A (DISNEY) PRINCESS FOR A DAY :D [[ and not being bothered anymore about beauty stereotypes ]]

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For International Women’s Day (and to just chill out), I ended up spending the day at KLCC Mall in KL with a dear friend of mine. There’s a lovely park nearby with a beautiful fountain, lots of old trees. She’s a nature-lover, and I like chilling out and looking at things.

So, we ended up passing by a Dior stall selling something called ‘Hypnotic Poison’ — a very fancy name for a lovely honey-vanilla-almond smelling perfume. I thought I’d treat myself after weeks of non-stop work to something a little girly, something a little different to my norm. Turns out that it came with a photo-shoot and full make-over session.

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The make-up artist was one who’d worked with Bollywood actors and actresses and he decided to take extra time, and … really, it looked like he was an artist at work. I was very lucky to happen to meet him .. and he was enjoying working with me.

I was mesmerized by the process. Layer, by layer – it was so precise, exact and very creative… I started thinking about the painstaking way in which the Italian Masters would have layered their paints, centuries ago. (Am a huge fan of the painting techniques of Leornado Da Vinci)

My friend was my un-official photographer and took before, after and during shots – it was really fun.

IMG_4359@ ResizedBy the time he was done … I saw myself .. and I felt like a Disney princess…

It was a strange feeling, not a bad one though – just something new. For some context –  sometimes weeks fly without me ever wearing any makeup, or dressing up fancy, or anything like that. I spend most of my time working on various projects, developing new ideas and working with people.

Whilst I was there, I did get some commentary by others on my weight and size – not the stylists themselves ..

… apparently .. the photos were beautiful because my body couldn’t be seen …*rolls eyes*

Here’s the nice thing that happened though, I heard that commentary. But I didn’t let it get to me. I focused on the wave of good emotions I felt about looking at myself and I just let narrow-mindedness fall by the wayside.

Fat-shaming has been a part of one of my core wounds, as no matter how skinny I can get – I’m still taller than most women in my native country, buxom, with Amazon shoulders … I’m not surprised it came up today and I dealt with it by paying attention what I thought and felt about myself. And it was a good thing 🙂

I realized that I actually liked myself better without any make-up, au naturel. But it was still a fun, new, experience – opening a new door of perceiving what I could look like, if I wanted to.

I also realized, looking at the photos, that I was drop-dead gorgeous without needing to be a size zero.

(Yay to transcending wounds 😀 )

One little boy banged a table just so I would turn to look and smile at him. That was sweet. Kind of a reminder saying – society is not this big, monolithic thing where everyone feels the need to critique, shame or simply make a large woman feel uncomfortable for looking beautiful.

Though – I could stand to lose a few pounds for health, but that’s for me – and not what others want to say about it. That’s my sense of aesthetics and health consciousness, and it’ll probably seem ‘fat’ to some – but that’s okay.

I’m comfortable in my own skin, I’m comfortable looking in the mirror and knowing that I love myself. Others might not, but hey – that’s their thing.

The image at the top of this post was adjusted slightly, as I think the camera technician would have fainted if he hadn’t done anything 😛 The Disney Princess one (no, that’s not fur) is fully ‘touched up’ without the slimming function – out of curiosity. I did see how he could lengthen my face and make my arms skinner .. was kinda scary in all honesty. It felt like parts of me were being erased (quite literally) to make a picture that someone else would have liked more.

I said no to artificial slimming as I wanted to be authentic to my current size. And authentic is lovely, in my eyes.

The technician laughed nervously when I said I’m pretty comfortable as I am in that department. I don’t think he knew what else to do or say. He was out of his element ..

wasn’t I supposed to be ashamed? Isn’t that the way the script goes?

Nope. Unless you choose to let it.

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So, back to my day out 😀

My friend and I and I ended up chatting to a Brazilian and French male model for a bit, had Godiva chocolate truffles earlier in the day, and had a lovely time with the old trees in the park.

I’m liking the way I’m holding my own with the two guys – no touch ups, no magic weight loss – some makeup though 😀

In reflection, the whole experience was a really good thing …

The make-up and photo-shoot session widened my perception of certain things – what it’s all about, how certain ideals of beauty are – quite literally – staged and constructed. And most importantly, the power of choice that I wielded in accepting or rejecting whatever judgments I, or others, made about the way my body looks and what I’m supposed to feel about it.

I’d call that a win. A big, unapologetically large, beautiful, win.

Sabina and Me

So all in all – A very enjoyable day with a friend, an unusual day of pampering and sheer girlyness (for two women who don’t normally indulge in that side of ourselves)  … and a nice way to recharge 😀

Much Love – And Happy International Women’s Day to All!

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

Text © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015

Images: My own to use

Dealing with T.O.B.Y – The Other Bit of You

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We all have parts of ourselves which we intensely hate, desperately deny or seek to suppress wholesale. Sometimes it’s a way of thinking, an energetic legacy you’re ashamed of or a part of yourself that seems to contradict all that you stand for.

We often call this our ‘Shadow’ side or ‘Dark’ Side – terms which I don’t quite use in this way as there are certain forms of healing, nurture and profound reconnection with Spirit that can only take place in the more sacred understanding / space of Darkness. It’s not something that you banish with the Light lest you seek to erase your own cosmic, biological and energetic origins. It’s a very different energy from what one might call malevolence or evil – just to be clear, for those of you new to my work.

You find it when you gaze at the stars, when you swim with your eyes closed in the ocean, when you lie down on the floor of a cave, when you nestle in your Mother’s womb. Sacred moments in Sacred Spaces of Darkness.

So what to call this side? The parts that you’re trying hard to stuff in the spiritual wardrobe? Let’s just call it – The Other Bit of You (Apologies to the TOBY-s of the world).

Some might prefer the strategy of denial, which often ropes in that classic crowd favourite … ‘self-sabotage’. Others might stride in with self-righteous courage and seek to banish T.O.B.Y, or flood it with healing light. Another opted-for strategy is self-punishment, where you’re aware of it, and keep beating yourself up for being a ‘bad’ person.

Having done all of the above — speaking for myself here — none of that worked in the long run.

Pretending I didn’t have those bits, feeling sad/bad I had them, casting them away whilst perched on my high ethical/moral steed didn’t quite cut it. I’m sure humanity has found other ways to deal with their Tobies … but you get the gist.

The only thing that did work was Acceptance. There was just no way around it.

I had to be able to look in a mirror and see – both the parts of me that I did love, and those that I didn’t.

And to be okay with that. To come to peace with it.

And in that process, with myself as well.

For you see – over time – The Other Bit of You stops being ‘The Other’ .. .and all you have … at the end … is just You. It doesn’t go away, but you realize that it is a part of you that you do not need to be controlled by or to shy away from.

Many of us do the same time we see an old self, a memory, and realize that who we were back then is not the same as who we are now. It’s a similar process, I find, in dealing with the parts that we dislike about ourselves.

Eventually, once we’ve reached the state where we can simply Accept the Self for ALL that it is, I’m sure we’ll each find a new chapter opening in our continuing journey with the Divine.

Remember that each of us faces this question at some point in life, and very often, we judge ourselves far harsher than we need to.

There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ , ‘flawless’ person who has never done anything wrong in their life! Try not to judge yourselves by impossible standards 🙂

To Sum it Up:

Practice Compassion, Forgiveness and Acceptance – starting with You!

Blessings,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Image Info: Woman in front of a Mirror, Mose Bianchi.jpg [Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons]