Self-love, we’ve heard it thrown about for the past couple of years, and it’s gaining traction, but seriously- what does it actually mean to you and for you? Can you love yourself TOO much to the point where it’s counter-productive? I’ve got some beefs with the “movement” and the kinds/types of bodies we tend to see, the ones that provide just enough “non-conformity” to tick the boxes but in my opinion not enough inclusivity to legitimize the debate. So! Here I am ranting (clears throat) sharing some of my issues with the “Self Love Movement”, read along and be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree, we would genuinely like to know other points of view.
“Body confidence doesn’t come from trying to achieve the ‘perfect body’. It comes from embracing the one you’ve already got.”
Before you roast me, let me be clear- my issue isn’t with ya’ll loving yourself- I’m all about that life and I’m fully working on loving the parts of my body I’m not so hot about myself. My issue is with the types of bodies and people I see at the forefront of this movement. I have no issues with people repping stretch marks, cellulite, uneven skin tones and blemishes. The fact of the matter is, I don’t often see the movement include people on the further ends of the spectrum; the physically impaired, scarred bodies or disabled bodies or god forbid disabled bigger bodies- it seems to focus mainly on body size, stretch marks and cellulite. Most of the “plus sized” bodies I do see are that of “hourglass” body types, which is a shape that is overly emphasized on, as opposed to the real bodies, the ones of women who have short waists and long limbs and aren’t what we have been trained to see as aesthetically pleasing. I feel it’s doing the movement a disservice if it doesn’t go much further and include the people constantly on the fringes of society, the ones who have been “invisible” within our world. How can we claim to be a movement for all when we don’t go out of our way to be sure it does in fact include ALL; if it’s about SELF-LOVE, then it’s all-encompassing, because ALL bodies matter.
I also feel that for too long the self love movement seems to symbolize that in order to love yourself you need to be naked. Almost, like there isn’t any other way to love your self than that. Now, I understand, when you’re using a platform such as Instagram, which is a visual platform, you have to find visual ways to attract likes. Hence the naked shots, it’s straight to the point and you are then able to show yourself in all your natural beauty. Personally, I feel stuck in the middle as the opposing sides battle; you have the modesty branch of self-love, whom are covered from head, sleeve to toe and then you have the body positive side who seem to always be in various forms of undress. Since I don’t want to join a nunnery, but I also will not be walking NYC in my undies…but I still want to love my body…so…where does that leave me? Stuck here writing a blog post I suppose. I’m left here scratching my head because I don’t fully believe that in order to love your body, it equates to splashing your cute tush for all the world to see, I accept that for some individuals you may need to take that leap. But I also feel like sometimes the message gets missed because others get hot under the collar re: the nudity and miss the overall message about self-love and acceptance.
Self-love isn’t a pie that if we all get a slice out of, it will completely disappear; it’s personal and subjective, someone may LOVE your hair, but it’s the one feature you despise the most. The way I see it and have experienced, people and sometimes especially as women we can be catty and competitive when it comes to each other, whether that’s because of nature or nurture is still to be decided. I am of the full notion that if another woman walks into a room and we feel she looks better than us, we need to push past our own insecurities and celebrate her, because her beauty doesn’t diminish ours. We are aware of the work, tape, creams, powders and voodoo it takes to “get out” of the house looking somewhat decent (or at least what we’ve been told), so if she looks GOOD, applaud her, cheer her on and you’ll see what a difference it makes for how you feel. We do not know the journey it took for her to get to where she is, we do not know what her own personal struggles are. Putting her down and being catty will only diminish our inner beauty and well, let’s face it won’t help the sisterhood.
What’s your take on the self-love movement? Can you relate to it? Are there any things that you struggle with?