From WalksWithin.com MaryMalinski
"The healing work Aphrodite is doing with me is about body image and body acceptance.
We live in a culture of body shame. As a child, I was taught that our bodies are dirty, our desires are shameful, and we must work to cleanse and purify our bodies and souls. I was molested as a child, which lead to more shame and guilt (though I have forgiven my molester, and, for the most part, don’t let that experience determine how I live my life. Except, apparently, when it comes to accepting my body and my beauty). And I was told when I was 14 that because of my (at the time) tiny pot belly, I looked like I was 3 months pregnant.
I was also a nerd. Being teased for being a nerd definitely does not help one’s self-esteem. Throughout high school, the only time the “cool” kids talked to me was for help with their homework. It’s not that I really wanted to be a “cool” kid. I just wanted to be accepted and acknowledged. But nerd definitely did NOT equal beauty. (Thankfully, geeks and nerds are becoming more accepted now, though high school can still suck.)
Anyway, at rehearsal a few weeks ago, I was told I wasn’t being sexy enough. Not that I wasn’t sexy enough, just that I wasn’t letting that come out, I wasn’t letting my beauty and sexiness shine through. And I’m crying again now as I write this. It feels uncomfortable, and embarrassing – that’s not how good girls behave. But why does it have to feel shameful?
I honor and celebrate the Divine Feminine. I see the beauty of the Goddess in ALL her forms. Except mine. I get embarrassed when people tell me how beautiful or attractive or sexy I am. It feels good, and it also brings up a lot of guilt and shame.
We’re told from the time we are little that girls are supposed to be pretty – but not TOO pretty, because then you’re a bimbo. Be sexy – but not TOO sexy, because then you’re a whore. Be attractive to the opposite sex (or the same sex) – but if you flaunt it and don’t “put out” then you’re a tease. The media bombards us with images of beauty that logically I know have been altered, and then sells us all kinds of lotions and potions promising to help us achieve that unattainable image.
This work is not easy. It challenges me, pushes my buttons, and rips me open. Yet I know I need to do this. Not just for me. For every girl and woman who has felt ugly or shameful or otherwise “less than”.
Because the Goddess IS beautiful in all her forms. Including mine."