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Looking out for Number One: The Importance of Self-Love

When we typically think about love, we usually focus on caring for someone else. But how much of an effort are you making to take care of yourself? WICB’s Kelli Kyle and Marlee Weirda have more on self-love.

All About that Self-Love

Article by Kelli Kyle, also featured on her blog.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that causes quite a stir among many Americans. Many people argue that the commercialization of the holiday has diminished its appeal, while others live for that romantic hype.

No matter where you stand on this great Valentine’s Day divide, it is important to remember the one person who is long overdue for some care on that day of love. This individual does so much for us – keeps us organized, gives us strength, and gets us through our busy lives. This person has cheered us on at our best and loved us at our worst. So who is this amazing individual lacking in the love department?

It’s you!

Self-love is arguably the most important type of love, and yet it is something that many women and men seem to lack. According to Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist Cris Haltom, the absence of self-love can lead to more severe situations, including:

  • Eating Disorders
  • Depression
  • Damaged social life/relationships
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Loss of self

How did our society arrive at this one set notion of who is beautiful?

Many psychologists and researchers claim that the media is to blame for the prevalent self-negativity. Haltom said that both men and women fall victim to the influence of advertisements (see below), television shows and other platforms when it comes to attaining society’s “perfect body.”

“All of that leads us to objectify ourselves,” she says. “We see ourselves as we think other people are seeing us… Women have been self-objectifying for years, I think men increasingly are getting objectified.”

So in the middle of all this media-generated body negativity what can we do to change the conversation surrounding the ideal body image?

Here are a few things you can do this Valentine’s Day (and every day) to get that positive self-love flowing.

1. Follow Tess Holliday on Instagram!

This model is changing the negative ways in which people think about their bodies and shattering the traditional standards of beauty when it comes to size.

2. Check out Girls Inc. and Ophelia’s Place!

Organizations like these ones are starting the conversation surrounding the ideal standards of beauty, and informing the world that the body is not an object.

3. Shake off the negative energy with some yoga or dance.

Movement is a fantastic way to get inside your body and appreciate all that it does.

4. Visit a local support group!

Everyone has some trouble with their body image. Talking about it will help! Here in Ithaca, the team at the Family & Children’s Services is always available if you need a little boost in your own self-love.

5. Watch a body-positive documentary.

Instead of going to the movies, get your friends together to watch a documentary like “Miss Representation,” and start changing the ways in which you talk about body image.

These are just five small actions that can help build your own sense of self-love this Valentine’s Day. What will you do to practice loving yourself and your body? Tweet @kellickyle or comment below to let me know!



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