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I Did a Self Love Inspired Photoshoot and Here’s What Happened

“Self love” is something we hear thrown around a lot these days; People advocating for it, telling you to “love yourself first,” there’s even an entire month dedicated to it. But what does it all mean? Well, for me personally, I’ve learned self love to be an inner confidence of some sort, it’s understanding your flaws, and accepting them. It’s growing to love your imperfections, and embrace them. It’s realizing your body may not be where you want it to be, but to love it anyway. It’s looking at your squishy tummy and thinking, “wow, my belly is crazy, all this fluff protects my internal organs, it keeps me alive, I can even grow a mini person inside of me, like WOAH how crazy is that.” It’s finding something about yourself that you don’t want to change.

For myself, it’s been a long journey coming to self acceptance, and truth be told, I’m not even sure I’m fully there yet. Throughout high school and even into my first couple years of college, I struggled with body image issues, and personal insecurities. I was teased for being too skinny, for my nose not being cute as a button, I was taught to see the flaws I didn’t even know I had.

It’s no secret we all have our fair share of insecurities, I mean how could we not? We all grow looking up to the same airbrushed women on billboards, the women on magazine covers, with their clear skin, toned stomachs, and perfect smiles. It becomes a vicious cycle of self comparison: “How come I don’t have her lips? How is her skin so perfect? Why is mine not?”

We become our own worst critics. We can sit and look at a good photo of ourselves, stare at it, critique it until we’ve picked it apart to the point that we don’t even like it anymore.

So I decided to do a little self experiment, have a self love inspired photoshoot, with hopes of capturing a happy me, all insecurities and flaws aside. And I figured, what better way to put a smile on my face than treating myself to a creamy vanilla cone.

                    

 

                                                                                                          Images via [Instagram]

Ordinarily, these photos wouldn’t have made the cut, I would’ve judged them into oblivion, but today I chose not to. I chose to see the cute dimple on my cheek instead of my imperfect stomach, I chose to saturate the photos with color rather than negativity.

I’ve learned that no matter how closely I follow my skin care regimen, my skin may never be perfect, and even if I work out rigorously, my body still may never look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and that’s okay. Because, even those women, the women we all admire, the women we look to as the literal definition of beauty, have their flaws, and insecurities. Self love isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s a process, it’s reminding yourself daily, you are beautiful and you are worthy. So, before you grab a magnifying mirror and start complaining about the size of your pores, instead find five things you like about yourself, whether it be you ~effortless~ beach waves, or your laugh, acknowledge and appreciate the unique qualities, that make you, you.

 

Takara is a third year student at UCSB, she is a Communication major, hoping to pursue a career in PR, advertising, or journalism. She is a fashion, beauty and skin care fanatic. Youtube make up tutorials and Netlflix are her guilty pleasures. You can find her on Instagram: @takarahepburn
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