The other day, I was playing around with titles for a new project I’ve been working on. If you know me, have read my previous content, or seen me on Periscope, you know I’m all about self-love. The upcoming project is in relation to that topic, so I was on the hunt for a catchy name. A friend of mine suggested I type “Self-Love” into a Thesaurus to see what synonyms came up for fresh ideas. I’ve used this technique in the past so I decided to give it a try – and I was absolutely appalled at what I found. The definition of self-love was egotism, and the main synonyms listed were conceit, vanity & narcissism.
WHAT THE ACTUAL EFF.
After seeing this I knew I had to do something to shed some light on the issue. No freaking wonder so many women are hesitant to show confidence when the world’s definition of self-love means you’re an egotistical and conceited narcissist. This is so far from the truth and I find it heartbreaking. I recently met some women at a networking event and one of them said something super interesting during our group discussion. She said she’s never taken a selfie because she feels as though it would make her look or seem vain. I simply hate that a picture coming from one’s self-love can be viewed as narcissitic!
Feel good about yourself, but not too good. Be confident, but not too confident. Be proud, but not too proud.
With that being said, we wonder why we’re all a little messed in the head and struggle so much to maintain a positive self-image.
Did you know, as per the Heart of Leadership:
- 74% of girls say they are under pressure to please others (Girls Inc, The Supergirl Dilemma)
- 98% of girls feel there is an immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way (National Report on Self Esteem).
- 1 in 4 girls today fall into a clinical diagnosis – depression, eating disorders, cutting, and other mental and emotional disorders. On top of these, many other girls and women report being constantly anxious and sleep deprived as a result of being under significant pressures. (The Triple Bind, Steven Hinshaw).
How can we fix this? How can we improve the situation? I’m going to explain what self-love means to me. I hope together we can change how the rest of the world thinks of self-love too.
My definition of self-love means having an unconditional love for oneself. It means for me to be able to get dressed without wanting to cry and go on a diet, to be able to look forward to being in the sun in a bathing suit, to know your worth, to be strong enough to let go of those who hurt you, to take chances knowing you might fail but being okay with that, and to be proud of what you’ve accomplished even if you have a long way still to go. If we taught young girls THIS definition of self love, can you imagine the change we would see?
When I talk about self-love it has nothing to do with being selfish or thinking that I am above anyone in any way, shape, or form. When I saw those synonyms, I read it as “How Dare You Love Yourself”. Clearly, according to the above statistics, I’m not the only one who feels that way.
You can do 1 of 2 things going forward…
You can conform to society’s super-effed version of what self-love means and continue not to post pictures you want to post. Or say things you want to say, or do things you want to do in fear that it will come off as egotistical or vain. Or, you can say a big screw you to all that garbage, take a step out of your comfort zone, and do all the things you want to do. Even in those times you may feel alone, I guarantee there is someone out there experiencing the same feelings. What if your picture inspired someone else to take a chance and do something different? Holding back on ourselves and hiding our qualities for the sake of others is so lame.
I challenge you to take a selfie or post a picture of yourself that you’ve been afraid to post. When you do, use the hashtag #SELFLOVEISMYRIGHT and caption it with what self-love means to you. Tag me in it (@dani.wilder) so I can see all you beautiful humans. You have no idea what potential you have to change someone’s life for the better, just by being yourself. Why is that so frowned upon? Everyone was put here for a special reason but if you’re too afraid to show the world what that is – what’s the point?