Finding this week’s inspiration story was easy peasy. It literally hit us all like a powerful hurricane (a good one). I’m talking, of course, about the fabulous Caitlyn Jenner.
In case you’ve been living in a bunker or outer space and haven’t heard about it, at the beginning of this week, Vanity Fair amazed us all with this month’s cover. The message reads ‘Call me Caitlyn’ and it features a stunning looking Caitlyn Jenner photographed by no other than Annie Leibovitz. Some people freaked out, some people were mean, millions of people praised and loved it and some people just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
The fuss is that Caitlyn is sending the most powerful message to people around the globe: be (and free) yourself. She reminds us of how important it is that you become yourself, that you free yourself. And the way she owns that cover, I would say it’s about celebrating yourself as well. It’s an inspirational story and a life lesson to everyone.
I am sure this story is particular touching for all those people out there who have a different gender than the one assigned to their body; who feel misplaced in their body and imprisoned, like they can never really live their lives. I can’t even begin to imagine the struggle they face everyday. Hopefully Caitlyn’s story will inspire transgenders in all the corners of the Earth, and in some way help them get through it. As Caitlyn herself puts it: “I hope that with my honesty I can make it easier for somebody else down the line”. And I am sure she will.
To my view though, this story is powerful in so many other levels. I mean, I felt inspired and touched by this story and I was assigned both a woman’s body and mind. What I believe Caitlyn’s story is teaching us is how important it is to live your true self. Don’t go through life living a lie. You only get one life, it’s OK to choose to live it fully and freely.
Back in his interview with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner said something that stroke me, well he said many things that did to be honest (I got quite emotional), but this one stood out as it talks to all people that aren’t transgenders: “I look at guys and I go ‘he is comfortable in his own skin’. And I think, ‘wouldn’t that be a nice way to go through life?’. I look at women all the time thinking ‘oh my God, how lucky are they that they can wake up in the morning and be themselves?’ But me? I’m stuck here in the middle. And I’ve got no way to go.”
Now think, how many times in life do you actually celebrate that freedom? How many times do you celebrate yourself? Truth is that people get lost, give in and stop being themselves. We get lost in so many things: mean comments, peer pressure, society pressure, trying to fit in, trying to be perfect, abusive relationships… All these things prevent us from seeing what we’ve taken for granted: our freedom to actually be ourselves. I don’t think sometimes we realize how blessed we are.
Another thing Bruce mentioned in that interview was that he didn’t ‘want to disappoint people’. How many of us can relate to that? I think it’s actually one of our biggest fears as humankind – we don’t want to disappoint the ones we love, the ones that admire us, the ones that look up to us. And so we give in a bit of that freedom. But in the end, we only have this life. It’s up to us, and no one else. Your body, your mind, your decisions.
Ultimately, I think we owe it to Bruce, and everyone else out there who is struggling at this very moment, to fully appreciate the gift we were given. Celebrate yourself.
Another thing that inspired me in this story is to see how much love, compassion and understanding there was towards Caitlyn and her family. So many people sharing that powerful cover, so many people sending support messages to Caitlyn Jenner and her family, she broke the internet for crying out loud! In four hours she had One million followers on Twitter! You know what this means? HOPE! Hope that the world is changing. Hope that people are more and more open about each others’ differences. Hope that if one day I have a little girl or boy, they won’t have to live a lie for 65 years and will be able to become who they were meant to be in their hearts.
I know, I know, I know, I’m not in denial, nor am I an ignorant; I am perfectly aware that we still have a long way to go, that this is only happening in a little corner of the World; but I have to believe that these are great news nonetheless. Step by step, with the help of these fighters and people sharing their stories, we will slowly get there.
I even refused to read any negative press or comments; I am sure there must have been some, but it’s such a beautiful and inspiring story, that I decided to focus on the positive feedback; and I was impressed. Let’s just remind ourselves how important it is to embrace each other, in all our differences. We owe it to us, we owe it to all the little Caitlyn’s out there, we owe it to all the families going through tough times, and we owe it to one another.
Happy people will make the World a better place. So just celebrate yourself and everyone else. Be happy for other people’s differences and embrace their choices. Eventually prejudice will become less and love will become more. That’s my hope at least.
In a video published by Vanity Fair (here) Caitlyn says “This is about your life. Bruce always had to tell a lie. He was always living that lie, everyday he always had a secret from morning till night. Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. As soon as the vanity fair cover comes out I’m free.”
“I’m free”- so many of us take it for granted but in the end, so many people don’t have it. So if you are the only one standing between you and your freedom, step aside and celebrate yourself. And if it’s not just you, fight for it; reach out to others for help. There’s more love out there than you can imagine. Just don’t give up. You are worth it!
All that’s left for me to say is “Thank you Caitlyn, for telling your inspiring story. For making me embrace and celebrate myself and appreciate my freedom. Thank you for helping make the world a better place”.
Image credits: Vanityfair.com