Naked Truths: Mersiha Mesihovic Thoughts on Her Image and Society

I think somewhere, in between trying to please others and being who I truly aspire to be (somewhere in between my late 20ies and being terrified of turning 30) I got exhausted.  I got tired of my obsession with beauty and constant abuse of my body and soul. Whatever I had previously thought was a desired image of how I should look suddenly started to fade. Maybe I was maturing, who knows.  The phantom image I had created (with a “little” help of the daily feed of commercial media and my very own mother who is obsessed with staying young and beautiful forever) and had carried with me throughout my childhood and adolescence years slowly began to lose its weight and control it used to have over my life.

mersiha 1

Photos by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Looking back, I remember when my mother handed me my first facial cream when I was only 13 years old.   (My mother, do not misunderstand me, is the most loving , gentle, caring and supportive woman and mother I know). She said it is never too early to start. I grew up watching her, and my father, go on and off different diets and my mother hating her big Jennifer Lopez thighs that I was so happy I did not inherit.  But little did I know, they change once you grow older.  I considered myself as my father’s daughter with long slim legs that I was so proud of.  I always had issues, and still do, getting rid of the fat around my stomach no matter how hard I work out and exercise. I am a dancer for god’s sake! I should not have any fat on my body…I think.  My friends tell me I am imagining it, and I probably am.  As much as I have accepted the imperfectly perfectly beautiful self, I day in and day out fight the critical thoughts inside of my head that keep telling  me I need to be just a little slimmer or taller.

I have found women that I look up to who are thicker, not slim not fat, but just perfect.  I’m perfect, I keep repeating to myself as the super slim supermodels are staring at me from any opened magazine, store window or TV commercial. So, I keep brain washing myself to revert their impact.  I’m perfect.  I keep telling myself as I undress in front of the mirror. For some strange reason I always feel beautiful with men. Maybe because men have always liked me the way I am. Those who had not, I got rid of very soon. It is not like I need another critic.   I am my own worst critic. I am perfect, I keep telling myself and will be probably years to come as I will most likely never get over the image of my mother never being happy with herself and the image of perfection I’ m supposed to live up to according to that bloody fashion magazine. But I have decided I will not be a brainwashed puppet that just goes along what whatever society tries to impose on me. I actually do have a brain and can think for myself and I do have my own opinion of what beauty is and supposed to be, so I keep repeating the words in my head… I am… perfect…I am perfect…I am perfect… This is my mantra.

I think what happened was, somewhere on my path of self-destruction, (believe me I went through it all, eating disorders, depression, self-hate, nothing serious really, just every day issues of the contemporary woman) and trying to live up to an image, what bugs me the most is that it is someone else´s image of perfection, not even my own.  Yes I realized that as well as that if I truly wanted personal happiness and if I wanted to dedicate my life to art and follow my dreams, which was being a successful dancer, I had to give up the idea of looking like that damn super model from the front cover of vogue every waken second of my  day, it was an epiphany.

My therapy became to every day.  And I still do, keep reminding myself of things that I have to give up in order to gain something else. I realized I had to give up those skinny model legs, as I am a Contemporary Dancer who’ s choreographic work is based on pushing limits of physicality. I need my strong legs. I have to get quickly in and out of the floor. And as my legs were growing thicker the mantra was repeated more often and as I said it still is, daily.

mersiha 3

Photos by Thomas Sayers Ellis

I mean it was not easy …do not get it twisted…. took years of self-evaluation and every day I work on exchanging the negative dialog I had carried on with myself for years,  toward a loving one, one that accepted Mersiha for who she was. I taught myself to love my strong athletic silhouette and them thick dancer legs. I realized I had the power in my hands. I could go on for the rest of my life as a   brainwashed ignorant zombie or ask myself what does Mersiha think is beautiful, and basically start building myself from the ground up, live up to my own expectations of myself and be in charge of who I am and my destiny…

THE AUTHOR

Mersiha Mesihovic is Artistic Director at CircitDebris, which she established as a dance company as well as a platform to formally conceptualize her collaboration with artists across disciplines. In conjunction with her choreographic work, Mersiha is a dancer at H.O.M.E Base Interdisciplinary Collective based in NY, and is working closely with Brooklyn dance artists Amanda McNussen and Film Artist Victoria Sendra. Most recently Mesihovic was selected by YU2Media , a marketing site presenting artists and their works from Southeast Europe, in to their hall of fame as a: “New generation artist with the ability to show us a new way to feel, to tell and animate us to free thinking with emotional touch.

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2 responses to “Naked Truths: Mersiha Mesihovic Thoughts on Her Image and Society

  1. YOU are beautiful just the way you are. we all are. you aren’t brainwashing yourself to believe you are perfect. society has brainwashed us into thinking that stick skinny is what is beautiful, the ideal, perfectionism. i don’t believe it nor will i ever fall for it. it’s not natural! each of our bodies were made different, and we need to embrace what we are… it’s not fair that so many of us women have to go through such harsh criticism of ourselves that has been implemented into our lives since childhood. it’s a tough battle to fight going against what society says is “perfect,” but every day we must keep telling ourselves just as you are……. i am perfect.
    xoxoxoxo

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