They say respect is not given, it's earned. And the same goes for respecting yourself. Way too often we're so concerned with others and how they view us that we forget the most important person of all: ourselves. Respecting yourself and your value is so incredibly important and too many people forget to do that. The truth is if you don't respect yourself, who will?

In the age of social media, there is constant pressure for us to keep up with this standard that isn't always realistic. It leads us to sacrifice ourselves to make ourselves cool. We're all constantly chasing that perfect Instagram pic, tons of likes, for that guy you've been crushing on to see your post. But in the process of all this, we are failing to respect ourselves, our genuine and authentic selves.

When you look through social media, you see girls editing their face and their bodies just to make themselves fit society's standard of beautiful and sexy. You see girls who don't feel good enough about themselves that they feel they have to create a fake perception to be accepted and to get affection. You see girls parading their bodies around because they feel like the only way to get a boy to like them is to show skin.

And that's not to say that doing this means you don't respect yourself. Because if you want to show off your body, then go do it, girl! But in some cases, we feel like we have to and we shouldn't. How we present ourselves should be a choice, not feel like we have to look a particular way to be accepted.

If wearing a bikini makes you feel sexy, do it. If putting a filter makes you say, "damn, I look good," do it. But remember do it while respecting yourself. Don't do it because you want approval. When you exploit yourself and change who you are for someone else, you're depreciating you've own self-worth and value. And that's something you should never do.

I'm sure you've heard the saying "don't put a bumper sticker on a Bentley." Well, you are a Bentley, and you deserve to be shown off for the beautiful person you are, inside and out. You don't need anything extra for people to know your worth and respect you. When you embrace yourself for who you are, you'll respect the person you are.

We all can relate to feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence. But when those thoughts creep in, when they find their way to tear you down and make you feel like you have to be someone you're not or do something you might not be comfortable with, remember that you are worth so much more. When you love yourself, you respect yourself.

When I go to sleep at night, I was to feel proud of the person I am, be proud of what I've done. There's so much outside pressure on us, with school, with friends, with relationships. It hard to remember to take care of yourself. But if you won't respect yourself, how can you expect others to?

Give yourself the dignity you deserve, because you do deserve. You deserve to love yourself, your whole self, for exactly who you are.