Serums, potions, workouts, diets, food trends, the list literally goes on and on and on. We are always constantly looking for the next beauty fad or trend to hop on to, if it means we will look younger, smaller, fitter…but this week on the blog, I offer a different narrative. What if we actually LOVE ourselves? Like really love ourselves. In. The. Now. Saggy boobs and all. This week on the, I discuss why the act of self-love is in and of itself a revolt.
Self-love isn’t selfish, it’s important.
I sometimes fall into the trap, I will look at my reflection and instead of speaking optimism to myself, I will pick away at things I don’t like or want to cover up. But, I have been actively working on going to work or running errands without makeup. And I know what you might think- that’s not a big deal, but for me who has always been self-conscious of the hyperpigmentation on my face, makeup has allowed me to hide it. Why though? Because it’s not pretty? Who says? This blog post came about because genuinely speaking, I have been feeling myself and at first I chastised myself for having an inflated ego. Then I realized, no- I don’t do it enough. I am enough, I am beautiful. Stretch marks, discolouration, crooked teeth included; and there is nothing wrong with me fully embracing, accepting and acknowledging that.
The same light you see shining in others, is shining within you too.MHN
They Don’t Want Us To…
I don’t mean to sound dramatic or blow anything out of proportion, but the fact of the matter is- when we are bombarded with images of “beauty”, a physical aesthetic or even a financial status we can’t attain and should not adhere to- doing the very opposite is revolutionary. Loving what you currently have, in the moment is a form of protest. Anyone who is pushing back on what it “means” to be attractive, hold space and attention for being deemed as the “right type of masculine or feminine”- we ourselves view them as being activists. Lizzo, is plus-sized and unapologetic about it and so she should be, but why do we see her as being so DIFFERENT when she’s merely living her life? It’s because we’re not expecting a woman of her size to even be happy looking that way, we cannot compute having that level of confidence in a body like hers. But have we ever thought about how messed up that is? We wouldn’t look at J-Lo and applaud her for being so confident and sexy in her skin, we almost expect it. That being said, what is so wrong with you loving yourself? What could possibly be the negatives of this outcome? What is actually stopping you, reader from loving yourself? Who is standing in your way? One thing’s for sure, we would spend less money buying lotions and potion to make us…whatever they put on the label. We would love our mirror’s reflection. We wouldn’t be competing for the right lighting, filter, moment, weight or whatever else we add to this list. The fact of the matter is, society benefits from us not loving ourselves, the very idea of us celebrating our scars, stretch marks, bumps and bruises feels so revolutionary when it’s not the images we are used to seeing. But perfect doesn’t exist, like at all- it’s a con.
Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself.
Pretty privilege is a real thing. We see it everywhere around us, the things people we deem as attractive do, are seen as a given and yet we would “commend” someone with non traditional looks as being brave. We’ve all heard about cases where pretty blonde hair blue eyed people have been able to get away with certain situations because somehow an automatic trust is instantly given to them. And a person of colour in the same situation and you guessed it- the POC world always be given doubt first. I don’t mean this as a critique in any way, more just an understanding that depending on where you fall on the socially constructed pretty scale, things do appear to be “easier” or at least people make allowances for you. I cannot tell you, the amount of men who have attempted to fall backwards in an attempt to complete a chivalrous gesture, in order to win favours or to get my attention. It should be noted that this isn’t a flex on my part, because I don’t wake up daily thinking I am society’s standard of beauty ( I am a Black woman after all ), but that doesn’t mean that I’m not attractive. I have big eyes and equally big breasts, this will no doubt get you very far when it comes to the masculine gaze, even if you’re not doing it intentionally. That being said, we also automatically assume that because someone is “attractive”, we don’t attach struggle to them, but let me tell you- no matter how good looking someone is, they can and are struggling with their mental health. We often do NOT see ourselves as others do, but sometimes we are our own worst critics and our internal voice is extremely negative and unwarranted. So, what would happen if we flipped the script? If we spoke to ourselves like we would our bestie? If all of the positive words, and advice we give to others, we gave to ourselves? This has to be the most revolutionary thing we can do for ourselves and for society.
I don’t have a quick fix or even a 5 step guide on how to improve your self-love ( I mean I can work on one ), but the fact is, everyone is on a different journey and what works for me may not work for you. That being said, what I have found to be extremely important is the ways in which I speak to myself. I have and try to take very calculating steps on improving the ways and the words I use when talking to myself. It has worked wonders and it’s also allowed me to give myself grace on the days when I’m harder on myself.