When you were a kid, you were told that you could do anything, be anything.
Yet somehow as we go through our high school years we start to get pressured into doing what others want us to do. In this piece, we are highlighting for you how one man, who went against everything society was shouting at him, pushed through to have “fame and fortune and everything that goes with it” QUEEN - We Are The Champions
Self-acceptance, also known as self-love, is critical to our well being. The adage goes: “you cannot possibly love someone else if you don’t feel the same way about yourself”. - Psychology Today
Being able to be self-aware is not easy, but it is necessary. With standards and typical status quo ideology crashing down on us 24/7, the power to persevere must come from within.
So, what can we learn from the rock icon, Freddy Mercury, about radical self-love?
The Man as the Outcast:
Mercury was an outcast in all sorts of ways. It wasn’t just his vivacious partying and sexuality, he was an outsider first because he was not a native Brit! He was born in Zambia and attended high school in Mumbai.
To fit in and downplay his heritage he decided to change his name from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddie Mercury. Naturally, that took a lot of guts and he faced severe consequences from family and community. He didn't make this decision lightly, he knew there would be consequences, but he was determined to live his most authentic self, and for him, that meant becoming Freddy Mercury.
Later on, he identified as a homosexual which added more controversy and alienated him further. Again, big moves in order to live his true self, authentically, and without compromise. Mercury was able to overcome these obstacles, we believe, because he valued truth and courage and was able to love himself for himself. Flawed teeth and all!
Set A Vision | Never Give Up
For those who have not seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet, spoiler alert, Mercury was working as a baggage officer at London’s Heathrow airport to pay the bills and get by. Sound familiar?
He knew that was not the life he wanted. He decided he was destined for more. He had a vision for who he could become and he would chase that dream until he caught it.
The struggle was as real as any of ours, and maybe tougher as Mercury had many stigmas working against him. Queen was not an overnight success. They didn’t win the 100m dash, they won the damn ironman! They slogged away and took the falls, but kept coming back for more. That takes guts and courage. They showed up. Everyday.
Freddy had a goal, a clear vision for his future, and he held on to that visual through the challenges and setbacks. We like to refer to this as Rising Strong. After any fall, you can get up and dust off and walk away, or you can get up, dust off, lean in further, learn and grow and through that process Rise Strong.
People can find many motives to progress them towards their goals, but goals are meaningless without a vision.
Be Bold | Just Be You
Freddie Mercury, to prove his radical self-love by living his life on his terms. One story we admire and want to share here is the time when fans started throwing razors at him on stage with the message to shave the mustache off to look “less gay”. He kept the mustache anyway… - Guardian
We applaud and hold in high regard what Freddy stood for - and what we stand for as a brand: Find your truth and dare to live it. John Deacon ( Base ) admitted that Mercury’s appearance was alienating a US audience that was traditionally prickly about homosexuality. “Some of us hate it,” he said in 1981. “But that’s him, and you can’t stop him.”
Through the mix of criticism and love from the outside world, Mercury decided to look at the positive side, saying: “I don’t want to go down in history worried about, ‘My God, I hope they realize that, after I’m dead, I’ve created something or I was something.’ I’ve been having fun.”
Realize your “show must go on”, put yourself in your spotlight, do not let others tell you who you are and what you can or cannot do. Own your story; your life was a gift from your parents, a gift, by definition, is given willingly and without expectation of payment. So take the gift you were given, and go boldly wherever it is you want to go!
Live Bold, Be Bold, Be Rad.