‘Bow down to the allure of the puppet masters gaze, seared flesh your eternal sacrifice, crushed under the rock of injustice you are broken, a limbless puppet at a jagged angle, society takes away your identity-you are screaming with pain, an echoeless silence defining the rest of your days. Without free will you are nothing but a vessel of forgotten justice, no eyes or mouth to guide you to success’
In our modern world there is no justice, the innocent are slaughtered at the hands of their puppet masters and the corrupt thrive on the bodies of the ‘good’. But what if I told you that our puppet masters could no longer control us and that we were the masters of our destiny? Life is pre-destined but we have the power to change the path that fate sent us. Many pitied me for the ‘hardships and obstacles’ that I had faced at such a young age, whispering behind my back that I could never be the woman I dreamed of being and that is where they were wrong. I challenged my puppet master- the bullies and the abusers- and proved that your past does not determine your path to success. Yes I came from a broken home but I escaped to begin a new life where I was in control of my own destiny.
The ‘Puppet Master’ is omnipresent, it is the media perpetuating unrealistic ideals about women, it is the gun shots in the distance silencing the lives of our people, even our schools are rife, crawling with vermin. The puppet master is self-entitled, selfish and takes pleasure in hurting others but I have decoded its secret. For underneath every great villians bravado is a weakness and that is insecurity, the fear of being different, the fear of being alone or even the words they drip mercilessly into your shellshocked ears were the words used to describe themselves so long ago.
Let us stand together and show the puppet master whose boss, I am a master of my own fate and noone not even demons can take that away from me . For years the demons were my nightmares, crawling into my thoughts and convincing me I was worthless. Well no more, I am a strong independent woman with a vision to change the world and I may be young but age cannot stop me from campaigning for social justice.
So who is your puppet master, who still controls your will, thoughts and determines what you can and can’t do? Is it a bully, a friend, a family member or an institution? For me my biggest puppet master was not my abusive stepmother nor the bullies who shredded the remnants of my childhood but myself- I was my own worst nightmare.
I am my own worst critic. picking at the little things that make me ‘me’ because for a long time I could not accept that I was different. I wanted to be the same as everyone else, accepted and loved by the masses. I fed into a purist ideal, obsessed with becoming aryan- in my mind I had left behind the frizzy dark hair, the crooked teeth and the small eyes becoming a blue eyed blonde who would be given attention for being beautiful rather than different.
I would stare at my reflection in the mirror openly weeping at what I could see, wishing that fate had made my life easier. Then I realized that being different and not conforming to conventions of beauty was not neccessarily a bad thing. I had a chance to make a difference, in becoming a social advocate I could campaign to re-define beauty and challenge perceptions of what it means to be feminine. When I was younger I was mistaken for being a boy because I had thick eyebrows, hair and masculine features and people used to roar with laughter when they realized I was a girl. Now thick eyebrows are celebrated and darker skin seen as the epitomine of perfection but I still can’t let go of my naggling doubts. For now I will keep practicing self-love but here is where I want you readers to come in, I want you to write in self-love mantras that have helped you feel more confident. Join me in the fight against the puppet master and reject perceptions of aesthetic idealism.
Submit your self-love mantras into the comment box below or via my email email@example.com
Photography- Jumanna Khanom
Location- Crystal Palace Park
Rollneck- Pretty Little Thing
Shoes- Ego Official