“Who does this ugly fat bitch think she is?!” a stranger wrote on Twitter, sharing a gif of me twirling around in my bikini saying “if you want a bikini body, put a bikini on your body.”
It was taken from an interview I did on body image with Dr. Doe for her Sexplanations YouTube channel. An interview during which I talked about how tired I was of hating my body, so I decided to start loving it instead. That video started the Bawdy Love movement, a revolution that loudly declares all bodies are worthy of love, respect, and acceptance.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that constantly asks people with self-esteem, “who do you think you are?!”.
Who do you think you are to sit at the table with us. To go for your dreams. To raise your hand and speak up. To talk back to authority. To wear a bikini on the beach. To look at yourself in the mirror and smile. To hold your head high.
It’s the first thing people say when we “step out” of socially constructed boundaries, and the first thing we’re slapped with when we act up. It comes from trolls on the Internet, friends and family in real life, and that inner critic deep within ourselves.
The only way to combat hatred and self-doubt is to know your answer to this question ahead of time. So, who do you think you are?
Here are four steps to answering the question “Who do you think you are?”
Knowing who you are and who you aren’t is an extremely important step in fighting self-doubt and disparaging remarks from others, so take this practice seriously. Give yourself some time alone to answer that simple question.
Sit down with a piece of paper and write this on the top: “Who am I?” Then below it, list everything that defines you, the good and the bad. Be brutally honest and compassionately true.
At the bottom of your list, I want you to write this: “AND ALL OF THIS IS OK.”
Because it is. Your good and your bad, it’s ok. Yes, you may look at that list and want to change some things, but you are worthy of love even before that change happened. You are ok – wonderful even – just as you are right now.
If you want to, draw hearts all over your page, just to reinforce the idea that every bit of you is worthy of love.
Put your list away for a few days, then come back and look at it. How does it feel to read this again? Anything you want to add or delete from your list?
Take a highlighter or colored pen and mark the bits and pieces that you adore about yourself. Don’t cross off or scratch out the pieces you don’t like – they get to stay there. Just take some time to focus instead on what already love about yourself.
Share your list with the world. Declare who you are. Show it to friends, loved ones, bullies. Own it.
Now, when people ask you “Who do you think you are?!” you’ll have a ready made answer.
If you need a safe, loving place to share this list, head on over to the Bawdy Love Facebook group. We’d love to hear all about who you are.
It’s only fair I practice what I preach, so here’s what I came up with when I first did this exercise.
- a revolutionary leader
- a grieving tender person
- a hotbed of emotions
- a passionate writer
- a defiant child
- a stubborn intellectual
- a motivational leader
- an eager learner
- a guarded lover
- an open book
- a highly sexualized and sensual being
- a lover of gentle movement and mistrusting of exertion
- desperately in need of help in my life
- able to take care of myself
- needing to be better about accepting help from others and admitting my weaknesses
- a supportive sister
- a defiant daughter
- a loyal friend
- overly eager to give
- not eager enough to take
- an outstanding writer
- a complex and complicated partner
- a compassionate lover
- always trying to be better
AND ALL OF THIS IS OK. <3
This post is a part of my countdown to the release of Bawdy Love: 10 Steps to Profoundly Loving Your Body, which comes out in just three days!
Part workbook, part coloring book, and all kinds of inspiring, Bawdy Love is your friendly guide along the path of radical self-love.
Join Bawdy Lovelies all around the world on December 1 for the big release party!
In the morning, we’ll pop some champagne, turn on dance tunes, and have a virtual brunch dance party. I may even make pancakes. In the afternoon, I’ll give away some exciting party favors, including a spot at my Bawdy Love retreat. And that evening, we’ll eat cake and drink delicious cocktails at the Barnlight in downtown Eugene, Oregon. More details here.
Preorder your copy of Bawdy Love by November 30 and get:
- Entered in the Bawdy Love giveaway to win over $1500 in prizes, including a spot at my Bawdy Love retreat! More on the giveaway – including all the ways you can get extra entries – here.
- Free enrollment in my Silencing Your Inner Critic Course, complete with newly recorded guided meditations – a great companion to the book.
- My Bawdy Breakfast and Daily Decadence special blended teas.
- Inspirational postcards to send your friends – only available to people who preorder the book!
- Special edition inspirational quotes from the book, hand-lettered by Liza Mana Burns for you to print out, color in, and post around your house.
These offers are only available if you preorder by November 30, so order today!