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Repeat after me: loving yourself is not being self-consumed, or selfish in any way. 

There’s this huge misconception that in order to love yourself, you have to be this vain, egotistical person that shells out tons of cash on lavish face masks, shiny hair extensions, and an entirely new name brand wardrobe. This is all wrong. Self-love is necessary. And it doesn’t always come in the form of makeovers and spending hours at the gym and concentrating on loving your outward appearance even though that’s part of making peace with you who you are. Self-love can simply be removing yourself from a toxic situation, surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to be the very best individual that you are capable of being, and respecting yourself enough to be aware of when you are getting treated how you deserve and alternately, when you’re not (and then doing something to fix that). 

Self-love looks different for every single person. For some people, it’s eating a tub of ice cream on a Friday night and hanging out in pajamas with friends, playing board games. For others, it’s getting all dressed up and going out, and dancing the night away. But occasionally, it’s not as glamorous. Loving yourself is easy on your best day, but you also have to love yourself on your worst day. This can be a tricky lesson to learn, but you have to accept yourself as someone that is growing, and show yourself lots of love on the way to becoming the person you’re going to be. 

When our society thinks of ‘self-love,’ there’s still this expectation that it’s something materialistic to better yourself, and while this is sometimes the case, it’s not always. Self-love begins with the words that you say to yourself, the individuals you surround yourself with, how you treat your body (it’s the only one you get!), and how your nurture your soul, most importantly. 

There’s nothing selfish about loving yourself. If you don’t, everyone else will meet a lesser version of you. Because if you don’t believe you’re worthy of being yourself and living up to your full potential, the people around you are meeting a rip-off version of you. Demand more from yourself than only being half content with the woman you see when you look in the mirror, and you will gain the entire world. Promise. 

Madison is a senior journalism student at Marist College with an affinity for all things writing, iced coffee, and Great Gatsby related. She is currently a Lifestyles & Her Future writer for Her Campus.
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