When I was a little girl I remember getting made fun of for my nose. Kids would say it was like a “ski jump” (we lived in a ski town, so this made sense). For a long time I was self conscious about it, and grew up with that insecurity imbedded in my psyche. Even as an adult I refrained from sharing or celebrating images that showed my profile. I think part of the insecurity stemmed from popular media defining a norm of “beautiful” as something that my nose may have over quantified, falling just outside the “normal” specs and so giving kids some leverage for teasing.
Later, I began to realize how my nose is actually one of the strongest features inherited throughout my family lineage, particularly from my Mothers side, the Scheumanns. It’s my nose, actually, that reminds me most of my Grandparents. It reminds me of who I am and where I come from. A beautiful thing really, because its through them and this feature that I take each vital breath.
To reach this understanding I first had an experience of debating with myself as to whether or not to post this picture on social media, because I was feeling this internalized insecurity. It felt silly, really, because who cares about how big or small my nose may be!? But the core of insecurities can sometimes run deep, and we need to pull them out from their root in order to dispel them. So I used the awkward moment as an opportunity for self examination. I decided to explore the stories I had surrounding this insecurity. In doing so, I traced some interesting old beliefs and thought patterns that I have actually outgrown, and began to dissolve these illusive notions of beauty that came mostly from the mass media status quo. I even found humor in it all, and was able to laugh as I thought, ‘it really is like a ski jump! A perfect ski jump!’
We live in a world now where information travels faster than ever. In young people especially, I see many insecurities arise in the comparison of images, followers, and likes via the avenues of social media. As we share glimpses of ourselves to the world via these channels, I challenge you to consider what insecurities may arise in the process of information sharing and selecting what we project to the world. By who’s standards are you selecting what to share, and perhaps defining your beauty?
In the end, this experience really taught me how these platforms for exchanging information and messages can be a very empowering, positive, and effective catalyst for change, if we choose to use it consciously. I choose to share about the experience in my post on my Facebook page, exposing myself and “getting real” with my network. It felt great! Check your internal dialogue, is your SELF aligned with your LOVE when you post something? Are you pumping out projections of yourself to match a status quo, or to rep who you are from a deeper sense of self?