Our sense of feeling beautiful and our ability to rest in the shape and looks of our physical body is entangled with our mother’s sense for her own beauty and relationship with her femininity.
Our mother models the way we relate to our physical form. She is our first idol of embodying the feminine, what it means to be living and breathing in a flesh-and-bone body and how we look at ourselves in the mirror.
I am inspired to write about this because first of all, I do have my own journey with arriving at a place of feeling beautiful and being raised by a highly (self-) critical mum and secondly, I see how my clients when it comes to embarking on the path of homecoming into their body and essence face imprints of stored disgust, feelings of ugliness and rejection towards their own skin.
And a huge piece of that is a mother who has never learned to love her form and develop confidence, let alone a graceful adoration for her unique feminine shape and for all shapes the feminine can take on other women.
Of course, we all grew up in a society in which we have been fed beauty standards by the media and especially, as a teenager we desperately tried to pursue this portrayed picture of what beauty should look like which quite often has led to very harmful and destructive behaviours.
However, I strongly believe if we had been in an upbringing with a mother who feels secure and confident in her body and transmits the true frequency of beauty with every single cell from the day we were born, we would have less likely fallen for the distorted picture the patriarchal propaganda constantly wants to condition us with.
Thus, it’s mostly at a later point in our life when we no longer can bear looking at ourselves in the mirror with rejection and that critical eye that just wants to point out all the things that are asymmetric, bumpy as well as too big, too thin, too fat and too small like our hair or the shape of our nose. It becomes exhausting and destructive in a way that it pulls at our zest for life, our lightness and eventually depletes our life force.
It takes away the present moment when we are busy with feeling ugly.
Energetically we shrink like we want to disappear, to become invisible. We start to fragment ourselves, to not fully inhabit those unliked parts of our body.
In yesterday’s session, when my client connected to the themes that are present in her maternal lineage by connecting to her mother and her mother’s mother, the first thing that came up was a deeply engraved feeling of disgust for the female body. While she was moving it through her body, sticking out her tongue to vomit it out, she had the embodied realization that a huge part of her disgust and rejection towards her own body is not truly hers, but something she has adopted from the women in her lineage.
What she told me later is that she can hardly look at herself in the mirror. And this is something that is very familiar to me.
When I was a teenager I either avoided mirrors at all costs or if I would have to look into one, I was highly focused on only looking at those parts of my face that I needed to look at in order to correct the make-up, my hair or my clothes. I was afraid to see something that was ugly and I could not do anything about, but had to turn up with and other people would have to look at and most probably would think to themselves how ugly I was.
I remember as a child how my mother would get up very early in the mornings in order to wash her hair every single day and go through her whole make-up procedure. I would sit on the toilet lid and observe her watching at herself through the mirror. She would always make comments on what is not right with her face or her hair. She had that critical eye on herself that would confirm her ugliness to her. Day by day. It was harsh and hard.
She was also very concerned with how her daughters, my sister and me, would appear in public. We should be well-dressed and appear properly. It would tell something about her, as a mother, of course.
My sister and I were quite different from our body structure. You could see the difference from a young age on. My mother didn’t miss a single opportunity to point out at the dinner table with friends and family that I was the one who had to be careful with her weight because I would run into danger growing a butt like hers when I was an adult.
I had my first self-written diet plan hidden underneath the carpet in my room at the age of 8. When it was exposed by my friends at my birthday because we were wildly jumping around and playing in my room, I felt so deeply ashamed. I explained to everyone that I had to take care of my weight (and I was a very thin kid).
There was always a pressure on looks in the dynamic with my mum. She would randomly say things like (always starting with this first sentence) “You are such a beautiful girl, but…”, e.g. “Why don’t you remove the hair growing out from your mole on your arm? It’s not what you should present to the public.”
All of that is absolutely wild to me today and it took me a lot of inner child/ inner teenager work to recognize the voice in my head as my mother’s and bring me to where I am at today: I can look at myself in the mirror for hours, caressing my skin, adoring the shape of my body. I feel calm and beautiful in my skin and I can see all of that in every single other woman. It’s massive what happens when we open ourselves up to the field of true diverse beauty.
True beauty stems from our soul shining through our cells, from our authenticity and the ownership of our uniqueness. From the wisdom that shines through our eyes, our full expression in the world and the aliveness we feel vibrating in our cells. It stems from a wild loving heart and a lush fertile pussy.
Feeling beautiful comes with peace, groundedness and grace.
Now turning 34 this year, I see another layer that calls for my attention to deeply look into and alchemise. It’s the topic of aging.
Receiving the first wrinkles, age spots and grey hairs invites me to understand even more deeply what the matter, the feminine, is about and what it truly means to live life and love oneself. There is a finiteness to life, there’s a ripening and maturation into wise womanhood.
There’s a part of me that is in rejection of this happening, that wants to forever grip on to the beauty of youth and that fears to look old. Why?
The big ‘why’ lingers in a collective inability to discern the shallow from the unshallow and the artificial from the organic, that doesn’t want the smooth and naive damsel to ever grow up and that totally fails in the adoration of a wise experienced woman with lines in her face that tell of her wild inner and outer journeys in this incarnation.
The journey from maiden to mother to crone.
In all of that, no matter where I am at on the spiral of transformation in this topic, it has always been my womb and pussy guiding me to love and to come home into my physical form. To understand what it means to walk this Earth with my woman’s feet.
Self-hate and self-disgust towards our looks are in fact a massive and potent portal when we are brave enough to go down that route and patient enough to walk that path baby step by baby step towards a true inner homecoming. Only then can we grow, unlock the treasures of our inner wisdom, and comprehend ourselves as part of Mother Earth in an authentic embodied way.