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I Love You, I Told Myself

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

I stand in the mirror, turn from side to side— pinch my belly and my thighs. I poke and pull at my skin reprimanding soft folds at my middle.  I draw in my breath and watch the soft folds disappear. I look at my knees that are a little knobby, and my feet that are flat. Long legs, and short torso, adding up the pieces that make me a whole. I try to look at my body every day. Measuring less, and valuing more. Because the best thing about my body, the one thing that is easily, and sometimes often forgotten, is that it is mine.

The practice of self-love can be hard one. Mostly because we are poked and prodded by standards of beauty that ask us to mold ourselves and our bodies in their image. We become experts in “correction” and “not good enough” and striving for a perfection that does not exist.

Loving ourselves is just like loving anyone or anything else. It is hard work. It means being intentional and specific and honest. It means acceptance and it means imperfection. It also means remembering that loving ourselves includes, but is not limited to, our bodies. Loving our strength, our intellect—the parts of us that make up who we are. Loving the way we march through the world with our arsenal of knowledge and wisdom of ache and bliss, and all that we carry and have learned from our own topsy-turvy journeys.

I try to remember to remind myself that I am smart and that I think my eyes are pretty. I try not to be shamed into picking at myself or shy away from celebrating me. We are allowed to be proud, shout our self-love when our voices feel big enough, and whisper it when our throat feels tight. I have whispered a lot in the past, or not spoken at all. Prying at the pieces of me I was told not to like. It has taken time, but now I try to practice self-love everyday. I pucker my lips and kiss my confidence and strut because I can. And on days when it’s hard, I wrap my stomach up in long arms and both hands, hugging it, loving me whole and full, in the best ways that I can.


Photo Credit: https://41.media.tumblr.com/faf321e7918a168629484d5ab4f6816b/tumblr_nlhqp76B441txygfho1_500.jpg