Saturday, June 29, 2019

“I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.” -Andrea Gibson

On June 7, 2019, I was coming home from work when I heard an ad talking about authentic representation of all women on social media. It discussed a world in which diversity is shown and all body types are celebrated through a project called #ShowUs.

Growing up, it wasn’t until I came across other social media figures with my body type talking about loving their bodies that I began to feel completely comfortable in my own skin. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve always been a very confident person. But when I was younger, seeing other girls loving themselves just had that clicking effect in my brain. The kind of clicking that said: Why can’t I wear crop tops, shorts, and dresses too? Why can’t I consider myself beautiful?

The ad spoke to me. The first thing I did when I got home was upload a picture to Instagram about self-love with the hashtag #ShowUs.


It is so important to show authentic representation of women in the media. After all, a world in which diversity is shown is more fun! If eyes are on you, your message should be one of inclusivity and positivity. 

For a long time, media and society have upheld the idea that only a specific type of body is attractive and deserving of love. What is the last romcom you watched in which the female lead was plus size? Or of color, or a minority? While there are movies that represent all types of women, most don’t. And don’t get me wrong; this “ideal” type of body is attractive and does deserve love. Asking for representation of all women doesn’t negate the beauty of the typical women already being represented and celebrated; cheers to you all! Like Taylor Swift said, we can all wear crowns.

I don’t believe in a world where we have to say that being slim is bad in order to say that being big is good. These two concepts can coexist… and should. 

What I’m saying is that we all deserve to see ourselves being represented; however, how YOU feel about yourself should not be affected by a lack of representation because we live in a faulty world and we need to know better.

Your self-love will not depend on the social standards 
that were created in a patriarchal society 
in order to sell you something.
 Your self-worth will not be measured 
by a number on a scale.

What I’m saying is… self-love has to come from within you, and some people have to work harder at achieving that than others. What I’m saying is... you should feel beautiful and loved despite what the leading cast of your favorite romcom looks like.

Your body is not incorrect because it’s different than what’s advertised.

Let's make this clear: We live in a society that profits from your self-doubt. Unrealistic beauty standards have been advertised for decades, and there are products in the industry to fix virtually everything they say is wrong with you. Blemishes? Wrong. Overweight? Wrong. Wrinkles and aging? Wrong. Body hair? Wrong. Here are all these creams, and treatments, and makeup, and weight loss products, and laser packages, and anti-aging creams for you! When society only advertises a certain image as beautiful, it automatically alienates all other bodies. If you don't fall into this "ideal" female body, you will inevitably begin to doubt yourself, and the industry (which is mostly ran by men) will profit off your insecurities.

And I'm not saying you shouldn't buy these products. I take care of my skin, I try to be healthy, I use face creams, and I wax. I do these things because I want to do them, not because I'm buying into the idea men would want me more if I looked a certain way. I'm not ashamed of my blemishes, or stomach rolls, or wrinkles. Not even the gray hairs I keep getting. My self-care doesn't come from self-doubt, but from self-love. In my own terms, and when I want to. 

Self-Love Tips

After I posted my photo with the hashtag #ShowUs, I received an unbelievable amount of love. Comments, DMs, Insta Story posts, tweets, and even e-mails. A conversation that resulted from my post was with the lovely Wilmarie (@Wilmarie09), who presented the idea of discussing self-love by doing an Instagram Live.

So, that’s exactly what we did. On Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, Wilmarie and I got on our phones and connected via IG Live to discuss this topic in depth and offer tips to whoever was listening. Shoutout to you, Wilmarie! You're a rockstar.

We made sure to touch on the topic of mental health, as mental health can have a lasting impact on how we feel about ourselves. I watched some TED talks, reflected on my own experiences, and gathered my thoughts.

Once the IG Live started, we both shared experiences, tips, and ideas on how to love ourselves. The following are some of the things I learned and talked about. First step: Fake it ‘til you make it. Act as if you feel like a star. Do it often, do it consistently, do it so much that your brain starts to believe it.

Here are other tips we discussed:

How to practice self-love
  • The way you speak to yourself is important. Tell yourself you’re beautiful, even when you don’t feel your best. Tell yourself you love yourself, even when you feel full of doubt. Tell yourself you are worth it, even when you feel worthless. That way, your brain will change the narrative of “Aw, I hate myself!” to “Ah, hey, there are things I’m thankful for.” Switch the tape. Stop replaying negative thoughts in your head, and press play on positive ones. SWITCH THE TAPE.
  • The average person spends 2-3 hours of their day thinking of all the things they hate about themselves or a specific body part they don’t like. That’s a lot of time of your life spent focusing on negativity. What if you changed those hours of self-hate into hours of self-love and positivity? Be kind and compassionate to yourself.

  • Learn to love yourself through how you love others. Wilmarie discussed this idea. and how to do this. You already know how to love your family, friends, and significant others. Now use that knowledge to apply it to how you love yourself. That way, you’ll start to treat yourself the way you treat your significant other and your best friend: with love and respect. Don’t talk to yourself in a way that you wouldn’t talk to your best friend.

  • Appreciate the beauty that is being put out there by the media, don’t trash other women, and fight for representation of your skin and body by celebrating those who look like you. The more people you see being celebrated in the media who resemble you, the more confident you will feel. Some of my personal favorites are Sarah Rae Vargas and Ashley Graham!

  • Follow accounts that motivate you to feel better about yourself. Find accounts of people who feel confident and loved, especially those whose body types are similar to your own. That way, you’ll see their posts on your timeline every time you scroll through social media, and your brain will be exposed to that type of body positivity. You can find these accounts by navigating hashtags like #SelfLove and #BodyPositivity. If you are on a weight loss journey, find accounts that post before and after pictures. Scroll through them, find someone whose body type looks like your own, and follow that person.

  • Unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel like you’re a fuc*ing star. You’re a fuc*ing star; act like one!
  • Improve whatever you feel you need to improve, but love yourself as a whole in the process. This includes your fitness, your weight, your hair, your skin, and your body parts. I’m rooting for whatever you wanna do. Self-improvement, self-care, and self-love can go hand in hand, and they should
  • Read books that discuss confidence, self-love, and self-worth. Listen to podcasts. Listen to feel-good music; Lizzo’s Good as Hell is a good one, Hailee Steinfeld’s Love Myself is another, and Bebe’s Ella, a Spanish song, is marvelous.

  • Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher. You don’t have to keep people around who make you feel unworthy or give you anxiety. If you can’t cut them off, distance yourself. Surround yourself with good, positive people. In my experience, if I have to hang out with someone who makes me feel a certain way, and sometimes I do, I distance myself as much as possible and keep that type of negative vibe away for me. Trust me—it WORKS. Mental health first, social life second.
  • Self-love won’t happen overnight; it’ll happen gradually over time.
  • It’s not fair to yourself to compare yourself to others. We are all different; we all have different body types and genetics.

  • Do more things that make you happy. For you. Have you-time. Find something you like, and do it. That way, you’ll start to build a relationship with yourself that has nothing to do with other people. If you are good at make-up, practice it. If you are good at sports, play them. If you are good at a musical instrument, learn new music. That can be your you-time. Get really good at it and spend time developing that talent. Having something specific that you are good at will make you feel better about yourself. Find your thing. If you cannot find anything you are naturally good at, explore new things. That is when self-love becomes a choice. How much work are you willing to put into it?

  • Law of attraction: You attract what you put out there. Be kind and be positive. You can find the good in most situations.
Self-love is something we have to exercise every day of our lives. It’s a learned habit.

If you want more tips on how to exercise self-love and self-care, I found this lovely article about it. Click here. 

Remember, taking care of your mental health and how you feel about yourself is just as important as taking care of your body.

Be positive and be kind to people.


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