Self-love is something too many people struggle with these days. It seems like an ideal, just out of reach, reserved only for those with what we perceive as reason to love themselves. The thing is, love doesn’t have to have a reason, but I’ll give you one anyway. Unless you are part of a set of conjoined twins, you are the only person you have to be around every second of every day for as long as you live. Would you want to spend that much time with anyone you didn’t love?
Self-love is more than just recognizing beauty, but beauty certainly is a complicated part of it. So below you will find my advice for coming to realize just how drop-dead gorgeous you really are.
1. Wear what you like.
I'd love to say “wear what makes you comfortable,” but what I'm most comfortable in is my duvet, and somehow, I don't think that's an appropriate outfit for the public eye. But you should wear what you like. If you can't wear your bed sheets, and you're going to have to suffer something less than comfortable, so it might as well be appealing to you. Wearing what other people want you to wear is not a recipe for self-confidence, so wear what you want and let your beauty shine.
2. Express yourself!
Similar to wearing what you want, expressing yourself is an integral part of beauty. If you hide behind a mask or an outfit you don't even like, no one--yourself included--will be able to see what's beautiful about you. Push away all instincts you have to fly under the radar and douse yourself in glitter or all-black clothing or anything else that shows who you are.
3. Remember that the inside is important, too.
So often, we forget that beauty isn’t just what’s on the outside. We all want to be perceived as beautiful on the outside, but we forget that all the physical beauty in the world can’t make up for being mean or rude. Be kind, compassionate, caring, and more and you’ll notice that more people think you’re beautiful, your physical appearance aside.
4. Remind yourself that you are beautiful.
I just read about someone who resolved to make a positive comment about her appearance every time she looked in the mirror and instantly thought something negative about herself. I’ve also heard that looking at yourself for five minutes a day in a full-length mirror can make it clearer to you what is beautiful about you. (That one works out for me, because I spend a lot more time than that looking in the mirror.) The point is, your beauty means nothing if you don’t feel beautiful. You don’t need validation from others who think you’re beautiful. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a compliment now and then, but what really matters is that you feel beautiful. Find a way to remind yourself all the time that you are and you’ll find yourself feeling yourself more and more every day.
5. Surround yourself with people who appreciate your beauty--all of it.
We’re always seeing the trope--a mom or grandmother who constantly picks at the appearance of her children, daughters especially, leading gorgeous women to feel like they’re never good enough. Well, maybe it’s not your mom or grandma, but if there’s someone in your life that makes you feel ugly, inside or out, say goodbye and find someone who doesn’t have the urge to whittle away at your self-esteem.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Growing up, whenever I got down on myself for the things about me that I thought were not beautiful, my parents would always remind me that all different kinds of people find beauty in all different kinds of things. Beauty is not one set standard, no matter how much the media makes it seem that way. Sure, I’d like to have the body of a Kardashian, but that’s just not going to happen for me. Continuing to compare ourselves to people we perceive to be more beautiful is only going to serve to make us feel worse and worse about the way we look, when, in reality, beauty is a million different things, and we’ve all got it.
7. Try not to worry about it.
I know that this is easier said than done--trust me, I know. But stressing about beauty isn’t going to make it magically appear. Luckily, you don’t need it to appear, because you’re already there. We’re all beautiful, and that’s a beautiful thing.