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Love Written in Sunscreen on Woman's Back

Photo by Daniel Dash/

Self-love and self-care are terms that are becoming increasingly prominent in pop culture. Which would be a great thing if it weren’t for the adverse part of popular culture that normalizes self-deprecation. As women, highlighting our own shortcomings and picking apart our flaws is almost considered a sport. Think about the time your one friend called herself fat and you insisted that she wasn’t, but your thighs were colossal, to which she countered with a complaint about her shoulders and so the awful game of self-loathing tennis goes on. Pinging and ponging until you’re both left feeling worse about yourselves. That, is NOT self-love.

Contrary to popular belief, self-love doesn’t mean you have to be head over heels in love with yourself either. Self-love and self-obsession are two vastly different experiences, and self-love is the one we’re preaching. Self-love is the practice of looking out for yourself, caring for your own wellbeing and general happiness. Self-love doesn’t mean thinking you’re 100% flawless, instead, it’s about accepting your flaws and embracing your right to be happy, loved and respected despite their existence.

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding self-love is that in order to practice it, you can’t be insecure. Insecurity and self-doubt are inescapable parts of being human! Therefore, you can 100% still practice self-love and hold onto some inner doubt at the same time. One way to practice self-love in spite of self-doubt is to not let the doubts or reservations keep you from the things that make you happy. Love to swim? Don’t let your insecurities about being in a bikini keep you from that. Excited to grab a glass of wine with an old girlfriend you haven’t seen in years? Don’t let your uncertain job situation damper your excitement over catching up.

The rule of thumb when it comes to self-love, is to follow the path that leads to your happiness. The simple acts of taking care of yourself, from being consistent with your skincare routine to booking your annual doctor’s visits are all acts of self-love that illustrate your ability to prioritize your health, well-being, and ultimately your happiness. And let’s face it, we can all stand to do a little bit more of that. What are some of the ways your practice self-love?

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