I'm fascinated by the ideas held by different cultures around the world. Despite the world "getting smaller" through increasing globalization, and despite the fact that we're all, on some level, just humans – we still hold some vastly different beliefs, depending on what culture(s) we've been raised in.
That's why this article by Ioana Aboumitri is particularly interesting. A woman with a beautifully varied background, Ioana has spent time living in many cultural milieus. She's part Samoan, part Egyptian, and part Lebanese – and on top of these different cultures, she now lives in Canada. So she's experienced vastly different cultural expectations when it comes to health and beauty.
A survivor of eating disorders, Ioana has been very personally affected by these conflicting ideas of beauty and health – indeed, some of the same pressures we all face, even when we come from a single culture.
But despite the confusion she still faces on a daily basis about what beauty truly looks like, Ioana writes with true clarity about how we must go about facing these pressures. She describes herself as "a passionate advocate of self-love, especially in our youth." She's right on the money – I think the only way to confront the questions she talks about is to love yourself.
Love yourself better. Stronger. More.
I felt comforted just reading her words, because I could see that she was wrestling with the same questions that have been on my mind. If you too want to know you're not alone in your struggle to feel beautiful, read her post here.