I gotta stop feeling invisible
I love the self-help genre. It feeds my part of self that wants to believe in self-control - in self-possession - over fate and future. I like the power of assuming control and responsibility over my life. I don’t like the part of the industry that is selling (primarily to women) the assertion that women aren’t enough and therefore must develop a perfect skin care regimen so someone can sell overpriced eye creams.
I am talking about how razor companies began telling women that our body hair was gross and unhygienic in order to sell razors to the entire population.
In the same way, self-help can create a feeling that you are inadequate - fractured in some way. Then the one who points out our inadequacies miraculously offers a solution.
But most often self-help comes from a genuine place of wanting to help people live the lives we want to live.
And because this genre is often targeted to and used by women -it is discounted as less important or less significant work.
I hate this, too.
And I think a reason why women often are attracted to self-help is that we have lived entire lives being told we weren't fully human.
We were wrong from the start.
We have been taught to be self-reflective; self-critical from birth to get better so that we might matter to someone or for someone not for ourselves.
So, what if we worked to love ourselves - to matter to ourselves? What if we helped ourselves to be the person we want to be - for ourselves?
What if we show up for ourselves on our own terms and believe in that version of ourselves?
What would we look like? What would we do with our time? What would our lives be for?
PS The Above Quote is from a song used in the soundtrack of Spiderman into the Spiderverse. If you have not see this movie now! And Paddington 2!!! Both will help you to feel full of life and inspiration!
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.