New Year Challenge: Self-Love

New Year Challenge: Self-Love

Can you love property love yourself?

There is loving yourself, and giving yourself love. In a society today that preaches self-care, and promotes certain figures and lifestyles - the difference is not so clear anymore between good self-love and selfish self-love. If everyone can see the difference this year, then maybe the world can be a more pacifying place. Giving yourself love, is the best antidote to a world scripted with perfection imperfections. Giving yourself love, is being able to see that we are evolving, but not as much and as fast as we could be; our sermons on self-care, peace, and charity are all but drowned in the negativity founding some of the organizations promoting them.

An analysis of the body positivity movement will give a bit more clarification on what I mean. Below, you will find two pictures of various women. The first is from a Dove advertisement and the second from a Victoria's Secret one.

There are many attacks that can be made by both pictures. Such as, where are the representations of Asians, women in hijabs, slimmer models in the Dove campaign? Where are the actual 'nude' colors, bigger models, and other races in the Victoria's Secret? But I digress. They are trying to give love to other bodies, and rather than receive attacks, should get criticisms. By empowering the more malicious comments out there against either of these campaigns, we are giving hate. We are using hate and feeding the endless cycle of anger and subsequently violence.

When we give love to ourselves, we feel secure for who or what we are. We understand that our self-worth is not determined by the medals we receive nor on the number of similarities we can identify with the models on our phones or in these advertisements. When we give love to ourselves, we educate and help to broaden other close-minded people out there. And if they seem unyielding, we give love to ourselves by avoiding that person's malice.

When we give love to ourselves, we see our respective self-worth, and the self-worth of others. We see each other as equals because no one is more worthy than the other. We are not more worthy than others, we do not have the right to hurt others because we deem them lesser than us. Giving love to yourself is the same as giving love to others.

And at the end of the day, if the only person in the world you can save from hate is yourself, then that is fine. Let's just end of the cycle.

In the word's of r.h. Sin, the one who inspired this article in his collection of poems, whiskey words & a shovel:

"...sometimes your soulmate

is yourself

and everything

you've been searching for

can be found

deep within your soul"

So who are we to hurt others, when we ourselves are still hurting? Still needing that love and healing only we can give ourselves? Why hurt when you can heal?

Cover Image Credit: Giuseppe Milo

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Internet outraged at Delhi Aunty for Sl*t Shaming

Public outrage - justified or an overreaction?


When the topic of sexual violence against women arises, women are often held responsible - because of how they dress, or how they behave, or even if they have a voice. A recent incident in Delhi showed that the mindset of people has not changed. In a video posted by Shivani Gupta, a middle-aged woman is seen defending her claim, "Women wearing short dresses deserve to be raped."

This backward mentality surrounding rape and rape culture is horrifying to see. The middle-aged woman first shamed them for wearing short clothes and when she was confronted, she told them "they deserved to get raped." She made things worse when she told other men in the restaurant to rape such women who wear short clothes.

Shivani and her friends later confronted this woman while taking the video. They wanted a public apology for her statement and followed her around. The older woman stood by her statement. Fair enough. They felt threatened by her statements and wanted an apology for her actions. The older lady, however, was brazen about her ideologies and refused to apologize. In fact, she threatened to call the cops for harassment.

The woman who made the regressive statements. Shivani Gupta

While the anger and outrage by the women who uploaded this video are justified, several questions are being raised on whether the older woman was later harassed for her statements. Public shaming is not the way to solve this issue.

"We cannot dismantle a culture of shaming by participating in it." - Rega Jha.

Now, I believe that nobody must engage in victim shaming. Nobody has the right to police the outfit one wishes to wear. It is astonishing to believe that even in the 21st century, people still believe that an outfit determines the morality and character of a person. That older woman was wrong to sl*t-shame the girls for wearing what they want. That being said, even though what that woman did was horrible, public shaming will not work. It will not change the mindset behind these ideologies. What that older woman did was akin to bullying. Publicly shaming her, stalking her facebook account or posting comments or by coercing her, you are also behaving in the same manner of bullying.

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