The Patriarchal Pressure We're Under...There's a Workshop For That!
The other night I was hosting a dinner at my house for my mom (who was visiting from out of town) and three of my closest Berlin-based female friends. After dinner the topic of ageing came up. One of my friends was telling us that her mom was thinking of getting her eyebrows tattooed on. Somehow that spiralled into our own body hang ups. As each of my girlfriends chimed in, my blood began to boil. Here we were, five intelligent, strong, funny, women sitting around gabbing about gray hair and cellulite. I couldn’t help but think— do males in their 20s and 30s do the same? If I had to go out on a limb, I’d probably say hell no. So then why do we as women beat ourselves up for doing what our bodies do naturally? Why is it so hard to look in the mirror and see ourselves for what we truly are — beautiful works of art, divine goddesses, fierce feminine power embodied in physical form?
Ever since moving to Berlin, my idea of womanhood has shifted greatly. I no longer abide by the rules placed on me by the patriarchy. I rarely wear a bra. I no longer wear makeup. I let my gray hair grow freely. I have also stopped shaving my body hair religiously. Sometimes I let my armpit hair grow out, sometimes my bush, sometimes my leg hair, and sometimes (ahem, the whole winter) I let everything grow wildly. I don’t do these things to make a statement. I do them because it’s more comfortable. Honestly, sometimes it’s just not convenient to “be a woman”.
Though I choose to opt out of these feminine ideals — I ultimately support the choice for women to participate in them if they want. What I don’t support is society telling us that we HAVE to do these things in order to be beautiful or “ladylike.”
I feel so grateful to live in Berlin where it’s not uncommon to see women with shaved heads and hairy underarms walking around with zero fucks given. But it’s a whole different feeling when I am back in the US.
While in Chicago recently, I was at a political rally with an old friend and we were waiting for the main speaker to go on stage. We had been waiting for a while and it was hot. Though I’d showered earlier that day, I hadn’t put on any deodorant, nor had I shaved my pits in a while. Needless to say, I was mustier than usual. That’s when I noticed two kids to my right holding their noses (which I concluded had something to do with the scent permeating from my pit region.) At first my feelings were hurt, like I was 7 years old being bullied on the playground. But then I reminded myself that they were just kids regurgitating society’s unrealistic ideals that a woman should naturally smell like roses and sunshine when she sweats, instead of um, I don’t know, a human being.
Well guess what? I’m a human. Who sweats. While I think practicing good hygiene is as important as the next guy, I couldn’t help but wonder where the hell in history we decided that it was better to smell like “fresh linen” than oh I don’t know a human body doing what it does naturally?
The cold hard facts: we all have body hang ups. And most of them originate from…you guessed it….the patriarchal pressure we are under. Before we can smother the world with our feminine pheromones and take over the world, we’ve first got to learn how to show our own bodies some serious love. Take it from someone who deals with her own body hang ups daily….this shit is hard! It’s hard because no matter how confident we feel at home, we are continuously challenged when we scroll through Instagram, attend a judgy family reunion, or, heaven forbid show up at a political rally sans D-O.
That’s why it’s important to put in the (self) work! Empowering ourselves through self-work is the very BEST way to boost our confidence and self esteem while weakening the patriarchy at the same damn time. My dream is that every womxn will stop wasting time and energy on her body hang ups and embrace her body and all the magic it radiates. With the right affirmations, yoga moves, and meditations, and by connecting with other self-workers, my hope is that our heart chakras will fling wide open, and the love for our own bodies will multiply tenfold and emanate outward into our friend circles, communities, and planet. Wild right?
And thus…the Body Positivity Yoga Workshop was born.
Join me and my favorite “Real Yogi”, Hanna Turner, on Sunday March 24th for a very special Body Positivity Yoga Workshop where we will learn how to cultivate love for our own bodies.
Price: 15 eur (bring a friend and receive 5 eur off )
Length: 1.5 hours
The workshop includes the following:
A self-confidence boosting practice
A fun, strength building yoga practice where we will move all parts of our beautiful bodies
A new perspective + appreciation for your body
A body love networking session with other attendees
A body love meditation
Chocolate for every BODY! Because why not?