It Takes Others To Help Undo the Wounds “Self Love” Can’t Heal

"You can't pour from an empty pot."

"What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?"

"You can't love others without truly loving yourself first."

What's the common theme of these popular adages? Self love.

As someone who painfully struggled for years with body image insecurities and feelings of inadequacy, I really understand why many have turned to the idea of self-love as a solution to body-image issues.

But I'm also concerned because I am increasingly seeing "self love" become a Band-Aid answer to the complex and multi-layered wound of body-image issues.

I run Free To Be Talks, a non-profit that promotes positive body image through research-based curriculum to boys and girls across North America. During our Free To Be program which helps kids to develop a positive body image, I have increasingly come across students creating new "self-love" Instagram accounts or making "self-love" inspo-quotes or stickers to pass out to others as part of a project they create on how to nurture a positive body image in others.

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Why Acknowledging Your Jealousy is the Key to Overcoming it

Let’s be brutally honest, do you ever feel like you are failing at not comparing yourself to others?

We have all had those thoughts and feelings as we open our social feed and scroll through Instagram, “Wow, she has so many new followers since yesterday [jealous feeling rears her head], but I should happy for her [uncomfortable jealous feelings are pushed down but continue to simmer].”

We continue to peruse and observe, “I can’t believe she is off in England for work again [feelings of longing show up], I wish my work took me to cool places too [now disappointment and jealous are simmering beneath the surface].”

And then we check our latest post, “How come only five people liked my last picture? [Disappointment creeps in], was it not as interesting as the other ones I posted?”

We scroll for 30 more seconds and then close the app. Even though we know that we should not compare our lives to social media, we have trouble brushing off those uncomfortable feelings, and we are feeling slightly less happy and satisfied with ourselves post Insta-scroll.

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Jennifer Aniston's Blog Only Addresses The Tip Of The Iceberg

Do I develop a positive body image by actualizing the adage "love your body more," or should I resort to plastic surgery? 

Jennifer Aniston's thoughtfully penned essay on the objectification of women can be added to the growing list of important body conversations occurring; from London's mayor banning "body shaming ads," to Norwegian cities banning Photoshopped model ads, to Caitlyn Jenner and Demi Lovato describing how they overcame body image insecurities, to being #BodyPositive, body image is on our collective mind as a society. 

And while the focus on loosening the ironclad corset and giving breathing room for diverse bodies to be loved and appreciated is a big step in the right direction, something is still fundamentally missing in our well-intentioned conquest to develop a positive body image.

We are still missing the mark because why was more than $13.5 billion dollars(the highest grossing year to date) spent on cosmetic surgery for men and women in 2015?

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