Gone with the wind


Hello everyone 

I have always wanted to use this platform to allow my voice to be heard and to use my voice for something important. The idea was to always be honest and to share my experiences with my readers. So for this post which is very close to my heart I wanted to blog about self image. 

I have been exploring this topic quite a bit lately, what it means, how it is interlinked to identity, how confidence and body image all feature in the greater picture. I have been feeding off the posts of some of my favorite bloggers/vloggers, in particular Freddie Harrel. I absolutely love her and how authentically true she is to herself. I recently watched a video she posted up and something she said really stood out to me. She said that before she is black, or a woman, she is Freddie first. 


This statement has had me thinking quite a bit about all the boxes we place ourselves in, boxes such as race, culture, gender, religion or even profession. These boxes are safe, they provide us with some form of guidance on how we should be and how we should act. These boxes help us to define what "normal" is in our individual lives. These boxes shape how we see the world and ultimately how the world sees us.

It's made me think about how authentic I am being to myself and to the world when I am in typical lawyer mode or when I am being ultra feminine or even when I reject certain African cultural traditions because they don't necessarily fit in with my acquired western thinking. 


Don't get me wrong I totally get that being black, being a woman, even being an attorney has shaped who I am as "Belinda". I am not discounting these things at all. I do however have a problem when the world cherry picks how or who we should be based on the "boxes". Comments like "as a black person you must" or "as a woman you have to" or my personal favorite "as a Christian you can't" are a sure fire way to bring out the worst behavior in me. I am not any of those things in isolation, the sum of those parts make me whole. 

Another box I have a personal struggle with is that of the perfect body. I often get flack about my posts on the blog or on Instagram about me always putting my ass on display or that I have too many bikini pictures etc. I laugh inside and ask myself if only those people knew how many years it has taken me to get to a place where I am comfortable enough to show off my curves or not want to shrivel up and die at just the mere thought of wearing any type of swimsuit in public. 


As women so many of us have attended the Master Class on how to loathe our bodies and nitpick at all the things that we wish we could change. We have been masterfully trained to envy and worship "perfection" on others as well as shame those who don't meet our concept of body beautiful. Don't even get me started on the light skin dark skin thing. I just refuse to go there. 

When I think about self image, specifically in the context of race, gender, ethnicity, complexion, dress size, etc, I find that those things are all external yet have such a deep profound impact on us internally. I had a friend who once told me that she loved her curves but wished she was a bit lighter as that would make her feel more confident. Those words still haunt me until this day because in my eyes she is absolutely gorgeous the way she is. During the course of that conversation a selfish part of me questioned what she thought about me and my looks because I too am dark and curvy as well.


I find myself thinking as women why do so many of us shy away from allowing our confidence to come from our intelligence, our creative sides or purely our curiosity about the world? Why does our self confidence stem so much from our physical traits? Or on things with set rules like culture, religion or profession? Like Sway I don't have all the answers man! 

I do however think it's all a mental thing and unclogging the clutter of who are told we are or can be is a long process, that is of course if you want to clear the clutter. One of my favorite people to follow on Instagram is model Denise Bidot. Besides the fact that she is so beautiful and so confident, I love the fact that she has used her platform to start a movement called #Thereisnowrongwaytobeawoman (Those of you who actually read my posts on Instagram might have seen me use the hashtag). I'm so passionate about what she is doing for self image and how even if it's only one person i.e. Me, starting a change. For those curious check out @freddieharrel and @Denisebidot on Instagram.


I could literally go on about this forever but I kind of have to talk about this look as well right. It's been pretty chilly in Joburg lately so I was not about to slip into crop tops or dresses with mile high slits, no ma'am! It didn't help that this was a particularly windy day, made for some fun shots but I was freezing. I went a bit wild with the Winter Sales and this look was the result.


Deets on the outfit are as follows:

Shirt dress  -  Goldie London (Superbalist)
Leggings  -  Cotton On
Shoes  -  Forever New
Neckpiece  -  Big Blue
Leather Jacket  -  JHB CBD missions lol! 
Earrings  -  Mr Price 



In closing for anyone who has felt something positive stir within themselves from my musings on self image, don't be afraid to color in outside of the lines.




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