video without filters. I also noticed that the few pictures that did not have filters hardly received likes or comments. I decided I wanted to do my part to ensure that my daughter grows up in a home where self-love isn’t only taught but shown.

For the month of October, (maybe longer) I will not be wearing makeup or using any filters on social media. My hope is that this will help me love ALL of me and that it will serve as a prime example of self-love to my baby girl. I am in no way saying that wearing makeup means you don’t love yourself, but I do know for some women it serves as a mask to hide our insecurities. I want to challenge us as women to love what we see in the mirror.

If you want to join me in teaching our daughters and other young girls that natural is still beautiful post a picture on your social media saying something you love about yourself. Remember NO filter and NO makeup! Make sure to use the hashtag #realfacechallenge #nomakeupnofilter.

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