Maybe you heard about a girl called Essena O’Neill. She is 19 years old and has a ‘perfect’ life with thousands of Instagram followers, fame and a beautiful looking body.
I think that our seeking of attention/ getting noticed by the world has something to do with being afraid of loneliness and being accepted. And being afraid of these things makes people go crazy. We try to be attractive for others by photoshopping our pictures or putting the 2 cm of height into the personal profile because we always wanted to be this tall. And there is nothing wrong with that. The main problem is that because of all these thoughts about making yourself attractive for others you forget to love yourself.
Essenas problem was the promise she took out of the fame. She thought that social media would give her something she couldn’t give herself. Love. Being loved by others doesn’t automatically mean that you will be loved by yourself. Essena tried to be her ‘ideal-me’: an Instagram famous girl with the perfect body and the perfect life.
Many people create a ‘perfect-me’ in their minds, how they would look better if they had (for example) lips like Kylie Jenner or a flat stomach like Candice Swanepoel. Triggers for that are Instagram, Tumblr or other platforms wich are showing us how to look ‘perfect’ or how to be the person our society expects us to be. Often young girls and boys question themselves why they don’t look like these famous girls and boys – here is the point where the love to the ideal takes over.
It is easy to compare yourself with others but accepting who you are isn’t.
During 17 years living on this planet I had to learn to accept myself and even though I struggle sometimes (that’s normal btw ’cause I’m 17 and not 79) I wanted to share some ways to love yourself more:
- Marks do not define who you are
This is something every pupil, every parent has to know: Marks do not define who you are. They never did and they never will – Why? Because teachers judge you on merit. And mainly the stuff you have to study is not relevant for your future (or do you think your employer will ask you about the leakage current you got to know in grade 12?). Marks are defining your graduation degrees but not your knowledge and surely not your character.
- Stop being so harsh to yourself
I am a very ambitious person. Everything I want to create has to be (nearly) perfect…and that trait drives me crazy. Sometimes if I am just not happy with it or mess it all up I start to doubt on my skill. When it comes to this point you need to stop! Remind yourself that you are a good person who can do anything – maybe it’s just not the right day. Stop complaining about things you messed up and start to think how you can optimize the next work.
This also refers to body judgement. When did a space between thighs become a beauty standard (You do know that you adore space at this point – air basically)? When did a big butt, big breasts and a flat stomach become a goal for so many girs? (Many fame girls on Instagram have some jobs done) And if you want to change your body than do it! Go for a run, start to workout, eat healthy! But do not sit on the couch complaining about your weight eating pizza (These days are totally normal but shouldn’t be your daily routine). You can change your body in so many ways and make the best out of your body without starving or harming yourself. You are better than that. And I promise you that doing something good to your body makes you happy! What goes around, comes around an that also counts for your self-love and your body. (If you need some motivation to start working out click here)
- Don’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm
Love is something truly beautiful. It should make you happy and make your life better. If that is not the case try to ask yourself if you are in a relationship (or just friends) with this person because you love them or you love your shared memories. Of course you sometimes have to walk trough hard times with your partner but at some point you should know if it makes you more sad than happy. Don’t let others treat you badly just because they know that you won’t mind it and stay by their sides forever. You are better than that and it’s simply not worth it. Do not let other people destroy you – don’t forget to love yourself! If the person would love you as much as you love them they wouldn’t treat you like that.
- Family first
Let’s take a step back – a big step. Actually to your first step. Do you know who was there to support you in case you should fall? Right, a member of your family. And I guess that this behavior didn’t change over the years. We all have these times where we fight with our mom or brother and just want everybody to go away. But also during these fights you know that they would help you if something happened and that they are there for you when you’re sad. Family is a big gift of life and we tend to forget that sometimes because this support is self-evident for us. And all in all they love you for who you are – for your crazy 5 minutes every week and for your loud chant in the shower.The Christmas time is the perfect time to show your family how much you love them and thank them for their help. Decorating the Christmas tree together, brunching on Advent together or taking the rubbish downstairs already makes a small difference. Do not take your family for granted – there won’t be many people who will love you as much as they do.