Updated: May 30
We live in a world where women are constantly being pressured to appear and act a certain way. We are bombarded by images and ads touting everything from products to plastic surgery to change the way we look. Ever looked at the YouTube make-up videos? Is it just me or do all of the women look not only alike, but like a Kardashian? In other words, fake because their appearance is so altered. Then you have ads targeting 20-30 somethings for Botox injections like there's something wrong with actually aging. I get wanting to look and feel your best, but not when it comes to sacrificing what makes you unique. I see so many young women wearing so much makeup you would never recognize them if you saw them without it. They are unable to recognize their unadorned beauty. I have 25-35 YO colleagues having their brows tattooed, their lips filled, and their lines erased while adding hair extensions and visiting tanning booths in order to reach some lofty ideal of perfection. And that's just from a physical standpoint. Emotionally we've always been bombarded to fit certain molds, act a certain way, especially if you're older than 20-something. There's always been pressure on women to conform to someone else's ideal. No one seems to appreciate authenticity any more and that's a problem. Here's why...
Being something you're not and stuffing down the real you has detrimental effects on your well-being, both physically and emotionally.
It causes stress which can lead to inflammation, both of which can be chronic. This can wreak havoc on your immune system which can make you more susceptible to viruses and auto-immune disorders.
Stress also adversely affects hormones which can be attributed to diabetes, adrenal fatigue, and obesity.
Then there's the affect stress can have on your cardiac system.
Additionally, most women eat less healthfully when stressed. Some don't eat at all. Others over indulge, and others just eat junk.
It affects your relationships with yourself and others.
It's damaging to your self-esteem. No one likes feeling they have to be someone else to be loved and accepted. And it saddens me to see young women obsessed with looking different from the beautiful face and body they were gifted with at birth or afraid of going through the aging process.
You attract people who are interested in the you you're portraying, not necessarily the real you. This can cause frustration because there's usually a part of you that is angry no one can see the real you or that you're not accepted for yourself.
It affects your ability to be happy and feel fulfilled.
It's difficult to feel happy when you're afraid of being yourself. Instead you create a different persona, one more in line with expectations. This creates a disconnect with your soul which can lead to anxiety and other mental health issues. These can then lead to unhealthy means to cope with the dichotomy. In an article from Time magazine, Hilary Jacobs Hendel writes "When the mind thwarts the flow of emotions because they are too overwhelming or too conflicting, it puts stress on the mind and the body, creating psychological distress and symptoms."
It's difficult to feel fulfilled when you ignore your needs and desires in favor of someone else's. You just end up feeling hurt, resentful, and, even, angry.
And the effects tend to be worse for Sensitive Women.
Why? Precisely because our sensitivities make us more vulnerable to all these issues, and also more likely to hide our true selves. Most of the Sensitive Women I know who have suppressed their gifts have encountered health issues, myself included. Most have struggled with self-confidence and relationship issues, myself included. And most of the Sensitive Women I know, who have embraced their true selves and gifts, have been able to turn at least some of those things around, myself included.
Have you been struggling with health and self-confidence issues? Are you frustrated that no one knows the real you? Do you find you're attracting all the wrong people? Maybe you're a Sensitive Woman who has been hiding from her gifts.