Chivalry is not dead (at least in South America)

1 March 2019 – just a random thought about Brazil, South America and self-confidence

This entry is very personal to me. So enjoy, be gentle and understand I’m opening the doors of my heart to you. I’m allowing my vulnerable enemy to attack and potentially breaking my healing wounds.

Judgment is a natural human reaction…but it can be used and expressed wisely and productively.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve been self conscious for as long as I can remember. It may not seem the case but I’ve always lacked self-confidence.

I’m always seeing myself as imperfect, fat and in need of makeup. I don’t appreciate my natural body or face. I feel more comfortable and confident hidden behind makeup. I don’t like showing my belly. I suck my stomach in and often look in the mirror with disgust and self-loathing.

But it was so much worse as a teenager.

I can’t see myself as skinny and constantly feel the need to be skinny – this is the result of the “skinny or not beautiful” which is so deeply ingrained in the Asian culture.

I used to be overweight. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this coupled with the skinny culture affected my perception of my self-worth and obsession with being skinny.

The moral of the story?

For my whole life, I’ve had a low self-esteem and low perception of my self-worth.

It’s only very recently my self-view has changed….but ever so slowly.

Over the years, I’ve started to look in the mirror with less disgust and started seeing someone that is somewhat attractive. I’ve started to appreciate my features and unique way of thinking.

I started growing more confidence in myself.

Now, you’re probably wondering – what the fuck does this have to do with travel?

It’s relevant I promise!

South America (especially Brazil – cos it’s the only South American country I’ve visited so fasr) wasn’t in my original itinerary but I’m more than glad I’m here. In fact, I’m grateful. I feel lucky…because Brazil has done wonders for my self-esteem.

It’s a land where you see all shapes and sizes. Everyone is so accepting of each other – no matter how “good” or “bad” people look. It is what it is. You get everything here, not just six packs and surf boards at the beach (and admittedly, it’s one thing I dislike about other cultures – instead of acceptance for all shapes and sizes, there’s very negative judgment, bullying and prejudice in my culture. There’s just a horrible expectation and lack of acceptance).

But it’s not only that – it’s the men.

Brazil has shown me that chivalry is not dead.

The men here (and probably all of South America) truly appreciate women – they appreciate every aspect of them and aren’t afraid to show it.

I’ve met so many men here who appreciate my natural face and body. I haven’t dressed up or anything. Many times my face isn’t done…and there’s a particular guy who really made an effort to keep telling me how beautiful and perfect I was ~ with or without makeup.

Coming from an isolating, digitalised western culture where men are starting to see women as a commodity which can be obtained through an App or showing the slightest interest and where men will leave you guessing whether they like you or not (they don’t make any effort to make you feel special) – receiving chivalry in South America has been refreshing.

Recently a beautiful person told me that when someone doesn’t like you, there’s someone else in the world who will love you for who you are and see the beauty in you.

After experiencing this so many times here ~ I can safely say I agree.

My experiences have definitely shown me the truth in her words.

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