OPINION: Self love is mental, too


Photo Illustration by Emmie Boese

Snapchat has numerous filters to make someone’s features appear “perfect.” In Emmie Boese’s column, she discusses how self love is not just loving your body but loving your mind, too.

There are multiple campaigns on social media about loving your body no matter your size. More and more companies are making clothes for plus sized women, and more plus sized models are making strides in the fashion world.

Ashley Graham, a plus size model, made history in the fashion industry when she became the first size 16 model to be featured on the cover of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in 2016. In 2020, she was featured on the front cover of Vogue. 

However, self love isn’t just about the pictures you see of women showing that they embrace every roll on their body, stretch marks and their cellulite. Self love is about embracing who they are as a person — inside and out. It is about respecting yourself for what your values are, your weird quirks and your personality. 

While Graham is known for breaking barriers for plus size women’s bodies to be accepted, she also credits her mindset and confidence as part of who she is as a woman. 

Graham posts about confidence often via Instagram – “The question I get asked the most is always, how did you gain confidence?,” Graham said. “And I always have the same answer… it’s a journey and everyone’s is different. Confidence comes from knowing who you are and not allowing others to dictate otherwise.”

It can be even harder to love yourself in a world where people are constantly judging your actions and the things you say. It can often feel like everyone in the world is waiting for you to mess up or say something “wrong.” In the world of social media, people are constantly looking at someone else’s life and pointing out everything they feel is wrong with it. In the midst of all this, it’s even more important to stand up for what you believe in. 

There are several ways according to professionals that you can practice mental self love. For example, if you are spiritual or religious, connect with people who can encourage you in your journey. Being kind to your brain is another way to practice self love. Giving yourself positive affirmations consistently can help when self love seems to be more difficult. 

Talking negatively to yourself can make you focus on  all the negative traits you have instead of the positive ones. Self love with your body is important but everyone needs to have self love mentally. Both must coexist to have self love through and through.