the woman within

I had two watershed experiences when I was in my early twenties, experiences that went against everything I had been taught about my body up to then. While at a women’s weeklong gathering and at night at the fire near the hot springs, I saw a naked woman of about thirty-five; her breasts were emptied out by childbearing her belly strained from birthing children. I was very young and I remember feeling sorry for the assaults on her fair and thin skin.

Some one was playing.. and she began to dance, her hair, her breasts, her skin, her limbs all moving in different directions. How beautiful she was, how vital. Her grace was heartbreaking. … that night I saw it. I saw what I had been taught to ignore, the power of a womans body when it is animated from the inside.

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

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begin here, with your daughters and sons, mothers fight the ever-growing war against this illusion of sculpting our bodies as though we were not born perfectly into this world. Teach your daughters to love themselves from the inside out. Teach your sons that we are perfect in all our flaws,  that really the flaws are an illusion in its self.  That our bodies are going to grow and change as we do, that never throughout our lives will we stay the same nor should we feel we have to. It is in our child baring years that we feel this most. It is in these years that loving ourselves and the body we wear needs our greatest admiration, for how perfectly they are able to stretch and define themselves around new life, sometimes leaving us with deep blue and purple scars that remain as reminders of how we once carried another within ourselves. Let us rid ourselves of this belief that we are meant to conceptually fit  some unattainable idea of ourselves, before and after we carry our children. Let us change the minds of our teenage daughters and ease them  of the heavy burdens they believe their bodies to be. Let us teach our sons to look deeper, that the real beauty of a woman lies deep within her layers, that they will never find what they are looking for if they are only ever to look at her from the outside.

draw near, women and hear..

draw near, women, and hear what I have to say. Turn your curiosity for once towards useful objects, and consider the advantages which nature gave you and society ravished away. Come and learn how you were born the companion of man and became his slave; how you grew to like the condition and think it natural; and finally how the long habituation of slavery so degraded you that you preferred its sapping but convenient vices to the more difficult virtues of freedom and repute.  If the picture I shall paint leaves you in command of yourselves, if you can contemplate it without emotion, then go back to your futile  pastimes; ‘there is no remedy, the vices have become the custom’

-Choderlos de Laclos, ‘On the education of Women’, 1783

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As I sit around a table of daughters, passionately involved in meaningful discussion on girls and women and their place within the world of today; I can feel a fire burning deep within their souls, almost a rage not just of how little we seemed to have learnt but how generations of women themselves seem to have come to a passive acceptance of this role we are told to play and that the young adult girls of their age are too being  molded by the mothers and fathers who tell them no different. These daughters I speak of set themselves apart. They do this proudly, and by no means  to condemn, or to be better, or be above their peers but merely to make a difference. They have decided to  walk in another direction. You will not find these daughters engrossed in social media sifting though images of girls depicting themselves sexually, in awe of how they too can look like this and have the freedom to share it with the world.  No, these daughters are not admiring or  being inspired to follow this new generation of girls; instead they find it all the more reason to fight, to stand up and be seen for their intelligence, humility, bravery,compassion and strength even when faced with demoralization from their sisters and male counterparts, because they dare to be different, because they dare to say this is by no means alright. They are choosing to be the voice that speaks  and if necessary shouts and says; Girls what are you doing? And who are you doing it for?   These daughters are reading the likes of Simone de Bouvier, and Virgina Woolf they are angered and equally saddened by despite the fact that so much time has passed, we seemed to have learnt so little. That these women too, carried this very same message and somehow it failed to be heard. They are as astounded as  I,  for the incomprehension that women are still seen in so many ways weaker, inferior, less intelligent and less capable, too emotional and most appallingly as objects to be moulded and designed purely  for our male companions. It is like the world is being deliberately obtuse. I recently came across a piece of writing that was screaming for the attention of women.. for women to wake up and pay attention.

‘… Why, ladies? Why must we continue to whittle ourselves down? Who is it for? What is it for? You can walk through a certain aisle at the pharmacy or at the grocery store and see the language of diminishment all over the packaging for weight loss aids of all kinds.”Shrink your waist.” “Lose inches off your thighs.””Slim down.””Get skinny”

How about”Grow your mind.” “Increase your confidence and productivity.” “Beef up your knowledge.” “Enlarge your scope of asskicking.”

That’s a valid message for women and girls: Grow, expand, branch out, open up,get bigger,wider, faster, stronger, better, smarter. Go up not down. Get strong, not skinny.

You are not here to get smaller. You are not here to have a thin waist and thighs. You are not here to disappear. You’re here to change the world! Change the world then! Forget about “losing a few pounds”. Think about what you could be gaining instead.”

 

-words from clearthatmindofcant

dear girls

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“I will teach my daughter not to wear her skin like a druken apology. I will teach her ‘make a home out of your body live in yourself, do not let people turn you into a regret, do not justify  yourself. If you are a disaster it is not forever, if you are a disaster you are the most beautiful one I have ever seen. Do not deconstruct from the inside out, you belong here, you belong here, not because you are lovely, but because you are more than that”

-Azra Tabassum, Your hands are threads, your body is a canvas

and..

“_you can’t make homes out of human beings someone should have already told you that.

and if he wants to leave

then let him leave

you are terrifying

and strange and beautiful

something not everyone knows how to love.”

-Warsan Shire

my girls

IMG_5572 IMG_5577 IMG_5576 IMG_5578 IMG_5570 IMG_5556 IMG_5560 IMG_5559 IMG_5568 IMG_5569 IMG_5565 IMG_5562 IMG_5566 IMG_5572 IMG_5563 IMG_5564 IMG_5575 IMG_5580 IMG_5574 IMG_5567DEMI wears vintage white shoe string dress RETRO STAR MELBOURNE,SKYE wears Pre loved brown satin print dress RETRO STAR MELBOURNE,Boots pre loved CAMBERWELL MARKET MELBOURNE,sunglasses copy RAYBANDS style, GEORGIE GIRL wears preloved vintage baby doll dress,DEMI wears cotton print vintage style dress NEW RETRO STAR MELBOURNE.