Transcript: Gala Darling on Radical Self Love at TEDxCMU 2012

Gala Darling

Blogger, author and speaker Gala Darling presents Radical Self Love at TEDxCMU 2012 event. The following is the full transcript.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Radical Self Love by Gala Darling at TEDxCMU 2012


Only 4% of women would call themselves beautiful and that’s a stunningly small statistic. So basically, if this entire room was somehow magically transformed into women that would mean then less than two of you would say that you thought you were beautiful if you were asked.

Young girls are more afraid of being fat than they are of getting cancer, nuclear war or of losing both their parents. And there are so many statistics that support all of these things.

A recent study in the UK said that 6 out of 10 girls thought they would be happier if they were skinnier. And a study of 455 college women said — 80% of them said that they had been told negative things about their body from — not their friends or society but from their parents and siblings.

Low self-esteem is a major problem and especially through women. Women with low self esteem are more likely to stay in abusive relationships. They are less likely to start their own businesses. They are more introverted and they also earn less money than their more confident counterparts.

I believe in the power of women. I think women are so amazing. I think they are sacred neon-pink sparkly amazing. They are subversive and wild, they are fierce and strong. We can really do anything that we want to do but so few of us do it. We all feel like we’re being held back by an invisible hand but the truth is that we’re the only ones holding ourselves back.

Even though we’re told all kind of things by society and by the media, once you realize that all of that is total nonsense and most savvy women realize this by the time they are about 14 years old. Once you realize that, you’re really free to do whatever you want to do. I mean, okay, so they are quite beautiful but there’s no diversity — even the women who are not white are extremely pale. They all have the same waist size, they’re all the same height, they’re all gussied up to be sexy for a man and I mean, that’s not really all there is to it.

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So all of this stuff kind of converged and came to a head for me on Valentine’s Day in 2010. So, I’ve been writing online for about 5 years – and actually I have been writing online for about 13 years, but let’s forget about that.

So I’ve had my blog for 5 years and I started off writing about fashion and style. But as I kept writing I realized that what women really wanted wasn’t like, “What’s the perfect dress for my body type?” They really wanted to know how to be happy in themselves.

If a woman would write to me and say, “Well, what should I wear to disguise my chubby thighs?”, I don’t think the answer is, “A 350 dollar pair of jeans.”

I think the answer is, “You need a major dose of self-love and you need to focus on your assets and not obsess over your flaws.”

So, Valentine’s Day is this ridiculous anomaly where all women no matter how brilliant or genius, become these blubbering messes because some dude didn’t spend all his money on an overpriced bouquet of flowers. It’s like, this is the only thing that matters, “You have no value in our society if someone didn’t buy you some chocolates on the 14th February.” And it’s so tragic.

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