I've lately come under "fire" for swanitude, because - big surprise - it won't fix racism. I've been told that loving yourself, finding yourself beautiful, and embracing who you are won't stop people from hating you for being different from them.
I never said it did. It can't do that. Liking who you are won't always make other people see you for what you're worth (which is a lot, FYI. You're worth more than you could ever know).
The truth is, self-confidence is just that...SELF. Your confidence isn't for other people's benefit, though I do believe that having your own little buoyant light will rub off on others - they'll want to know what you know.
The people who have a problem with swanitude more or less tell me that self-confidence won't do anyone any good. Liking yourself isn't enough. It won't change your life.
I both agree and disagree.
Where I agree:
When it comes to racism and prejudice, liking yourself isn't enough. Why? Because someone hates you for something you have no control over. Therefore, regardless of whether or not you like you they will not like you.
A reversal on something that's been used a lot lately to discuss love: Hate is hate is hate is hate is hate.
Hatred is prevalent in every society. It's part of humanity. Why? Because we are broken beings. We're damaged. I don't buy the argument that people are inherently good. I think we have to STRIVE for goodness. We have to work hard to be kind, loving, upstanding people. We have to make hard choices based off of our morals.
Trust me, the easy way is the way of hate. It's easy to be mean, to care less, to belittle. It's much harder to say "This person doesn't agree with me/see the world the way I do. I should ask questions, listen, and find out why we're different and how we can partner together to make the world a better place."
So no, Swanitude won't fix racism or prejudice. If you're skin color is different or your religion is different, or even if your GENDER is different, you're going to come up against people who hate you for nothing more than that. How you feel about it is meaningless to them when it comes to how they feel about you.
Swanitude isn't a cure for that. Swanitude isn't going to make everyone see what's different about you is beautiful (though it is).
But it will make YOU see what's beautiful about you.
This is where I disagree:
Swanitude can still change your life. It may not change the world outside of you, the world around you, but it can change you.
Just because someone hates me for being a woman doesn't mean I should hate me for being a woman.
If someone thinks less of you because your skin color, religion, or preferences are different...it can seep into your own view of yourself. Lies aren't always hard to believe.
I've believed lies about my own worth for years, and it's still something I have to battle. The lies are convincing, and people who hate you for you who are WANT YOU to believe them.
That's where Swanitude can be life-changing.
I don't think it's fair for people to say that, just because you're different, liking yourself won't help you in your day to day life.
Having a strong sense of self helps me ward off hate. It doesn't change that they hate me, oh no, but it does give me a sort of inner song to keep fighting against hate. It reminds me that I don't have to lie down and take it.
Neither do you.
I don't know how you and I are different, and regardless of whether our skin color (religion, gender, life choice) is the same or different, I will never know what it's like to be you. You'll never know what it's like to be me. That's what's so fascinating about humanity - we're all so unique and different.
There will always be people who hate what's different from them. But that doesn't mean you have to believe what they say is true. Will you knowing you're a swan change their minds? Maybe for some, but for most...no.
But will it still do you good personally? Yes, I think so.
I don't think self-confidence belongs to one gender, race, or religion. That's what haters want you to believe - that you can't have it, because you aren't worth it. But it's not up to them. It's up to you.
My self-confidence mantra comes from knowing who God made me to be. That's mine. No one can take it from me unless I let them. It won't be the same for you. I can't give you my remedy, because we are not the same.
You have to find your own.
I want to help you in any way I can, but at the end of the day, it's up to you.
So maybe people don't think swanitude is worth anything. Maybe they hate me for suggesting we can change the world one swan at a time (more of us united together may not change their minds, but it will still have a positive impact). But I'm not making any claims to anything outside of learning to value who YOU are for YOURself.
This is about you.
You are beautiful. You are special. You are UNIQUE!
You exist because God thought the world needed one of you. I agree. Without you, things wouldn't be as wonderful. I believe that.
I hope you learn to believe that too - regardless of what the haters say.
BUT THIS SONG IS MY SONG!
I have to listen to it after book releases when no one buys my book, and the people who do leave 1 star reviews.
I have to listen to it when people tell me I know nothing and my entire platform is a joke.
I have to listen to it when I have a bad day at work and feel bad about myself.
It's like balm to my soul.
(Plus I'm about as skilled a dancer as Ms. Swift herself, so I feel the lack of rhythm as a calling from my people((rhythmless but love to dance)))