I wrote this editorial for my school newspaper, and I got a lot of requests to post it on my blog. I feel like a lot of people, no matter how young or old, should hear this. Thank you for letting me use my platform to be vulnerable and lift others up. All the love.
It is mid-February… do you feel the love? This month is centered around either the most dreaded or enjoyed holiday- Valentine’s Day. Are you drowning in love and romance or in a personal platter of chocolate-covered strawberries? During a time surrounded by so much love, it is important to remember one thing: to love others, we must first love ourselves.
The last year has been filled with so much confusion, uncertainty, and doubt. For a lot of people, self-isolation and quarantine has caused increased anxiety and the feeling of loneliness. In the early months of quarantine, I spent a lot of time cooped up in my house scrolling on social media. Let me tell you one thing: comparison kills. While social media has the ability to bring people together beautifully, it also has the tendency to rip people’s self-confidence to shreds, no matter how old you are. Self-love is something that you must wake up and choose every day. Throughout high school, I have struggled with self-love, and I know I am not alone in that. But I discover something new about myself every day and that excites me.
On good days, I look in the mirror and admire how beautiful and healthy my hair looks or how I look perfectly shaped and skinny because I just woke up. But, on bad days (and we all have them) I pick apart every little imperfection I find. Whether it be a tiny blemish on my face, a mark from a stomach roll after just standing up, or how my legs touch when I stand with them together. These imperfections are all realistic and they are all beautiful. Even on bad days when I think my hair looks a mess or my skin looks discolored, I chose to be confident. If I look at myself in the mirror, pleased with who I am, then other people will, too. We are the most critical of ourselves, and that is something I must tell myself every day, multiple times a day.
With all that being said, everyone struggles with self-love. Even your favorite athletes, celebrities, and influencers are hiding insecurities behind what you see on the screen. It is just part of growing up and life in general. I encourage you all- stop comparing. Comparing yourself to what you see online and in other people will only ruin your image of yourself. Acknowledge your imperfections, cry about them too, and embrace your beauty- let it shine through you. Have bad days and let them be that, and enjoy and relish in the good days.
Whether or not you are spending this Valentine’s Day alone on your couch watching Rom-Coms and eating your feelings away or being showered with red roses and affection, I hope you know that you are loved. Everyone is entitled to bad days but strive for more good ones. You only have one body- appreciate it and love it until it is gone.