My Awakening, Part 4

My Awakening, Part 4 – A Women’s Studies Course

I took a Women’s Studies course in college, where I experienced one of my first “awakening” moments. Yep, your math is right. I spent years, decades really, in the Awakening stage.

The assignment was to deconstruct a women’s magazine: to count the total number of pages, then the total number of ads versus articles. To note what the ads were selling. To review the articles’ content. To draw some conclusions.

I was excited about the assignment. The lesson had to be easier to digest than the one on the porn industry, where we’d studied the many ways women were treated as objects and I learned about the horrifying existence of snuff movies.

Plus, I loved magazines. I’d cut my preteen teeth on Tiger Beat, matured into Sassy, and eventually evolved into a loyal Marie Claire reader.

I grabbed a past issue and got to work. While I can’t remember the actual numbers, I do remember most of the pages were ads and many of the articles were just advertorials. All designed to persuade me to buy things, most of which were meant to make me skinny, beautiful, and youthful.

There was no earth-shaking revolution in my soul when the assignment was complete. But it did plant a seed, one that has stayed with me. They say in marketing that you need six to eight touches to make a sale. I think that sometimes applies to healing too. Many of us need to experience seventy-eleven nudges before we’re ready to make peace with our bodies.

I could spend a lot of time regretting all the years I spent hating my body. If only I had woken up in my early twenties . . .

But I believe that we awaken when we’re ready, and every seed planted along the way is integral to this lifetime journey.