This weekend I read an interview that was very thought provoking – so I’m mostly stealing others’ words today for my blog post, because they resonated so strongly with me.
Marianne Schnall, creator of The Feminist website, interviewed Margaret Cho for the Huffington Post. The subjects covered were wide ranging, including beauty, eating disorders, gay/lesbian rights, politics, transforming pain into creativity, raising children, and more. You should go read it; I’ll wait.
In case you didn’t click through, here are a few excerpts:
MC: “I always thought that people told you that you’re beautiful, that this was a title that was bestowed upon you – that it was other people’s responsibility to give you this title. And I’m sick of waiting, people! [laughs] Waiting around for people to tell me that I was! I’m tired of waiting. And I think that the world is pretty cruel to women, in what it considers beautiful and what it celebrates as beauty. And I think that it’s time to take into our own hands this power and to say, “You know what – I’m beautiful – I just am. And that’s my light – I’m just a beautiful woman.”
Cho continues to talk about calling yourself beautiful almost a political act, that the more women feel beautiful, the more inclined they are to use their voice:
MC: “And express their opinion and feel powerful. Like when you feel beauty – and beauty for women is definitely power. When you feel powerful, you are willing to stand up for your rights, you are willing to stand up for what you believe in, you’re more willing to stand up and be counted. I think it goes deeper than just something that’s about looks or something that’s about any kind of sexual power or whatever – it really has to do with pride. And pride and a sense of self, and a sense of worth.”
Sadly, although I’ve enjoyed her comedy, I’ve never known that Margaret Cho was such a deep and profound thinking on such a broad range of issues that are near and dear to my heart; I will be listening more closely to her in the future.
Her words made me think of one of my all time favorite quotes, this time from spiritual guru Marianne Williamson’s book A Woman’s Worth.
MW: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Interestingly enough, these resonated especially strongly with me right now because I had a friend recently tell me I am beautiful. My first response was to self-deprecate – and I was gently corrected. Thank you – you know who you are.
Note: I am not fishing for compliments, and indeed, may smack those who deliver such upside the head.
So, my friends, know that you are beautiful – I wouldn’t care for you if I didn’t think so! Go forth and let your light shine.