What does Whole and Complete mean to you as a woman living in today's society?
A couple weeks ago I sat down to answer a series of artist's questions, given to me by my dear friend and coworker, Adrianna Zaccardi. They weren't easy to answer. Stirring my cappuccino foam in circles, flicking my pen back and forth, I struggled to answer let alone articulate what whole and complete means to me.
As an artist, creative director, and brilliant mastermind, Adrianna created and hosted Whole & Complete. The first of many to come, W&C was a micro exhibition with the intent to be a conduit for a new conversation for women about how they view themselves in today's society. On Friday, April 13th, W&C showcased the work of female artists and their interpretation of what it means to be a whole and complete woman.
Licking my cinnamon-coated spoon, I scribbled something like, "whole and complete means to roll over in the morning and declare 'good morning, beautiful'. In means to honour your body for the way it is and isn't - pointy nose, freckled skin, subtle skin, juicy bum - all of it."
While it sounds nice, it didn't give me no goosebumps. Re-reading my own words, the whole thing sounded kind of meh. Mediocrity never sits well with me. It's like bad milk curdling in your coffee, you're going to spit it out.
Impeccably inconsistent, my self-love goes through ebbs and flows. Slight oxymoron, I know. But I'd be lying if I told you that every morning I wake up, bright-eyed and fresh, to say 'good morning, beautiful'. I don't. Sometimes I press snooze, several times, with a big fuck-you. It's cool, I'm human.
But what's interesting is that it's never just snooze. Pressing the devil-button usually becomes, "Get up.. gym, damnit! Ugh, so much to do today...I'm going to need a big-ass coffee. Shit, it's only Tuesday, etc". I think the same concept can be applied to the meaning we create around beauty and self-love. For example, exercise is not just sweating to feel good and release endorphins. The notion of exercise often becomes 'When I look better, more skinny, I'll be be happier. And then I will have what I want. The notion of 'be, have, happiness' is a never ending loop to destination insanity. And it breaks my heart to see that we create so much unnecessary meaning.
Upon entering the exhibit, we were asked to share three things we love about ourselves. A simple yet profound question, three things you whole-heartedly love. Contemplating for a moment, I jotted my lips, my sense of humour, and my big mess of wavy hair. No meaning. I just love my lips, my sense of humour, and my big mess of wavy hair.
In revisiting the artist's questions, I think whole and complete means to let go of the meaning you create. In letting go of the negative stories you build about who you are and how you look, you can then begin to explore and see yourself for who you really are, which is whole, complete and perfect.
I probably won't wake up every morning feeling drop-dead-gorgeous, but I will continue to live a life that I love and adore..as just me, for all the ways I am and am not.
Thank you, Adrianna for creating a new space and conversation. You're brilliant, beautiful, and I love you.