To Be Or Not To Be…..Or Who To Be?

The following post may contain explicit/disturbing/erotic imagery. Viewer Discretion is advised. R18 . Adult Content. 

It has taken me a while to put my latest experience into words.
Mainly, because initially I did not take it seriously. Only after I heard a friend talk to me about a similar experience did I realise, this needed to be discussed.
A little backstory: Growing up there are phases in which your self-esteem and confidence is low. Understandably, as there is a lot happening; physically, emotionally and spiritually.
However, I was rather fortunate, around 15 I attended a girl’s only pool party and noticed, girls are so conscious of their own flaws, that you actually are your own harshest judge. And since that day, my view of my SELF, my BODY and my IMAGE evolved.
A term a friend and I coined is “Mindy Confidence” (from the Mindy project: when your confidence levels are higher than the average). This outlook may start as a positive affirmation ie: I am beautiful, I am funny. But as it begins to rewire your brain, you actually believe it, your self-confidence adapts, and your vision of you improves.
Very early on I reached a level of contentment with myself, not trying to be thinner, or prettier or smarter or more, but just being content and grateful with what I have and what I am. I am enough!

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side angle: it’s all about perception

However, recently I had a conversation with a stranger, which shook me to my core, but not because of a personal attack on anything physical. But due to the fact that it attacked my essence, my faith, my spirituality, my own image, who I am and the image I portray.
A boy/guy/male got my number from an “Aunty” and texted me. We did not know each other personally but had quite a few friends in common. He was very polite.
He then took the liberty to stalk me on Instagram (my profile was open, so I guess I asked to be stalked). And this conversation followed:
Him: You’re very pretty. But I don’t like the way you dress.
Me: That’s alright, it wouldn’t suit you anyway Him: What do you mean?  Me: My style wouldn’t look good on you. 

 

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Sul-Tree Pose  

I had no doubt that this endeavor was a waste of my time, but it puzzled me that within an hour of chatting to a random stranger, he felt he could comment on my dressing. I was intrigued at the audacity. Consciously, I did not want to appear defensive, yet I became defensive as my faith became questioned (yet his was not).
He commented to say my yoga pictures “broke his wudu”, and that they should not be displayed on a public platform. As the entire shape of my body is revealed.

In what world is it appropriate for a stranger someone to text a stranger and comment on the appropriateness of the pictures they post? And apply a religious context to it?

He did not follow me, my outrageous erotic yoga pictures did not suddenly appear at the top of his newsfeed and taint his perfect vision. He sought them! And then reprimanded me for displaying them…. publically.

Whether it was his intention or not, I felt attacked. Never has my religious belief, religious standing ever been questioned. Yet his religious standing was never in question ….. why?
Perhaps, because he has a beard.
Words alone cannot express the irony of this situation and so I cannot elaborate further on the conversation. I remind you this entire conversation took approximately an hour.
As humorous as I initially found this, I started seeing my instagram account differently. As well as confused as to why it was acceptable to degrade a stranger on their being!

In today’s day and age our social media is used as a platform for us to be judged, we create it and allow this judgment to be passed. So have I been creating an account which shows complete disregard to myself, and I am largely my religion, so therefore my faith, my being?

So should I then adapt this to show all my followers and of course stalkers just how religious I am. I always thought I reflected it in my actions, in my words, in my personal being, for never have I been questioned about this in person.

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That one time….yes I fell asleep

But if I do this, then surely I am merely doing this based on “what will people think?”
Prior to this incident I was completely comfortable with myself and my online persona. Yet now I am troubled.

After much deliberation I decided to leave it as it stands. For I created an image of exactly who I am. Pictures with friends, with family, with animals, with open hair, with make-up, without makeup, hugging elephants in dirty water and doing yoga in colourful pants at random location is a reflection of who I am. And that is the person that I share with you.

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Sameera Kaftan ? 

I cannot apologise for that. I cannot fit into your stereotypical boxes :

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“religious” “modern”, “spiritual” , “yogi” ,”Doctor” , “Dancing”, “praying”, “muslim”, “indian” , “South African”
I say this with much conviction, but I still face this internal struggle of how to balance this outwardly religious persona with an internal spiritual one.
I often ask, will the gates of heaven be lined with measuring tapes, to measure the lengths of beards, and amount of fringe sticking out, and ankles visible?

Let’s go and find flaws in others and how they display their faith, lets crack holes in the paintings of others, surely this will bring us closer to our God??
Does observing a 100% OUTWARD religious demeanour then give us this right?

PS: I could literally upload a picture of me standing upright and hashtag it yoga, and it could suddenly become erotic. Am I the problem?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. maryambibi
    May 22, 2018 @ 18:10:31

    3 simple words…
    YOU DO YOU!!!

    Reply

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