Ella Rock - Ella, Sri Lanka - 2016
Lifestyle, This Thursday's Thought

You Should Go and Love Yourself

Yes, this post is inspired by a Justin Bieber song and no, I’m not sorry.

A few months ago I posted this photo–cheekily captioned “Love your self(ie)”–to Instagram:

Selfie - Brunswick West, Victoria - June 2016

Hello, world!

There is no complicated back story behind why I decided to post a selfie on this particular day. Quite the opposite, in fact: I was up, showered, and working on a pitch from the comforts of my bed. The light was nice, so I grabbed my phone. Click. Easy peasy.

Shortly after sharing, my phone lit up with Instagram and Facebook notifications. Tiny hearts flooded my feed which, in turn, flooded my heart with feelings of, “Aw, shucks!” Insert bashful emoji here.

There are two sides to this coin: some would argue I’m so depraved of self-esteem that I rely on the World Wide Web to validate my looks, my career, or whatever else I’ve chosen to post online. Others would argue I’m simply celebrating a subject: ME.

It’s not an easy business, loving yourself. Sure, I might act tough, but on the inside I’m fretting over every fine line, every grey hair, and every “imperfection.” I worry about everything from the way I look to the words I use to the effects those words have on the people who read/hear them. It’s bloody exhausting, to be honest.

Women are constantly hurried away from individuality, from blanket acceptance of who and how we are, and encouraged towards the “right” way to look, dress, speak, act, and think. Let’s be clear: this is a reality for many men, too. Plenty of women cry during Olympic medal ceremonies, but I dare say none would have received the same press as Team USA swimmer Ryan Held. Don’t believe me? Start typing “Ryan Held” into Google and watch the search auto-complete to “Ryan Held crying.” But why? Does gender determine the value of a display of emotion? I don’t think so.

The easiest way for me to drive home my point is to nod to one of my favourite catch phrases: the seductive realm of “giving zero fucks.” Society will expend tremendous energy and effort trying to rain on your parade, and although it’s true that sometimes the weather will win, it’s also true that you are entitled not to give a single fuck about any of it. You’re too busy doing you, boo.

So, if the light is right and you’re feeling fancy, I say take the selfiePost the selfie. Like the selfie. And love your self(ie).

Much love to all you unicorns.

J.

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