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  • Writer's pictureGF

Anyone's Gaze.

An evil eye surrounded by multiple scrapbook-themed human eyes and text indicating "F*ck Ur Gaze"
Illustration created by GF Designs

I don’t want to view myself through the lens of other men in my life. I think that’s what my women’s and gender studies textbooks were trying to teach me about the male gaze all along. I knew what it was from the angle of the patriarchy- oppressive systems, media narratives, and portrayals, even family beliefs and traditions. But it wasn’t until today that I viewed it as a personal disease when analyzing my mental health.

For me, this looks like thinking about how much I think about how [insert boy name here] views my social media posts or analyzes my body in real life. Or how this girl just shared with the internet how this guy she’s been talking to for four months told her that a video she made about her purses that showed her personality gave him the ick and how she wants to move away from the country and shave her head after that.

This was the comment I left on her post:

This comment was for her, for them, for me. I feel like this is how we have to talk to ourselves.

There's going to be so much in life that triggers us. Makes us feel embarrassed. Makes us want to crawl in a hole and cry. But we owe it to ourselves to live a life that makes us feel so much love for ourselves through that. This requires a lot of courage, not just to deal with other people, but to face the emotions we only deal with privately, on the deep, quiet inside, that not even the closest people to us know about.

For me, I have to learn what it is to see myself through my own gaze. This not only has to do with removing the male gaze from my head, but also the family gaze, the friend gaze, the media gaze, and the overall outside-of-me gaze that distracts me from who I truly am at the core.

This is what's going on for me right now in my life journey. Specifically with my spiritual journey, I'm finding that there's no such thing as one-and-done. As much as the trauma hurts, as much as we would like to believe that a vulnerable post on social media cured our insecurities, and as much as we wish that one prayer/talk with God is enough, it's not. Everything is a cycle. Everything is a wave. And we have to learn to roll with it and keep punching.

I hope you plan to work on giving yourself as much grace and love as possible as I am working on giving myself. After all, we aren't much different from each other as it may seem.


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