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If You’ll Excuse me, I’m Going to Love Myself

By Faith Ponti

“If you like the way you look that much, then you should go and love yourself.” Alright, JB, stop making it sound so wrong of us to think we’re beautiful. I do like the way I look! I am hot! I am sexy! Not only that– in general, as a human, I rock. I’m smart, successful, funny, kind, a good friend, and a great kisser. And I deserve to love myself.

You know what else I deserve? I deserve to stop glancing at my phone every 20 seconds to see if my crush texted or Snapchatted me. I deserve to stop looking through his Facebook to check for status updates that could give me a hint of whether or not he has feelings for me. I deserve to stop spending an hour looking for an outfit that  he might see me in during the five seconds we pass each other on our way to class.

I deserve to stop wondering whether or not I’m skinny enough to be loved, or whether or not my boobs are the right size, or whether my butt looks good in my jeans. I deserve to stop believing that a flat tummy will make me more loveable. I deserve to stop caking layers upon layers of makeup onto my face, not because I think it’s fun, but because I don’t believe that someone can love me as I am– zits, bags under my eyes, and short eyelashes included. I deserve to stop thinking that I will not be loved until I am more attractive. I deserve to stop hating myself and believing that I’m not good enough for a relationship.

See a common thread? I deserve to STOP.

This Valentine’s Day, the best thing I can do is to give myself all the love I deserve. Imagine if we could take all the energy we spend on altering ourselves for other people’s sake, and funnel it into having the most romantic, self-focused Valentine’s Day ever. If we looked in the mirror that morning and told ourselves how absolutely stunning we are, inside and out, belly or no belly, cellulite or no cellulite. If we took ourselves to our favorite restaurant, and ordered one (or seven) of our favorite desserts, and then came home to something that we absolutely loved. Whether that’s a hot bubble bath surrounded by candlelight or a couch to ourselves to binge watch the rest of Narcos, I’m happy.

What if, this Valentine’s Day, we could recognize that we are not incomplete. We are not halves of people waiting to find our missing piece. We are not validated by the presence of a significant other.

We are whole. We are complete in our own right. Sure, we want to be loved– everyone does. But that love doesn’t need to come from your crush who lives in Jenkins or the one who is dating your best friend. First, foremost, and most importantly– it needs to come from YOURSELF.

We need to be the ones to tell ourselves how absolutely incredible and beautiful we are first, or we won’t believe it when someone else tells us later. We need to pamper and compliment and fully accept ourselves. We need to take ourselves out on hot dates. What we need, desperately, is to love ourselves.

So back off, Justin Bieber. Let us love ourselves, let us be lovable, and let us have our best Valentine’s Day yet.

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