It seems to be that time again, self-love reflections all week-long with the Phenomenal You series. This year, I am hoping to bring you more faces and more stories from people who are on their own self-love journey. With this round, I selected supporters of my blog, and some cases women who personally know me.
First up is Mi’Chele, one of the voices of “The Women Respond / Men Say” series. She volunteered during the summer of 2014, and has since then become one of my favorite voices (and tweeters). Her honesty is refreshing, not to mention she’s not afraid to push the envelope in discussions when simply sharing her opinion. When I think of Phenomenal Women, Chele stands out completely. Check her out below to understand why!
Name: Mi’chele (Chele)
What’s your passion: My passion is education. I want to help children learn and better themselves.
Fun fact: I sing. All the time. Randomly, loudly, and off-key. Shit sounds great to me though.
So let’s get to the nitty-gritty! Describe your self-esteem level. Are you a Beyonce- Flawless? Are you struggling with your sense of worth? Or are you a little in-between?
My self-esteem is at a pretty decent level. I’ve never put myself in a Beyonce Flawless category. I don’t feel like I’m an ugly woman but some days I look in the mirror and wish certain things were different. Longer hairs, better skin, flatter stomach. Minor stuff like that. Sense of worth was a struggle for me for a long time. Because of my body shape men have always approached me and sometimes in very disrespectful ways. I was stupid enough to be flattered. It didn’t dawn on me that my ass is all they saw and yeah, they wanted me but they didn’t WANT me. One day it finally clicked and I realized that I’m worth more than my body and if a man can’t realize that and approach me in a respectful manner then he wasn’t worth my time and energy.
Did you have a New Year’s Resolution set? A goal you’re hoping to accomplish this year geared towards bettering yourself?
I had two main resolutions coming into 2015. Bettering my attitude and finally getting my body snatched and toned. I can be a real bitch sometimes and I realized that some personal relationships suffer because of that. So I’m aiming to change that. And since I want my body to look a certain way, I’m finally going to get off my ass, hit the gym and some weights and get snatched!
You’re never too afraid to express your opinion to your many twitter followers. Have you ever dealt with backlash from your comments or opinions? Do such experiences impact your self-esteem?
I can’t say I’ve had any MAJOR backlash from Twitter. Of course I’ve had random people pop up in my mentions and tell me I’m ugly, fat or stupid because of some opinions I’ve let fly. And of course I was like damn, all this because I said Brandy’s eyes were kissing her ears? I can’t lie a couple of times some of it bothered me then I stopped and realized I can’t let “keyboard thugs” dictate how I feel about myself. Especially a bunch of people who are across the country that I don’t even know. Twitter definitely isn’t the place for a person that doesn’t truly have a grip on who they are. Because it can absolutely ruin your self-esteem if you let it.
Who’s to blame for woman’s low self-esteem: Society, her surroundings, or herself?
I think society and self play a huge role in a woman’s low self-esteem. We can’t scroll Twitter, IG or flip on the TV without being bombarded with images of what the world sees as beautiful. It’ll mess with your head, if you’re not comfortable and confident about who you are. Look at all the women who are going into debt paying for all these surgeries to look like Kim Kardashian. Society shoves that down our throats and a woman with low self-esteem internalizes it and begins to feel worse about herself because she doesn’t look like this or that. What women have to start realizing is not even Kim K looks like Kim K. Everyone is beautiful in their own right. You have to be confident with who you are and your appearance and then you embrace it and work that shit!
What words of advice would you share with your 16-year-old self about self-esteem, self-worth, and of course, surviving these transformational years?
I would tell my 16-year-old self to love herself first. No man can complete her and give her what she needs if she doesn’t truly know who she is. Embrace all of her physical flaws because she’s still beautiful. Don’t tolerate disrespect and don’t settle because she’s worth more than settling. She deserves to be treated like a Princess and anything less simply won’t do. I’d tell her that changes happen and heartbreak is a part of life, but it’s all for the best in the long run. Oh, and freshman year in college keep walking when you see that guy in that black Tahoe and NEVER look his way again. That shit is nothing but stress and tears, girl.