Learning how to love yourself can be one the most important things that you can do. We are taught about loving others and relying on external sources for love, comfort, security and motivation. But we are not taught that solely relying on others is a dangerous thing. What happens when the people you relied on are not there? Or when they decide to use this power against you? It is a very dangerous thing to give others so much power over your life. A person with this kind of power can make you or break you. One word from them can destroy your confidence. They can easily make you believe that you are not worthy of love from others. That you deserve to be mistreated. That you don’t know what is good for you. This is why you need to learn how to love yourself. It is one of the best ways of gaining confidence and knowing your self-worth and this will reflect in all areas of your life.
Let’s put it this way; because you are confident in who you are and know your self-worth, you will find yourself not worrying about what others think so you will put your own happiness first and live unapologetically. You will recognize that you need to create your own happiness, be the source of your strength and be your own motivator. You will not be afraid of relying on yourself, making your own decisions, taking risks or speaking up and setting boundaries when you feel disrespected. By loving yourself, you are setting a standard for how others will treat you. You will take back that power from them and finally live freely without others having control over how you live your life.
Body image can be defined as a person’s perception about their appearance and the feelings that result from that perception. It is an issue that all of us have dealt with. It is different for everyone. Tall people want to be short, short people want to be tall, skinny people want to be fat while the fat people want to be skinny. We want what we don’t have. That’s why we look at others and compare ourselves to them thinking that what they have is better. But have you ever thought that are doing the same thing when they look at you?
We need to start accepting our bodies and stop being our own biggest critics. Stop looking down on yourself and holding yourself back. Don’t say that you will like your body after you lose weight because if you don’t love yourself before you lose weight, you definitely will not not love yourself after. It all starts now. Recognize the fact that no one is perfect. Everyone is dealing with their own body image issues. You are beautiful. Just the way you are. So wear those heels, apply that shade of lipstick that you are afraid of, get that hairstyle and rock that dress. You will find that most of our body image issues can be solved with just a little confidence.
Let us stop tiptoeing around the issue. Yes, this is a very taboo issue. However, whether we like it or not it is something that has to be addressed. One of the things that children have to be taught about is consent. We live in a world where men see sex as their right and women see it as a responsibility. This is why when a woman is raped by her own husband, the community and police say that they cannot interfere with domestic issues. We have also seen it on the news. Young girls being raped by strangers, neighbours, relatives even their own siblings and parents. But some of these girls are forced to marry their rapists so as to cover the shame while others are blamed for their assault. Questions such as “What did you expect dressing like that…walking in that area…being alone with him?” always come up. It’s as if you should carry the blame for another person’s choices.
We should stop normalizing women and girls being assaulted and normalize holding those responsible accountable for their actions. We should teach survivors of assault that they do not bear the burden of protecting their assaulters. What happened to them is not their fault. This is why children need to be taught about consent. So that it can be ingrained in them from their youth. No one has a right to sleep with you. It is your choice. No means no.