BONFIRE

Self Love by Mary Young

Journal — 11.11.2017

WRITER
Mary Young

PHOTOGRAPHER
Daniela Spector

STYLIST
Jessi Frederick

A few months ago I took a selfie (not my first, of course) and wrote a very personal caption, and clicked post on Instagram. I did this without thinking much and didn’t want to over analyze what could go wrong with opening up so much on social media. To be clear, I don’t normally take selfies and post them on social media. I also rarely talk about emotions, or share personal things with just anyone, let alone on social media. What made me decide to do these two things that I normally don’t do was years of listening to my friends list off things they don’t like about themselves, as well as hearing all their insecurities, and the desire to fit in and look attractive. All these years of hearing women talk negatively to themselves, and trust me, I was/am one of them, really got to me. We are all measuring ourselves to unrealistic standards, to standards that are shallow and very narrow-minded. We are all trying to fit into a mold that society has told us we need to be in order to have value, to find success, and to be attractive.

My caption explained how years ago I wouldn’t have taken this photo; that I wouldn’t have posted it online because I wasn’t happy with myself then. Years ago I struggled with loving myself, not only my physical characteristics but also my personality traits. It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t love myself because I never allowed myself to. I never looked at myself in the mirror, in my eyes, and said you are beautiful, you are valued and you are important. I never complimented myself, I rarely spoke positively about myself to friends, so why would I have loved myself?

Over time I started to do these things and feel more love towards myself. But, more importantly, forgiveness to myself for the hate I had earlier on. Taking the time to show yourself love will not only benefit your relationship with yourself but also with those in your life, trust me, I saw it first hand.

This experience was important to me and to what I want others to know. That taking a selfie isn’t being narcissistic, that saying you love your physical traits isn’t being conceited, but rather these are actions to show yourself love. These are important actions that we need to teach ourselves, others, and the next generation to actively do. 

Knowing how vital accepting and loving yourself in your natural shape is, lead me to powering the movement the Self Love Club. This club is not me, it’s not my brand, it’s not buying our garments, but rather you and your attitude. This movement is inclusive, encouraging everyone to open up the dialogue and create a safe space for people to grow in their self love journey. From blog posts, to videos, and to events, we want to empower everyone to love themselves and to give space for that growth.

So next time you look in the mirror, don’t look at what you should improve, but look into your eyes and say you are beautiful and worthy. Tell your friends something you love about yourself, whether it’s your brown eyes or dry sense of humour. Instead of thinking you’re not enough, know that you are more than enough.

JUMPSUIT Citizens of Humanity, JEWELRY Fay Andrada