I think there’s been quite a bit of confusion regarding self-esteem (and women’s self-esteem in particular). As someone working to empower both herself and others, it can be challenging to balance love for your physical self and love for your inner-self. As women in this society we are taught from an early age to be pretty little things- we are told we are by nature something of great physical beauty, pretty aesthetic, and we must forever strive to be youthful and beautiful. On the other hand, I’ve noticed a decent portion of Third Wave Feminists insisting that any focus- no matter how small or rare- dedicated to admiring and accepting one’s appearance is purely selfish vanity and something to be avoided entirely. That we as women have so long faced the beauty standards imposed upon us, demanding we fit the attractive ideal of our societies; that we should be ashamed of ourselves for even regarding ourselves as “pretty” because being “pretty” is such a shallow concept.
As someone trying hard every day to love herself and teach others to love themselves, it’s hard for me to strike the perfect balance between these two conflicting theories. I don’t take what I do lightly. How dare I insinuate that you are beloved partially because you’re conventionally attractive? But I believe it’s just as important to question how I dare demand you not find your physique beautiful.
Newsflash~ It is 100% okay and acceptable and even GOOD to like how you look.
Let me repeat that.
IT IS GOOD AND OKAY TO THINK THAT YOU ARE ATTRACTIVE ON THE OUTSIDE. IT IS OKAY TO BELIEVE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND GORGEOUS AND ROCKING THAT NICE ASS.
There is nothing wrong with loving your physical self. You are not vain, or shallow, or doing a disservice to women everywhere- you are being a badass bitch full of love, compassion, and confidence. Fuck anyone who says otherwise.
And while we’re speaking of screwing anyone trying to restrict you, You are NOT your body.
You are not limited to outer-beauty. You are a tangle of beautiful characteristics and inner-qualities and your beauty cannot and will not ever be measured by your weight, shape, height, skin tone, the color of your eyes, the waves/kink/straightness of your hair! You are not just a pretty thing.
You are NOT just a pretty thing.
You are so, so much more than that.
So while loving your appearance is very vital to your self-love journey, remember that you are also a stunning creature on the inside. Your every pore seeps beauty. However, you are also beautiful because of the way you snort when you laugh, and that quirky thing you do with your hands while speaking, and the love and empathy you show for other beings.
Your beauty is unlimited. So should your self-love be.