Loving Myself Out Loud: How Dove’s #MyBeautyMySay Video Speaks to Me

Loving Myself Out Loud: How Dove’s #MyBeautyMySay Video Speaks to Me

We've invited androgynous model and designer Mojo Disco to share their personal story around beauty. 

This article is part of a paid Megan Media and Dove blogging program. All ideas are our own.


When I think of beauty, so much comes to mind. For me, beauty is a unique formula that everyone possesses in their own way. Beauty is an evolving process of self discovery, awareness, and pride.

Its also a billion dollar industry. Everyone wants to buy a piece of it, yet most people don’t realize that they’ve had their piece all along.

I came across the Dove #MyBeautyMySay video, and it inspired me to tears. Seeing all those beautifully different women recognizing and celebrating their beauty touched me in a deep place.

 

There are so many different kinds of people in the world, and it’s unfortunate that the beauty margins society constructs are so narrow and shallow. It almost seems that if you don’t fit into that margin you are less than; less than deserving, less than qualified, less than human. Many people walk this earth carrying those lesser things, wearing them on their backs like school book bags, letting them weigh on their being.

It’s funny how in school they teach you everything about math, science, and the solar system. At home they teach you about cooking, cleaning, and responsibility.  Thinking back, I can’t recall anyone teaching me about beauty outside of its societal importance.  You always had to look like this or look like that to be socially accepted. Growing up, I constantly heard judgements in my community about appearance: “You not bout to go out there and embarrass me looking like that” “You over there looking like a hot mess.” “Why are you so ashy?” “Now you know you are too big to be wearing that.”

Looking back on it now, I realize that phrases like those shaped and embedded my own mental beauty standards. For myself, and I’m sure many others, such negativity created an invisible cape of insecurity and self hatred.

These judgments are everywhere. Constant indications that you are not enough are the major selling points in most beauty advertisements displayed on TV, in ads, and now, online. The #MyBeautyMySay video reminded me of a time in my life when I didn’t think I was enough.

In the black community, the term LGBTQ is shamed upon. So many little black children are taught to hate anything relative to the term, which can easily cause them to hate or hide parts of themselves. I hated myself for so long. I didn’t feel like I belonged.

I grew up with a plethora of uncles who were very masculine; “hood,” as most would call it. I also grew up with lots of aunts and cousins who were very much invested in hetero-normative standards. And there I was, uncomfortable with it all. It was a constant fight internally. It affected my self esteem and my ability to just be happy.

One night in a dream, it came to me. If I wanted to live a better life, I had to fight for my freedoms. I never had a dream more vivid than that one.

The next morning, I woke up and decided to break free from the cage society housed me in. I looked in the mirror and decided that I was going to love me for who I truly was. And that’s when I saw it: beauty sparkling in my eyes like stars in the midnight sky. It spread across my lips and smiled. It coiled tightly in my hair follicles. It made its grand debut for me, and I finally saw through an honest lens who I really was. From that point on, I decided to love myself out loud.

As an androgynous person of color, I can honestly say that my beauty has, and continues to transcend my struggles. I think that everyone should have their own say in their beauty and continue to fight for their freedom. Even though every day isn’t always easy, and sometimes your true beauty can hide from you, signs of support, of solidarity, and messages of acceptance, like the one from the beautiful Dove #MyBeautyMySay video, remind us all that it’s not we who are ugly. WE are beautiful. It’s society that needs to look in the mirror.

This article is part of a paid Megan Media and Dove blogging program. All ideas are our own.

Mojo Disco is an artist, writer, culture coach, and event curator from NYC. Creator of the popular underground event Paint and Poetry and MUA at MojoDiscoNYC. Mojo's motto is "Too Proud, Too Free" symbolizing the ideology of challenging society's norms through queer fashion, knowledge, and love.

IG: @mojodisco / Twitter: @mojodisco / FB: @mojothemogul