Challenges on YouTube are as popular as hashtags on Twitter. There’s always a new one trending. One of the most recent challenges swimming around the tubes is the roast yourself challenge created by YouTube megastar Ryan Higa. The challenge basically involves YouTubers making diss tracks where they tear themselves apart and expose their own flaws or them sending out pictures on social media and letting their fans tear them apart. And before you finish saying you don’t care about what’s popular on YouTube (got ya!), I want to tell you that there is something very important that we can learn from this seemingly trivial challenge.
Do you know when insults hurt us the most? They hurt us the most when they confirm our insecurities; when they point the imperfections that we’re also worried about. Now, whenever we find out that there may be a blemish, a flaw, or an imperfection we have, many of us have the habit of either trying to fight the imperfections off or trying to hide them. When you find that you may have gained a couple of extra pounds you start planning to spend two hours in the gym every day and you start tucking in, wearing spanx, or buying extra baggy clothes. When you see that there may be a couple of extra spots on your face, you start wearing an extra layer of make-up to hide them, and you start looking for products to make them disappear.
It seems that we are deathly afraid of being less than perfect, of having flaws that may make us fail to be loved and accepted as beautiful, valuable and admirable men and women of society.
What we don’t realize is that when we try to hide and fight off imperfections, we make them weapons that others can use to hurt us. In the hands of those who want to bring us down, the skeletons in our closet can be chiseled into very sharp insults that can tear us to shreds. If you always try to hide the fact that you were perhaps divorced three times or that you had you first child at 15, if you always think that these facts are to be ashamed of and to never be brought up during conversations, well guess what? When people find out these insecurities, they’re going to use them to as daggers to hurt you.
Now what happens when you admit these imperfections and insecurities confidently? What would happen if you roast yourself just as well as you praise yourself? What will happen when you accept your flaws and stop being afraid of them? You strip your flaws of the power they can have to hurt you. When you incinerate your skeletons in the open bonfire, nobody will be able to pick them up again and use them to hurt you. If you’re the first to say something like, “I must be related to charcoal. Our colors are almost identical,” when somebody tries to use the fact that you’re very dark-skinned to insult you, you will not be hurt.
Know your strengths, flaunt them with confidence; but also, accept your weaknesses and admit them just as confidently. Learn from the YouTubers who know how to stand in front of the camera with their heads high to show off their very best talents, but also to stand in front of that same lens and bring out their flaws and imperfections with their heads in the same royal posture.
And as always, cheers to life!