Model: Jade Faye
Photographer: The Cardinal Vice
Prod: Garcon Paper
Self-love. Something that seems so essential to practice to be able to live happily ever after. And that’s
what we all want, I guess. Living happily. So how do you do it? Do you really need to be able to stand
in front of a mirror and love every inch of yourself, every part of your inside and outside, unconditionally to find true happiness? Will your life be insufficient up until you reach that point? The
point where you find yourself being perfect. I don’t think so. Although I hope I one day will, I might
not ever look at and into myself and be completely satisfied with everything I see and feel. And I don’t think it’s uncommon to feel that way. This doesn’t sound very uplifting, but what I’ve realized is that laying the foundation for self-love isn’t about feeling obliged to find oneself the best person ever. Self-love isn’t useful if it makes you feel inadequate for not loving yourself enough.
In fact, I think that the kind of self-love that will make you the happiest, and make you live your life to the fullest, is simply realizing your worth and the value your life has. And not in the hysterical ‘girl
boss’-way, when reading a quote, written in an ugly font on a baby pink background, saying something along the lines of ‘You’re the queen of fucking everything, you deserve a king!!!!!’ is
supposed to change your life. My take on it is probably a lot less cheery, but also a lot more effective.
You actually don’t have to love everything about yourself to know that you’re going to die one day.
And you don’t have to consider yourself perfect to realize that this one life that you have, the one
which will pass without you even noticing it unless you make sure to, is something you need to make
the most of. Sometimes the stress caused by the feeling that the days are passing way to quick, and the
anxiety caused by the knowledge that we’re all going to die are better for your health than you think.
Because once you feel this, once you reflect upon it, you actually don’t have to be fully in love with
yourself to realize that you’re still worth living a good life. And a good life is a life where as little time
as possible is wasted on self-hatred.
You deserve happily enjoying your favourite meal, at a packed terrace surrounded by other happy
people, on a picnic blanket in a park, at your own dining table or at one of all the other beautiful places on earth, without spending any time feeling guilty about the amount of calories in it or if it will affect your appearance. You deserve sitting across from a person who makes it feel like something is
sparkling inside of you, and be able to turn your head to look at the twilight view without spending
any time being insecure about your side profile. You deserve that the relationships you have with
people satisfy you completely, make you happy and calm, and you deserve to end the relationships in
your life that don’t feel one hundred percent right without spending any time thinking about if you
should just settle for something less than you actually want.
You deserve letting your body be controlled completely by your feelings while dancing to songs you love, in clubs, at house parties, at bars, with friends or alone, without ever spending any time worrying about what people will think. You deserve putting on that piece of clothing you adore, the one that took your breath away while hanging on the rack in the store, without hesitating because you’re wondering if you can really pull it off, or if it really looks good on your body type. You deserve sometimes prioritizing a night out, filled with drinks and people you love being around, over a workout, or something considered ‘productive’ in the eyes of society, without spending any time feeling bad about it. You deserve designing your life based on what brings you real happiness, instead of conforming to bullshit ideals that make you feel insufficient, and letting them control your routines.
There’s not enough time in our lives for any of it to be wasted on negative feelings caused by a society
that’s built to make us feel inadequate. We don’t have enough days, money our resources to invest
them in the capitalist system which is profiting from our insecurities instead of investing it all in things that truly make us feel joy. You just have to realize that time is passing and you deserve to live every second of it unaffected by unreachable ideals. You deserve it. You deserve refusing to accept the
thoughts in your head that are bringing you down. You deserve not letting them overshadow the
beautiful in all of the small moments.
And you don’t need to have completed every lesson in self-love and self-care to end the most harmful
kind of self-hatred - the one that stops you from living your life to your fullest. You don’t need to have
reached the step (that sometimes feels quite unreachable) where you crown yourself ‘queen of fucking
everything’ to understand that your life is short and you deserve living it happily. When you’re old and you’re looking back, it won’t matter if you conformed to the ideals very well or not – what will matter is if you spent your life feeling unhappy because of them or not. So let’s not.