When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?
Do you see someone who smiles at you, young and free?
Do you see someone beautiful with lovable imperfections?
Or do you see an image conjured up by established notion?
Self-love is widely talked about these days, but a lot of us can forget that self-love can only be achieved by acknowledging things about yourself, gracefully accepting them as parts of the wonderful and intricate being you are. One of these things is the way you look. For ages, we have been conditioned to conform to certain aesthetic standards, and this conditioning has been accentuated by the advent of social media. When I scroll down my news feed, I invariably get to see self-deprecating pictures talking about looks, and pictures comparing people on the same basis, something I find ridiculous.
There’s quite a difference between the desire to stay fit, and that to conform to something that has been arbitrarily accepted as ‘good-looking’. To me, the definition of beauty is a motley collection of personality, enthusiasm, charisma, kindness, confidence and honest laughter. The joy on someone’s face out-shadows absurd social labels like ‘fat’, and ‘too skinny’.
Next time you look at yourself in a mirror, be glad to be who you are. Embrace how you look. It’s one of the easiest and nicest ways of self-love. If there’s something you want to improve about yourself, do it because you want to, and not because you were told to. And whilst you do so, love yourself in every step on the way. There’s a certain beauty in acknowledged imperfection. It sets you free.