Okay so I know that I am a few days late in writing this post considering that the most talked about moment in television happened on Thursday night on Shonda Rhimes new show “How To Get Away With Murder”. I really just wanted to take time to get my thoughts together because that moment when Viola Davis removed her wig, and then her false eyelashes, and finally all of her make-up, was probably one of the most defining moments in television history to everyone who watched and in particular, to women and just those who struggle with being themselves on a regular basis.
When Davis revealed her true self, or removed all of her body armor as the world is calling it, it was almost as if she was signaling to the rest of the world that it was okay to be yourself no matter what you looked like under whatever mask that you happen to be wearing. This after Davis recently revealed in a speech that she made that she suffered through a childhood of extreme poverty and had at one point in her life felt ashamed of her impoverished childhood.
We all wear the masks. Those faces that we want people to see because what’s behind the mask is sometimes just too painful for us to be able to share with others. We want to cover up all the old wounds and scars from every rejection, every discouragement, every ugliness that lies within us. We tend to have this waiting period before we can reveal our true selves to people before we can take off the masks that we have been wearing far longer than we care to admit.
The thing is if we are only revealing our true selves once we’ve decided someone has proven themselves worthy enough to get that close then are they really getting to know the real us. I think that if we stop trying to figure out who will and won’t like the real us and stop trying to please everyone else around us we need to be happy with who we are and love our own selves enough to not care if there is anyone else who likes us or not. I know it’s easier said than done because what person does not want other people to approve of them but when us needing others approval interferes with us being authentic to who we are it becomes more problematic.
We somehow think that if we are authentic and true to ourselves that the world will disapprove and that people will no longer like us. However, something that I have discovered over the last several years, especially within the context of this blog, is that allowing yourself to be vulnerable to others is really what sets you free and allows you to be who you were meant to be. Vulnerability seems like such a dirty word to most people but if you really think about it, once people see who you really are, odds are, they accept you more. And the people who don’t accept you when you are being your true self aren’t really worth your time anyway.
We shouldn’t be trying to figure out all of the ways that we can get away with deceiving others by making them think we are someone we are not. Instead we should be celebrating the uniqueness within us. If we weren’t so reluctant to remove our armor and so concerned with covering up all of our metaphorical scars then we could see the beauty in letting the world see our flaws and we would celebrate those flaws. Those little imperfections are what makes us perfect in our own individuality. The best way to get away with being our true selves is to not give a damn whether anyone else approves of us or not. Be yourself, remove the armor, and trust that who you truly are underneath that mask that you’ve been wearing all this time is enough.
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