How can we find self-love in mainstream media?

How can we find self-love in mainstream media? March 1, 2024

Cosplay at the 2014 New York Comic Con. Opal from Steven Universe, Wikimedia Commons
Cosplay at the 2014 New York Comic Con. Opal from Steven Universe, Wikimedia Commons

The Pain of Self-Actualization verses Body Image

It’s just what feels right,” Amethyst says causally, but after watching her change her form drastically over and over the course of the whole episode —-and her words are markedly more confident and at peace. Calm and chill. It’s just… her.

“That’s why it’s perfect,” Garnet responds.

This sums up why I love this show.

Steven Universe was such a groundbreaking and beautiful show that had a wonderful amount of depth when it came to complex issues. Mental illness, health issues that can catch up to you later in life(fractures that heal in Steven’s body but breaks are still shown up on X-rays), complicated relationship and interpersonal issues are just some of the many things this show tackles with sincerity and open dialogue.

The way we approach self-actuality and self-worth can be such a powerful and positive force, yet when we have past trauma or grief, it can also be a painful experience. Coming out of such a situation can make one truly appreciate their vulnerability and see their resilience in a new way.

The beauty of oneself

With the clip(above) shown, it is at the end of the episode Reformed, and it relays a very important message about body image.

Don’t ever try to make other people happy or impress them with changing how you look—-by changing who you are for someone else.

This is a great message to all who felt as though their body image wasn’t enough or matching to what they thought others were looking for. It’s a tragic situation to find yourself constantly looking for a new identity that isn’t true to who you are, especially to make someone else happy.

The real beauty of our identity and image is how we heal, regardless of how others perceive it, and what we do with our image in a sense of love, compassion and respect.

Biblical and poetic references to our identity and self-image

As it says in Jeremiah 1:5 God says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

It is a genuinely unique and wonderful experience to know you were formed with the image of love and pure joy, which is the pure love of God. To feel such a strong connection to creation and our own bodies and minds is a expression of trust and deep understanding of our mortality and spiritual development.

As the poet Wordsworth succinctly explains:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Reformed in the sense of spiritual truth

I find the notion of pre-existence to be both a terrifying idea yet also a powerful one. To feel our skin as a mortal shell for our immortal soul is a deeply rooted feeling of connection to the divine. Coming to terms with my own body dysphoria and feeling out of my own skin, so to speak, I find the everlasting connection to my soul and to God.

It truly enlightens my mind and frees my spirit in many facets to know God and Jesus loves you the way you were born. It’s a very special feeling. We all belong together in this world of God-given freedoms and choices. I truly hope for healing in our brothers and sisters in these trying times, always and forever.

About Melissa Ingoldsby
Melissa Ingoldsby is a published author of the crime drama novel The Half Paper Moon and the horror/romance novel I am Bexley. She lives in the Saint Louis region and is a boy mom of three, with many different publications of poetry, novels and short stories on the online platform Vocal, Patheos, Amazon, Resurgence Novels, and Golden Storyline Books. She enjoys film, animation, art and literature of many varieties, including horror, science-fiction, fantasy, romance, dark comedy, entomology and non-fiction. You can read more about the author here.

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