My Journey to Self-Love by Jewelz

My name is Jewelz. I love attending raves and festivals. I’m a 24-year-old online sex worker. And I am no longer in a self-loathing relationship with my body. I am proud!

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This was not always the case. I grew up feeling so awkward and ashamed of my body due to my religious upbringing. Mix that with society’s high, conflicting beauty standards and you get a girl who grows up embarrassed of her body. My daily wardrobe consisted of super baggy clothing as I tried to hide my body as much as I could.

It took me years to rewrite this confusing, contradictory and self-deprecating programming in my mind that society and even the adults in my life programmed into my mind.

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My tipping point was definitely Lightning in a Bottle 2016, my first ever transformational festival. I relished reading all the festival FAQs before I went. I noticed the culture of LIB encouraged freedom of expression and individualidy when it came to dress code. I also loved the strong sense of community and personal responsibility with the intention of making sure everyone had the best time.

Here I took my first big leap in self expression. I grooved under the hot sun rocking tiny colorful crochet tops, skimpy fairy skirts and sexy bodysuits. I enjoyed seeing all the different and unique costumes people adorned. I felt like I had finally found my place, and my people. This newfound free feeling gave me a jolt and woke me up. It was liberating and felt great to wear whatever I wanted without worrying or caring about the judgements of other people.

Festival culture opened my mind to exploring my self expression and the essence of who I truly am. At last, it was okay to let myself wear what I wanted simply because it makes me feel good.

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After that fateful LIB, I fully immersed myself in this beautiful counter-culture. It went against everything I had been taught as a child. Women were more free to fully embrace being comfortable in their bodies. From this achievement we are even able to explore the normalcy of being nude and the desexualization of the human body. And from these truths, the community taught me that clothing never determines consent--your words do.

These days, I love hyping up my girls and celebrating their sexiness as much as my own. But I used to judge other girls based on how they looked and what they wore. Thankfully that changed!
And it's because of this revelation:

Our society's beauty standards are a mess. If she’s not wearing enough clothing, she’s a slut. If she’s too covered up, she is a prude. If she speaks her mind with power and confidence, she’s a bitch...the list of catch 22's goes on and on.

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As a woman who embraces her body and her sexuality, I come face to face with these no win scenarios every day.

I thought we were done judging people based on their appearance alone in middle school. One of the biggest insults and assumptions I've had shot at me (multiple times) is this: Because I openly embrace and celebrate my sexuality, I must be stupid. There is no correlation between your appearance and your intelligence. This is a super outdated assumption that has no basis in reality.

But it's easy for me to pay little mind to the haters when I surround myself with such beautiful, empowering and intelligent women. My close knit group includes @shakyra222 (Kyra), @medusaxrose (Elina), and @foxyspirit (Corey). These ladies all bring their own unique style of strong, sexy self expression into our community.

Elina is very vocal about calling out and crushing silly stereotypes of rave girls. She is not afraid to fully embrace her sexiness with the perfect looks she puts together and her super badass side shaved head.

Kyra shares her wisdom on self love and acceptance frequently. I love sharing kisses with her on the dance floor.

Corey is always unapologetically her goofy, cute, bubbly self. She is always so supportive of all of our joint creative endeavors, like our sexy photoshoots we model in together.

I have been thankful to find a group of sisters who are vocal about their opinions and confident about speaking their truth. But what do these ladies all have in common?

They are liberated in their bodies and in their minds.

They are confident in their actions and demand respect in everything they do.
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Together we take a stand against the mold society has made for us girls to fit in, simply by going to festivals, wearing whatever we want, celebrating life through dance and flow arts, and just by being ourselves. When we as women break down that mold, it means we are demanding the respect we deserve.

Females owning and accepting their sexuality is a total power move in today’s patriarchal society. We are redefining how women were taught how to act and how to think. Men need to stop telling women what makes them feel empowered and what doesn’t. Stop policing our bodies and leave us alone.

It is nothing short of revolutionary seeing women everywhere own their true power and essence.

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