It’s not your job to like me– it’s mine
What is self-love? Is it to learn how to be happy with yourself? Is it having confidence in your looks?
Learning to love yourself can be one of the hardest things to do in life. I don’t like saying that self-love is being happy with yourself, because happiness is fleeting. And often times when you try to search for happiness you find it never comes. So loving yourself isn’t being happy with yourself per se. More of a “this is me,” “I am who I am,” and “I will not apologize for being me.”
We all know media has a huge influence on how we perceive ourselves. We’re conditioned to think that to be thin is to beautiful. We’re told that men will only like us if we have the perfect body. But we’re always supposed to be striving for the next best thing. The new workout that will give you Rihanna abs or the new diet that will make you lose thirty more pounds. My beautiful friend Julia stated this perfectly in a paper she had to write on body image. She says:
“If my legs are thin enough, then my butt is not round enough. If my stomach is flat enough, then my breasts are too small. Being too fat is just awful. Being too toned is masculine. Being too thin is just sickening. Media screams at me that I should have Beyonce’s butt, Kate Upton’s chest, Carrie Underwood’s legs, Jennifer Aniston’s abs, and Michelle Obama’s arms—their retouched, professionally made up faces and bodies. But even if I were to somehow attain these ridiculous goals, the ideal standard would have changed by then. I will never be good enough. No one will ever be good enough.”
This mindset starts young, way too young. It’s not always media telling us that this is the right way to look. Other girls are saying this weather it’s non verbally by the way you look a girl up and down when she walks into a room or verbally by the whispers shared with your friend afterwards. We all know that moment when we think to ourselves I knew I shouldn’t of worn this, or I shouldn’t of had that extra cookie today. The sad part is that even though we know that feeling I bet you still judge a girl as soon as she walks into a room.
It is important to understand that we do this to compensate for what we feel we’re lacking. Say if you feel bloated because you think you had too much food at lunch, but you see a girl walk into the caf who clearly looks as if she gained the freshman fifteen, you feel a little better about your “mistake.”
Stop focusing on other women’s beauty and start focusing on your own. If you had a friend that spoke to you the way you spoke to yourself, would she still be your friend? We cannot keep knocking ourselves down. We’re already living in a world that treats women so poorly. It’s like we’re in this competition with other women that we did not sign up for. A competition that yields only one winner in our eyes. Homegirls we are all beautiful. Another woman’s beauty is NOT the absence of your own!
When looking at yourself in the mirror, pick three things that you generally like or love about yourself. Hair, eyes, muscles, stretch marks, anything physical. Now pick three things that aren’t physical. Your ability to forgive easily, your sense of humor, your weirdness. Once you’ve picked those six things, own them. Like make those you’re mantra. Be so confident with those aspects of yourself. Then day by day pick new things you find you love and write them down. Please keep in mind that picking out these things you love is not by dissing other parts of yourself. Also it isn’t a bad thing to kindly acknowledge that maybe you’re not the happiness with how your stomach looks or that you feel you’re not treating your body the way it should be. Working out safely and eating a healthy diet can improve the way view those things as well as your overall health. Don’t look in the mirror and say “I am so fat, my thighs are huge, I NEED to go to the gym or I NEED to stop eating so much food.” Rather look at yourself and say “Ok I could be healthier if I worked out. I don’t need to do this because I’m fat, I WANT to do this because it will make me feel better.” They’re both saying the same thing except the latter is much more kind. While this is how we should be treating ourselves, Media is telling us that we have to look good for males. That we should strive for the kinda girl a man would want. Everything we do should be to look pleasing to men. You’ll finally be beautiful when men give you second glances on the street and start commenting on your selfies. The problem here is that we’re striving for men to objectify us. Our goal is literally objectification.
When striving for a mans approval we start putting our worth in that. So when we ask our boyfriend “Does this make me look fat?” We want them to tell us no because their opinions matter more than our own. You would rather hear him or any guy tell you “of course not you look sexy,” instead of YOU looking in the mirror and saying “Damn right I don’t look fat, I look great!”
Start doing things for yourself. Things that make you happy. Wear those high-waist shorts because you love them. Do your makeup everyday, not so guys think you’ll be hot but because it makes you happy. Be selfish. Try doing a dating fast for a year or maybe six months. Take that time to not worry about getting a boyfriend but to focus on you and repairing the damage that has been done to you. If you have someone in your life who is causing your self-esteem to deteriorate, get rid of them. Don’t ever let someone who you consider a friend cause you any harm. Get rid of them and don’t you dare feel guilty for it.
There is no recipe for self-love. No 10 step process that will turn your life around or no how to’s on loving yourself. Everyone is different. I love treating myself by doing my makeup or expressing my personal style. My friend Julia lifts herself up by working out and eating healthy. This blog post is to show you where the problem comes from and really why it is important to unwind the damage that has been done to us. Once you acknowledge this you can start loving who you are. Your confidence will soar. You’ll no longer be scared of what to wear. You’ll be comfortable in your own skin. Confidence is key with self-love. Confidence isn’t walking into a room and knowing everyone is gonna love you, it’s being okay if they don’t.
But then again what do I know, I’m just an eighteen year old with blog.