Why you should love yourself: a self improvement challenge

    IMAGE CREDIT - Diesel Sweeties

    IMAGE CREDIT - Diesel Sweeties

Love is a powerful thing. We love our parents, we love our significant others, and sometimes (more than anything else) we love our pets. I mean, yes, they poop on the floor and bark if a leaf moves, but at least they don't judge us for watching the entire first season of Grace and Frankie in one day, or taking the last slice of pizza... not that I would know or anything.

My point is, we focus on loving everyone but ourselves, and that, my friends, is a travesty. Especially since it's in our nature not to love ourselves; we're constantly told we're not good enough. The female stereotype of women in the kitchen, the saying "the fairer sex" (which for some reason people still think is okay to use), the portrayal of women as the June Cleaver instead of the Meredith Grey (can we get a stronger female role model?) have all led to lower pay for women, a society that is desensitized to rape, and treats women as second class citizens and sex objects.

I want to be crystal clear, if your desire in life is to be a stay-at-home mother, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, we should really commend those women, for they give so much. However, making women who want more think that barefoot and pregnant is all they can be, is not okay. You can do whatever you want because you're fucking fantastic. I mean really, If you stop to think about it, the amount of things that have to happen, all at the right time, for you to even be born, is actually insane.

If you think you have nothing to be proud in life, revel in the glory of being the fastest sperm or the one who found a short-cut to the Oves (should I trademark that? I totally should.) YOU. GO. GIRL. However, that's not your only accomplishment, I'm sure of it. Maybe you're an intellectual or an artist, possibly a writer or a math whizz. That's the problem, we focus too much on the "or" and not enough on the "and". We can be smart OR beautiful, we can have a successful career OR a successful relationship, we can be intellectual OR creative. But God forbid that we want to be smart, beautiful, creative, business savvy women with fulfilling personal relationships.

"Shame on you, missy!" Society said, wagging its finger.

You know that's ridiculous, right? What's even worse is the fact that many women, myself included (I'm not a superhero, y'all, I just play one on TV), listen to society. I can't tell you the amount of times I've been told I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough, my lips are too thin, I'm too pale, I have too many freckles, my smile is crooked, I need a different hair color, I need more makeup, I wear too much makeup, I should do my hair differently, I should dress differently, I'm too pretty to "ruin" my skin with tattoos, I'll never get a job with my nose ring. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

I mean damn, I don't do the things I do to impress other people, and neither should you. Yes, I have blue hair, tattoos, and piercings, does that make me a delinquent? I don't care if you think I wear too much eyeliner or that I shouldn't wear pyjamas in public because they're not "technically" clothes... okay, I was joking about that last one, but if I wanted to wear a onesie in public, is that really the end of the world? Does that ruin your day? Does that change the fact that ISIS is slowly taking over the middle east or that the race relations in the US are the worst they've been in years? Did my onesie cause the drought in California? Oh wait... excuse me for being a witty, politically informed woman, let me gracefully saunter back over to the box you put me in.

The saying is true, if you don't love yourself, nobody else is going to love you. Now, that's not to say that your self-improvement should be contingent on the approval of others, because it shouldn't. No matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, or if you're a pineapple-dwelling sponge, you should love yourself. My challenge to you this week is to write down something you love about yourself everyday. I don't care if you do it in your iPhone, on a sticky note you put on the bathroom mirror, or on the back of your hand, because you take priority over anything else in life, and you should treat it as such. Neglecting yourself is no better than neglecting your physical health. A happy mind is a healthy heart.