You are not the boss of me. That was one of my favorite lines as young, Traci Trouble. Since then, I have grown and matured and am now a much wiser Traci Trouble. So, now when I say it, I am generally not kicking the walls with the heels of my feet. Well, most of the time. I am totally loving being surrounded by messages and people who are kicking on the walls of old beliefs. I like to call them Be-LIEs. I just came across this Dove advertisement-and I love it! It kicks the booty of old beliefs and stereotypes. My favorite two lines are,
"You are not me, I am me!"
"I don't dress my age. I dress myself the way I am!"
I applaud this ad and the magazines that are featuring "plus" size models. I love the pounding on the cultural portals that are coming down like the Berlin wall. There are stereotypes around everything, absolutely everything. Anytime you hear someone use the word 'should' you know that a judgement or stereotype is about to be revealed. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have shoulds-they keep us safe and give us quick direction on our values when we need it.
As I jump up and down and do a happy dance around the demonstration of confidence and self worth that is popping up everywhere, I have to glance in the mirror. I have to look at my own inner boss and wonder what kind of Be-Lies I am still holding. Do I exercise to feel good or to look a certain way? Am I trying to avoid looking older or just living as youthfully as I can? Do I think my daughter's shorts are too short because it sends a "message" I don't want her send or do I let her walk out the door with confidence in whatever she is wearing? It is absolutely amazing to be alive during this evolutionary time. One day our children will look back at how our species began to remember our innate value. They will see how we began to believe (and not just say) that our bodies are innately valuable because they exist. We will see the slow, then faster, release of be-lies around weight, color, sexual preference, gender, age, circumstance and more. And, we, right now, get to be a part of that. So, when your world is silent and if you still hear the whisper: "You shouldn't be wearing that," "You are too old to start exercising," or "You are obese," "You don't have enough money, " or... fill in the blank with any phrase that doesn't serve you; then turn to her and with great empathy whisper back, "You are not the boss of me."