First off, let me say that I’m a full supporter of the self-love revolution currently happening. You can call me ET if you like, but until I published “The Art of Redefining Yourself”, I didn’t know the concept was already being spread as “body positivity” and “body neutrality”. You see, about a year ago when I had the idea for my project, I did a research and I didn’t find anything truly resonating with the changes I was going through. So I decided to write down my own motivations in order to empower others but also empower myself. I needed someplace I could go and be reminded that everything was going to be alright. It took me very long; I had an idea of what I wanted to create, but only in the beginning of this year I got a clear vision and could start working on it.
Celebrating diverse body, hair and skin types, racial and gender identities and different cultural backgrounds is certainly a great thing, one that’s leading us towards a more inclusive and empowering definition of beauty. The problem is when a meaningful concept like this one turns into a meaningless snobby rhetoric. When the “Love yourself unconditionally, respectfully and tenderly” becomes only a “Love your body”. It’s the no-makeup Alicia Keys all over again…
First of all, stop thinking only about your body and focus on more important things. It is unrealistic to expect you’re gonna love your body and yourself as a whole individual all the time, especially when your body has some kind of condition and fails you somehow or makes you become a target for bullying and comparisons. Nowadays, the manifesto to worship the skin you live in at all cost feels almost as intolerant as the one forcing you to change to fit into beauty standards. It only seems like replacing the ideas that are being sold. It’s good feeling less shame for having a flaw but now suddenly you’re supposed to feel guilty for wanting to change.
Nothing wrong with feeling great about yourself but don’t mistake self-love with self-esteem. Sometimes the pursuit of high self-esteem makes you feel superior and more special than others because it asks for a comparison of you – who is unique – with another unique individual, even if temporarily. And that isn’t the right approach. Loving yourself shouldn’t come from comparisons or making others smaller than yourself. It should just come from within; from truly seeing, accepting and respecting who you are and if you wanna change something, do it but don’t obsess in the process. My personal example is I’m gonna go on doing the things to feel healthier and stronger, it’s needed and important for me to feel more independent. But instead of waiting to be happy only when I reach my final destination, I’m enjoying the ride and conquering my way through it.
It isn’t about loving your body, it is about loving yourself. It is about looking at yourself in the mirror with inner tolerance and respect as a whole individual who is worthy of love and care, no matter the flaws. Sometimes you’ll feel beautiful and sometimes you won’t and that’s perfectly fine! It’s human, really.
The true neutrality we seek will only come from diversity and inclusion, seeing, accepting and respecting people of all shapes, sizes, colours and styles in the workplace, in the fashion and beauty industry, in the schools, in your neighbourhood, everywhere.
Be kind to others and especially to yourself.