Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with my college final project, but I just thought that was an appropriate graphic to accompany this post.
It’s seems so tragic to think that a lot of us women view beauty as our crown of glory—the thing that dictates our sense of value and worth. It’s interesting to think that even the most beautiful women feel insecure because they know that their beauty doesn’t last forever and is also surrounded by constant competition. Even when beauty is said to be subjective, you can’t deny the fact that the majority of people can come to a consensus as to what is beautiful and what is not. There comes a point when you’re just hit by reality, when mantras and self-help books stop uplifting your spirits, and you’re left feeling helpless, defeated by the world, and devoid of worth.
This is the kind of feeling I’ve been struggling with my whole life, and not surprisingly, many others go through the same thing. I’ve gotten a lot better since my teenage years. Wearing sexy clothes and involving myself in the beach and clubbing culture helped my self-esteem temporarily, but it also made me feel like I was only going to be happy if I were sought after for my appearance. I was rather spoiled by it. I got so used to getting compliments about my appearance that if I didn’t get any, I’d feel extremely unhappy. I got compliments left and right from different men, but I only really wanted to be truly appreciated by one.
When I got married, there began the switch in my priorities. I only wanted to please one man, and compliments from others stopped mattering. I used to bathe in and revisit the moments when other people praised me, but I am not that kind of person anymore. I don’t even really feel good about some other guy clearly expressing his approval of me even publicly and in front of my husband, which has happened a few times.
Because my source for my sense of worth has been consolidated to getting the approval of only one man, I get shattered by the fact that my husband still gets tempted by images of other women regardless of how giving I am and how much I keep up with my appearance. I sometimes reminisce about the times I used to wear sexy clothes with a group of girls when we went out or the times that I used to dance hula, which lasted for two years, all to make myself feel better (or worse), however temporarily—when I feel like I’m not good enough for my husband. Those things just never do it. They just help to keep my mind away from issues for a while, but they don’t really alter my mind for the better.
The sad reality is that everyone gets tempted regardless of how good they have it with their spouses or any other type of relationship. Some give in a little and then hold back, and some give in more and more and do not hold back. To hold back at all from temptation is a good thing. Just because temptation creeps up, it doesn’t mean the person experiencing it has done something unworthy of forgiveness and trust. However, I’ve held myself up to an impossible standard, a Utopian dream that was never meant to be and could never be a reality—a world virtually without sin, especially within my home. Even God would laugh at me for thinking that this is possible.
It’s extremely hard for me to keep writing about modesty and sexual purity with my defeatist and existentialist tendencies. The automatic response for me when I get faced with the overwhelming display of sexuality all around is my wishing to be dead or to just completely give in to sin. Neither of those thoughts are healthy or helpful in any way. I really can’t help feeling so downtrodden when I know there’s really nothing I can do to stop everything that is wrong in this world. It’s just not possible to completely eradicate everything that is bad, and I certainly shouldn’t feel defeated if I can’t stop an impossible thing. I shouldn’t feel like the whole world’s burden is on me or feel like I am somewhat responsible for cleaning up the mess. This seems to happen when God is taken out of the “moral” picture, which is a dangerous thing, because that can never work. That also doesn’t mean, however, that I shouldn’t try to change the things that can be changed—myself for instance, or a few people who might be open to change. I guess that’s why this blog has stuck around.
“A utopia is a dystopia forced upon you by a madman. ”
– Sam J. Lundwall, from Utopia – Dystopia: Nedslag i framtidens politiska historia