Dear Sisters,

We may come from different walks of life, whether our diversity be in nation, race, sexuality, ability status, class, body type, passions… but what we all share is the persistent pressure to meet demanding and often unrealistic beauty standards and expectations. These pressures may include:

» Removing your body hair.
» Wearing a “perfect” face with makeup.
» Enhancing your cleavage with push up bras.
» Shaving your hand hair.
» Lightening your skin.
» Covering all of your body.

I receive inquiries and requests for advice often.
  • A woman from Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to cave to pressure from family to shave her hand hair (a common and expected practice in her country.)
  • A young girl from Washington is comfortable with her leg hair, but fears wearing shorts and skirts in public from past experiences of her peers taunting her.
  • A women from England prefers to not wear makeup, but feels discouraged by her friends and co-workers telling her she looks “sick” or “tired.”
  • Not to mention the countless messages, emails and comments on my channel telling me I’m “ugly”, “disgusting” and “need to shave my hairy armpits.”

It’s not an easy path to deviate from societal norms, but it’s also a path of strength and confidence building.
This is not to say to cave into these pressures is a weakness. I am not writing this to shame those who choose to align their hygiene, aesthetic or clothing routine to that of what society asks of them. I will always encourage you to do what feels best for you.

What feels best for you?
  • Removing your body hair
  • Letting it go free?
  • Wearing makeup because you enjoy it as a form of expression
  • Embracing your natural beauty?
  • Accepting your body RIGHT NOW as it is?

Your defiance to your cultural norms may make others uncomfortable. This discomfort will bring them to witness their deep-rooted ideas of beauty from the seeds of their cultural conditioning.

I applaud you for being a shining example that women still are beautiful, desirable and MOST IMPORTANTLY deserving of respect regardless of how we choose to present our bodies. If you choose to not live up to what your society says you “have to do”, you are a living, embodied protest able to remind all who challenge you just of that fact.

It is your body. It is your choice. And no one has the right or place to make you feel less for it.
I want to live in a world where all beings can feel free to express their true and authentic self in ways that are fulfilling to them without fear of ridicule, isolation and judgment. Where when a woman decides to shift her appearances in any way, it’s allowed to be a genuine choice and not compliance to severe societal pressures.
Thank you for helping all sisters be true to themselves. Through liberating yourself, you liberate others.

All my love,

Alyse

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