This week, there has been an article circulating entitled, "Ladies, Nike Shorts And Leggings Are For The Gym, Nowhere Else." Amid the backlash it's been receiving, I decided to take a look for myself, and I was immediately taken aback. In reading further, I wondered about the few who can't afford a surplus of clothes, makeup, and cosmetics. I also wondered about those who aren't able to wear fancy shoes, or working mothers, nurses, and more who barely have time to eat, let alone spend hours exfoliating and dressing.
Amongst all the feelings that stirred within me after reading this article, I came to the realization it's easy to react negatively when seeing judgment taking place. You may even feel personally offended after you read articles where it seems that another woman would look at you and immediately judge you solely based on your appearance that day, your sense of style, or your lifestyle.
Soon, just as I wondered about those whom the words and mentality proposed could hurt, I wondered about the author herself. Now, I'm a strong advocate for modesty, and I believe that professionalism should be shown when it's appropriate. I believe these things are a form of showing respect for yourself and others. But it seems that there is a disconnect between her and me; I don't believe is that it's necessary to attempt building yourself up in order to tear others down. For a while, I've wanted to write about how to show kindness to others, and how to remember that you have no idea what others are going through, and surprisingly, I found this to be the perfect opportunity.
Allow me to explain...
What if we read an article such as this one, and chose to meet the author with love? Maybe she needs to be told that she's beautiful even when she is natural. Even though those she seems to place judgment upon strangers according to her article, maybe her words were misunderstood. We don't make excuses for unkind words by showing love, but we simply allow it to grow. Sometimes, replacing judgment with harsher judgment seems like the best option, but if we want 2019 to be a judgment-free zone, then it has to begin with us.
It's okay to feel anger or hurt in response to someone's negative behavior or actions. It's easy to hold onto this and let it stir within you, but it's easier to let it go. Either way, it's important to make a conscious choice to replace hate with love in every way possible, even if it feels like we're the only ones.
In a nutshell, I'll continue to wear my less-than sparkly clean converse most of the time, I invite you to feel comfortable with doing the same. By personal preference, more often than not, dressing comfortably for an 8 a.m. lecture takes precedence over sporting a new sundress. Truly, I'll applaud those who have the energy to dress up this early in the morning when I was simply too tired and choose to be comfortable in my own skin, even when it feels difficult. In all of this, I'll do my best to practice helping others to do the same, too.