Most people advocate for ’empowerment’ regardless of gender. However, there are still people who think that empowering a person includes having to degrade others. It can also be a vice-versa situation where a person degrades themselves to empower others. You may have heard the phrases that say ‘You are naturally beautiful, compared to that girl full of make-up’, or ‘I am a proud teenage mom, at least I look prettier than the child-free ladies’, and many other sorts of toxic empowerment that I heard from some people.
Empowering a person should not include degrading others
People need empowerment. Especially if you live in such a toxic environment filled with judgmental people. But, you shouldn’t add to the toxicity by picking on another person. Real empowerment means that you will uplift the other while they uplift another person. It’s kinda like a pay it forward kind of thing. Without degrading anyone, people can shape up a healthier environment.
Whether a person likes working out or putting on make-up, degrading one to empower another is never okay. It’s just a matter of choice because everyone clearly has their own likes and dislikes. If a person likes something that you don’t, it wouldn’t really hurt you to see them happy.
Let people enjoy things.
Moreover, equality literally refers to people being equal – no one is superior nor inferior. People must support each other because the world needs that kind of motivation. Everyone has their own strength and power, just like everyone has their weaknesses. However, everyone can improve that weakness and that doesn’t count as another reason to make a person feel terrible about themselves.
People may be equal but we all have our differences.
Everyone should learn to acknowledge other people with respect. Everyone has differences because everyone has their own identity as a person. And, everyone has their own edge that makes them different from others.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s like what Aurora said in that one TikTok video of hers, “We are all biologically designed to be these perfect individual unique beings. But, still, the world we live in is continuously shaming us for being unique and different. And, it doesn’t make any sense to me.”]
Being beautiful means being in love with yourself.
Before you love and acknowledge people, you must first acknowledge yourself. Tell yourself that no matter what your body type is, how textured your skin is, or how small or tall you are, you will always be your own definition of beautiful and worthwhile. Moreover, strive to always be the better version of yourself every day. Do your hobbies, and find more if you want to. Care for yourself the way you want others to care for you.
Some may be unable to do the acts of self-care, due to personal reasons. And, that would be okay as long as they have been delicate with themselves. To add to this, self-reflection would be essential in building yourself. Knowing your own toxicities and flaws will help a person in improving themselves. Moreover, if a person found out that they have been showing toxicity to people, that would be the first step in unlearning that behavior.
Go to therapy if you needed to because another form of self-love means unlearning the toxicity that you may have acquired from various factors. All in all, speak good words to people and never degrade another. Having preference would be fine as long as a person does not point another person’s flaws out of disrespect. And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Then, spread kindness to everyone.
Paulette Annefreid Vivar is a journalism student from Cavite State University Indang Campus. She is a musically-inclined student journalist who loves to write poetry and to speak figuratively in her creative works, to compose songs and to sing.