I love Marilyn Monroe.
I always have, vulnerable, radiantly beautiful and intelligent.
She craved love, and yet it eluded her, but despite this, there is something Marilyn can indeed say to us about love.
Let me share with you an idea for a love story.
I was transfixed. The young woman whose voice channelled across the internet was speaking directly to me, or so it seemed, extolling the benefits of her newfound fitness routine and the transformation of her body. A fitness regimen that had changed her life; this was indeed a fantastic, life-changing event.
She was hooked!! Her happiness overflowing. Finally, the physical appearance she’d always dreamt of was a reality.
That’s fantastic, I thought. Everyone should be this happy, this confident, this full of joy.
So joyful, she started to cry. Tears of joy! Finally, she loved who she was!
Up to this point, I was feeling somewhat enthusiastic and a little guilty that I was not as motivated to work out as everyone else in the video testimonials. Well, at least not since Jane Fonda pushed me to my limits back in the ’80s.
Sure, I exercise, and if you’re serious about ageing positively, you better make sure you do too. Moving in some way every day is an essential daily habit if you ever hope to maintain your health well into old age.
Small rant over, now back to our girl. Her joy was infectious; I was happy for her; in fact, I felt ecstatic for her, but then she said something a little disturbing.
In her words, on her newly acquired body.
I look beautiful for the first time, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that. You know, I look beautiful, without worrying about what other people think. I don’t care anymore about what other people think..
So now I’m feeling a little better about my attitude towards body shape and image. Why do our size and body image impact our lives so much, keep us awake at night, and make us feel miserable, out of control, and unhappy? But as I pondered this, I was struck by how distraught she was at the thought of what others thought of her before her transformation.
Why do we care so much about what others think? If only she’d exclaimed, she felt fitter, with more energy than she’s had in the longest time. Or that her clothes fit in a way that made her feel comfortable. Her skin, glowing like never before, and a clear mind to love herself as she is. And translate into a better attitude to life, confidence, feeling empowered, and her image of herself. But she didn’t say any of that.
So what is it that Marilyn can teach us about loving ourselves? Marilyn knew very well the public persona was not real.
Marilyn herself summed up so beautifully.
To all the girls that think you are ugly because you are not a size 0, you are the beautiful one; it is society who is ugly..
Did Marilyn love herself enough? Probably not, despite her beauty and well-dimensioned assets. But still, she understood pragmatically how important her opinion of herself was and not that of others or, as she put it, of society.
Marilyn had an intimate view of public adoration, of physical beauty and how it influences our lives and not necessarily bringing happiness with it.
So before I go on, I must preface what I’m about to say with this; having a body that you love and makes you feel good and about yourself is an excellent thing.
It’s great to look and feel good in your skin and body. I’m not and will never pretend that having a fit, healthy body is not a good feeling and boosts confidence. It does matter, and the long-term health benefits go without saying.
My point? Well, whether you want to transform your body for the sake of your health or, so you look amazing in this summer’s swimsuit. It’s all about loving you!
Okay, sure, I can hear you; You know this already. But even so, why then is self-love so elusive? Why does our lack of loving manifest itself in so many behaviours that do not serve us well?
I don’t want to be a walking cliché; okay, I will, just this once. Your self-love is what will keep you beautiful, fit and healthy because all your choices will come out of LOVE. Your love of you, not others, because, ultimately, you’ll be more loveable and have infinitely more love in your life from the love you have for yourself.
The expectations we put on ourselves should lead to our own happiness not that of others.
Healthy self-esteem leads to every other relationship being so much better and as hard as it is, and it is hard; like any relationship, it takes work and commitment. Before any other relationship, the one you have with yourself should be the one true love of your life. A worthy goal indeed.
If you’re new here and wondering how or why I started The Beauty Issue, you might like to go here, where I explain who I am, how it all began and my motivation.
See you next time,