Friday, March 28, 2014

Guest Post: How to Love Yourself

Hi friends! This is a post I originally wrote for Shane over on Whispering Sweet NothingsIt's something that really resonates with me, a little outside of my cosmetics-comfort-zone, which is why it's so important. Sometimes, we just have to stand back and look at things from a different perspective, and I hope my post does that for some of you.

In the world of Photoshop and unrealistic body expectations, it’s easy to forget how to love yourself. Your body, your personality: why isn’t it as good as that person’s? We want to match society’s expectations, things that really shouldn’t be expected of us at all, since they’re impossible. Now I know I’m a beauty blogger, and I spend my spare time writing about all of the coolest products that can make it look like I don’t have acne (I do) or that my cheekbones just naturally stand out like that (they don’t). But the truth is, you shouldn’t have to rely on makeup to go out into the world. It’s art, not a ball and chain. It should propel you forward, not hold you back.

What you should do is try to love yourself.

It may seem like something small, but it’s actually so important that it affects everything. It affects your mental health and everyday life. Sure, people talk about physical health and how you should eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but not about how it’s healthy to think about the things you love about yourself. Personally, I would give up an apple or two (sorry, doc), if it would help remind me of all the things about me that I love. Sure, maybe I do have some acne going on, and brows so big that they could block out the sun, but hey, have you seen how my eyes are a beautiful shade of blue-green?

There may be people everywhere who tell you what you should change about yourself. Maybe you’re a film actress and your boss tells you that the camera puts on 5 pounds, so you have to lose 10. Maybe you have a mother who tells you that you desperately need an eyebrow wax. But what happens when you cave in? Do you feel any better, subjecting yourself to other people’s expectations of what they think you should look like? No. You just come out of the eyebrow salon with little scars because the aesthetician made the wax too hot. I wouldn’t have gone at all if my mother hadn’t pressured me for so long.

 I love my full brows. Now that full brows are “in,” they’re more easily accepted, but back when thin brows were seen as stylish, they were considered ”bushy.” People’s opinions and cultures can change, but your opinions don’t have to. Loving yourself never goes out of style. 

I have a challenge for you. I want all of you makeup lovers out there to go out into the world without make-up, for one day. Instead of hiding yourself behind concealer because that one zit is big enough to have a mind of its own, I want you to bear all of your insecurities. Hold them up in front of you like a shield, because it takes courage to do what scares us the most, and no one can take that courage away from you.

 I also want you to write down every morning, whether it be on a journal or a crumpled napkin, three things that you love about yourself. It doesn’t even have to be physical, because confidence shines from within. Are you diligent and hardworking? Do you have a beautiful natural hair color? Then, fold up the piece of paper and put it in your back pocket. Let the reminder stay there all day, so whenever you’re feeling down or like you can’t think of a single good thing about you, you know there are a solid three things you can count on. I’ll do it, too. 

Together, we can feel better about ourselves and claim the beauty that is rightfully ours, that has been there all along. You just have to look for it. And to those who first saw the parts of you that they didn’t like, tell them they should find what they love about themselves, too. Because chances are, they might have had a mother who told them their eyebrows were bushy, too.

Stay beautiful, beauty buffs.

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