The Time I Started Loving Myself

In a world where the use of social media is at an all-time high, so are societal pressures put on women. Dress like this. Look like this. Weigh this much. Act this way. And if you don't, don’t expect the world to value you as much.

Because I don’t fit the image of the ideal woman that is shoved down our throats, I believed it. I started to view myself the same way I thought everyone else did. When you lack self-confidence and don't love yourself the way you deserve to, you don’t have much. You start to get in toxic relationships, as opposed to mutually beneficial ones. You continually eat poorly because you’re already  fat anyways, so why not? You begin to compare yourself to the girls you see as you scroll on Instagram and immediately feel sad because you know you will never measure up.

It was when I stopped comparing myself to others, and started comparing myself to the best version of me that I could be, that I truly started to love the person I am. I realized that I only have one body, so instead of hating it I should love it.

We put so much emphasis on outward beauty that we forget to take stock in our internal beauty. How kind you are to others, your intellect, sense of humor, and other various qualities that far outweigh your need for perfect hair and skin.

Numerous factors contribute to how you view and feel about yourself. The people you surround yourself with, what you put into your body, how often you get out of your room, etc. Evaluating your mental state is one of the first steps to an overall happier lifestyle.

One of the easiest things you can do to be more beautiful is just to smile. Whenever I walk to class, or just anywhere, I’m unconscious of how my face looks, but often times I know it might resemble something of a grimace. Not intentional, but something to consciously work to change moving forward. When you smile at others it's almost impossible not to smile back. Soon your whole campus will be walking around more joyous and happy. It might look creepy, but at least there's positivity in the air!

Self-love is something I greatly encourage everyone to engage in. Take a few nights out of the week to treat yourself to a face mask and relax. You won’t need as much makeup if the surface you are putting it on is clear.

I find that eating better and exercising helps to make you feel more confident. Feeling good on the inside radiates to outward beauty.

However, despite what food you eat, how much makeup you use, and what you wear, you have to learn to accept yourself for who you are. Making positive changes is always a good thing, but fully embracing your most authentic self will lead to a happier life.

Being away at college in a new culturally driven city has helped me to grow tremendously as a person. I truly feel like I have found myself here, and not only that, I grew to love myself here as well.








Imani Taylor