Oh-Em-Gee! Oh Dios Mio (I stayed in Lima, Peru for a few months and now I beg it completely with my ever so basic Español! Ha! Certified Latina Mamacita Señorita here guys! LOL)!
Like the title mentions, it’s not your average Father’s Day post. I’ve chosen to take a slightly different route and talk about the daughters of the future instead.
Right, so before I get into it, I’d like to say that this does not come easy to me, even if it’s behind the “security” of a computer. This requires a lot of vulnerability and tackling of fear so give a girl some credit please, no shade required here just yet. None.
So today’s post is based on compliments; the impact of a compliment, and how they may be decoded by the receiver.
So growing up in an Indian household where post colonial ideologies of beauty are still very much active, I very quickly started to understand that my fair skin was adored and that I was the privileged one when being in a room full of “dark” Indians. With this came a whole load of pressure; there were standards of beauty to which I had to live up to. Dont judge this by my skin colour now, I used to be an extremely milky Indian and over the years have tanned. The best thing about my skin is that it gets harder and harder for the tan to come off- so cheers to the build up of the magical melanin to come! Yass!
My background is this, like I mentioned in my earlier post, my parents had migrated here from India/Africa 30 years ago and was extremely determined to get together some money and create for their children a future that they could only dream of. Due to their determination in creating this space for us to flourish, I was more or less stuck to my own devices to study and educate myself. Though my parents were trying to implement the idea of being educated strongly, there weren’t anything to support that; no one in the household to reenforce that, neither was there anything else to tap into for help.
In basic terms now, imagine this; young girl, not understanding the concept of education as a whole, not entirely encouraged around that either. In exchange I was praised constantly for my looks by friends & family, romantic prospects, teachers, acquaintances – sometimes even total strangers. This is not a post to say ‘hey look at me, everyone thinks I’m pretty’. No, not at all. In the simplest form it is to point how I chose looks over books due to the emphasis that I had on my appearance over my intelligence.
All this is to tell you the back story of what you’re about to read so bear this all in mind as you read on.
So rolling on a few years now…
Recently, situations have fallen into place which has resulted in me having more time for myself. As I’ve detached from certain routines with my best friend with whom I spent most of my days of the week with, I’ve realised that my authenticity was lost during that time with her. I recognised that there was a breath of fresh air when having gained that time to myself, but it wasn’t something new or strange, it felt like home to me. It was then that the situation become more vivid for me to understand; I felt freedom from having to be something ‘different’ to me.
I’ve had friendships in the past and there was this pattern that constantly lived; I became friends with someone, I adapted, it drained me. I became a different person to impress them, it drained me. I felt somewhat controlled from all the adapting I was doing, it drained me. And finally when I’d had enough, I would leave and I would feel freedom again. I used to think it was because they made me feel imprisoned but actually, on reflection, I imprisoned me.
On hindsight, I can see that pattern was the lack of self love within me.
It was because I was so insecure, not given a chance to grow into my character, I soon became a puppet adapting myself to the personalities that everyone else wanted me to be; also known as the ‘chameleon effect’. A personality that’ll get me liked, that’ll get me relational stability, that’ll keep me safe. And so, here I am at the age of 25, learning how to love myself first before giving that love on to someone else.
I explain all these things to bring you insight of how I lost my essence in trying to reach these standards of beauty that was placed on me, knowingly or unknowingly. I am now having to work on my personality and learning things about myself that I would have usually learnt at a younger age. I was under the impression that my appearance was all that I had to offer and in result making my world immensely small and minor, leaving a young girls heart ever so empty and dark.
There are so many possibilities of conversations from what I have mentioned above but my focal point for today’s blog would quite simply be; to be mindful of what we’re feeding into the daughters of the future. This is not a revolutionary post, it’s just to evoke more consciousness in people for when they are speaking into the lives of others. A compliment commonly determines what a person seeks to do more in their life in order to improve themselves in those areas, I know thats what happened to me anyways! This is not to say that compliments on appearances is an entirely dreadful thing, no. However, to complement simply on the appearance of someone, with the absence of commenting on any other traits of theirs can/may lead to a negative impact.
Ps. This post was inspired by my precious little gem of a niece, Niya. She’s nearly 9 years old and has the kindest, sweetest, most precious heart ever! We were spending some time together a few days ago and I encouraged her on how amazing her reading abilities were. She was hesitating in allowing her lips to crack a smile but her eyes were glooming with such glory as if I had given her a plate of heaven. Niya wouldn’t stop talking about her books after that, almost in hope that she could relive that compliment again and again. It’s then that so many things were confirmed within me and this post came to be.
I really hope this resonates with someone, lets birth an intellectually confident generation, and not an egocentric insecure one! I don’t have any kids, but my Niya and others are basically my babies and I know that I play a part in their futures too!
P.s. I have a first class degree, and will be starting my second degree soon so its not too much of a sad ending so far! Lol. Thank the Lord!
Anyways, thanks for reading, make sure you support your local brown blogger by sharing, liking and commenting!
Until next time! Stay alert, stay awake, stay Bindipendent! x