There’s this bag of clothes sitting in the sunroom. I walk by this bag of clothes everyday.
The clothes in it are clothes I don’t want anymore. I plan on taking them to Goodwill.
I think that bag of old clothes has been sitting in that sunroom for a couple of months now. They’ve been there so long that I don’t notice them anymore. It’s like they’ve become invisible, part of the routine…they sit THERE without my awareness of being THERE.
A few years ago Caitlin Boyle and I set off on an adventure to explore life in the “Beauty Desert”. For two months we stopped using make up, shaving, wearing dresses, underwires, lacy “stuff”, hair products or enhancements…basically only used a brush, soap, shampoo and a blow dryer (it was winter) for our daily “get ready” for the day routine.
We called it The Naked Face Project.
Well peeps…you’d have thought we climbed Mt Everest NAKED with the amount of media attention we got. USA Today, Time, nearly every radio station across America was talking about it. We were interviewed on television and radio shows over a dozen different countries and languages. It was WILD! It was SCARY!
And oh how we were judged! Women and men across all these landscapes assumed that Caitlin and I were “angry feminists trying to prove a point”. Thousands of people
jumped into the conversation defending their use of makeup, high heels and plastic surgery. The comments underneath articles were scathing. “I wouldn’t get in bed with HER with or without the makeup. I don’t think it would help either way.” Three weeks in I ended up in the hospital. This sensitive soul of mine was having trouble handling the negative assumptions being made about our intentions.
In reality however, our intention for the project was to explore the WHY behind these daily feminine rituals. WHY do I wear make up? WHY do I feel a need to enhance the size of my breasts? WHY do I color my hair? WHY do these things matter to me?
Because the reality was…all those “things” were like those old bag of clothes. They’d been sitting in the sunroom of my life for “years” and I had never bothered to take them out and look at them. I’d never stopped to figure out which ones I like and which ones I don’t.
I just did them everyday…because I had been doing them everyday since I was thirteen.
Somewhere along the line I got the message that straight hair was prettier than my wild and unruly wavy hair.
Somewhere along the line I adopted the belief that perked up, lifted up and underwired breasts were “better” than the ones I had.
Somewhere, somehow I was indoctrinated into a belief system that said blonde hair was more beautiful than the darker (with some silver in it) hair I had on top of my head.
I’m not suggesting now, nor was I suggesting then, that these things are bad. No way!
What I did learn back then and have carried full steam into my life now…is an awareness of all the “old bags of clothes” I have lying around in my life…bags and bags of beliefs, perspectives, constructs that have been handed down to me by our culture, my family, the media, religions and of course corporations, who want to sell me “stuff.”
The power of being human and having my brain and my spirit is…I get to pick and choose which of those beliefs, perspectives, constructs I want to adopt into my life and which ones I don’t.
Today I’m going to take that old bag of clothes to Goodwill and leave the space open for “stuff” that loves people.
Yep. You heard me