The need for self-love has grown over the years and the advocacy that has accompanied it is remarkable. People are overcoming their inner battles everyday, to be the best version of them-selves. Loving yourself is the first step to being confident in any and everything you do. I wake up, take a shower, and I look at myself. I talk to myself, and reassure that I am indeed perfect in my own way. As a black woman, the media was never aimed at portraying our beauty in its true self. Only recently, you see diversity in television ads and campaigns. When I was growing up, there were little to no black people in commercials, and now they spearhead them. I am inclined to embrace, but at the same time, I can see when something is being forced for revenue. I can tell when an advertisement is for the sake of Uncle Tom.
All of the September issues of major magazines for both black and women of all races has had black elegance in every spread. It's beautiful, needed, and about time. Beyonce took over Vogue magazine, and addressed issues that black people are all privy to, which is the lack of black people incorporated in the fashion industry. Lindsay Peoples Wagner gave the entire fashion industry a read on this subject as well, and that piece alone brought me so much joy, because every statement by every professional was true and it stuck with me. There is a bigger picture than what has already been addressed.
Let's think about all of the little girls who love to cut photos of people out of magazines and hang them on their walls. (I'm honestly not sure if kids even do this anymore, because this is a very different time that we are living in.) Think about when you used to do this, who was on your wall? Who were you idolizing? When I was in middle school, or possibly younger than that, I had a paper-made mural of black women that I looked up to. Whether it was from their music, or their roles in movies, I adored black success. Seeing these artists/creatives boosted my confidence, because they exuded power and strength. My parents had tons of magazines that I ruined, because I admired black people so strongly; whether they made the cover or not. Print media is not dead, because every month we gag at who's on the cover, and the interviews are more and more personable and honest; I still buy copies, and actually have a collection of some I've saved over the years. Issa Rae, Solange, Amandla, are of many women who are embracing themselves and want others to follow suit.
Circling back to self-love, since there are so many ways for people to express themselves, you are seeing women embrace every aspect of their bodies as well as their inner-beings. Campaigns have women of every color, hair texture, and body shape known to man and it's gorgeous. No matter how many small victories are taken, there will always be people who oppose due to ignorance and self-hate. Just recently, I had an interaction with an ignorant white man on Savage Fenty's Instagram page, because he body-shamed a woman who was posted on their platform. The queen was Jarae L.Holieway, also known as @Blacmagic_woman, and her shot was FIERCE. To me she slayed, is beautiful, and over 10 thousand other people agreed and to this man she was disgusting and not appealing. He actually shamed her and said that I should be on the site because I'm a solid 8 in his book, as if his miniscule opnion mattered. His comments were offending and sad, and had little effect on me, but do you see the type of society we live in? The downplaying of women because they are comfortable with the skin they are in; this is why self-love is needed so desperately. Social media can poison your mind in the blink of an eye, and make you lose sight of your worth. There are people who dig into social media, and people who aren't phased. Which one are you?
I am happy that there are generations of confident women who love to speak up. We all get discouraged, and we all have our days, but once you truly love yourself, those days pass and you wake up more confident than before. I hate seeing viral posts of younger girls being bullied because of a feature that they have and they are struggling to learn how to embrace it. We are living in very cruel times, and I cannot stress the importance of teaching people/kids the beauty of loving them-selves.
Everyone is perfect in their own way; you just have to believe it. Yes there are things that I'd like to improve within myself, but it never discourages or depresses me. As a black woman, you have to remain confident, no matter what and truly understand your worth as this comes into play in all aspects of life. You're Perfect, never forget that.