What Does It Mean to 'Love Yourself'?

June 5, 2018

 

Nowadays, one can see 'love yourself' commercials and campaigns everywhere. On billboards, magazines, social media and everywhere else. They always say the same thing: 'ignore what everybody else says about you, you're beautiful no matter what you look like. Stay confident and fight for yourself.' But is that really true?... No. The truth is, there will always be haters and what one looks like may never be associated with what society defines as 'beauty'. That doesn't matter though, does it? The important part of 'loving yourself,' is that you as a person are comfortable with your own body. Not to impress other people or to stop getting hateful comments or get as many followers as possible on Instagram, but to be able to look in the mirror every morning and say - "I am who I am, and I'm proud of it." You don't have to be attractive to be beautiful or confident, you can just be happy with yourself. That's when body shape comes in.

 

All these campaigns support a person's body shape, no matter what it's like. However, that's incorrect and not how you should be loving yourself. Ignoring the haters is correct, ignoring people telling you to change your body is correct, but if you're unhealthy, you're unhealthy. That's just how it is. If you're over or underweight and you've gone to the doctor and you have absolutely no problems whatsoever regarding your health, that's completely fine. You can stay the way you are, be confident, and not change your body for anyone. But if you're not healthy, you should change your lifestyle to improve your health, not improve your body shape. Truly loving yourself and your body, is being willing to make the decision on your own, and work towards bringing yourself out of your unhealthiness. The essential part is that you're making this decision on your own, not because someone else told you so (whether it's family or friends). It has to be you.

 

The Hada Labo's 「Love Yourself, Love Your Skin」 commercial is a great example of what self love is. It's continuously being confident in how you look and not changing it for the sake of someone else. Sometimes you might think it's impossible for someone to like you because you're too skinny, fat, tall or short, but that isn't true. In this commercial, the protagonist is a slightly stout high school girl who has a crush on her childhood friend, who is seen as handsome and popular. Nevertheless, she does have friends, she isn't a loner like many would think. She's portrayed as a cheerful and sociable girl. At the beginning, they're as close as childhood friends could be, but they slowly drift apart as she seems to think that her friend likes someone else; a skinnier girl. But in the end she never changes her body for the sake of the boy. She didn't aim to please her friend, she continued being herself. The perspective then changed to the boy's, and he realises he likes her as well. The message of this commercial is that you don't need to change yourself for the sake of someone else, there will always be someone out there who will accept, befriend and love you.

 

Love and take care of yourself, and never change for someone else.

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