As Trends Come and Go, Self Love Shouldn’t

Beauty standards for men and women change so rapidly that it’s hard to love yourself. Your value shouldn’t be placed in the fact that you can keep up with trends.

by Ali Madden, Instagram Editor

I remember the first time I thought I wasn’t beautiful. I was reading “The Care And Keeping Of You”, you know that book for girls by American Girl Doll. But anyway, there was a page about body image, saying how it’s easy to feel insecure about your body in this day and age. After reading that, my whole world view shifted. Before, I wasn’t aware that there was a standard to live up to. Reading that didn’t empower me, but it made me realize the media around me. I was an impressionable 10 year old, what was I to do. 

I think about that moment in my life a lot and how little I’ve changed in the way I consume media. I find myself body checking in the mirror and picking out every little detail that I wish I could change, the same way I did when I was 10. In fact, I’ve done it so much that I don’t think I can love myself until I fix those insecurities. I think that we as a society place so much value on beauty and trends that we lose our sense of self trying to obtain these unrealistic standards. 

It’s so difficult to love yourself in this modern world. Think about it, trends come and go and beauty standards shift. For instance, just in October there was the “bed sheet ghost photoshoot” trend. I remember how quickly it blew up, but then cut to December and people are already making fun of it calling it “basic” or “cringe”. It’s exhausting to keep up with

Celebrities and social media influencers always push this idea of “self love.” However, what’s frustrating is that we look at them and we think “well of course it’s easy to love yourself when you’re beautiful,” not to mention these influencers and celebrities don’t tell us how to love ourselves. 

Often influencers market self love by maybe doing an at home spa or eating healthy or journaling. However, these are just self care remedies, not self love — but I don’t think it works for everyone. Of course it’s important to care for yourself, but to love yourself is something so easily said but not elaborated on. Self love I don’t think is something that can be necessarily defined for one person because each person is so different from the next. One thing that I know for sure is that self love doesn’t come from anybody else except you.

Here’s the thing, learning to love yourself is not as easy as others make it seem. In fact, loving yourself can be one of the hardest things to do. Yes, beauty standards are constantly changing and it’s frustrating, but what if you made that negative outlook a positive one. For example, in the early 2000s it was trendy to have thin eyebrows, but jump forward to now and the trend is big and full eyebrows. 

You’ll start to realize that you can be yourself, because at the end of the day I think the person who can validate you the most is you. And soon I think the world will come around and embrace it. Trends are so temporary and so quick to come and go that I don’t think there’s any use in trying to keep up with them. If you like to keep up with fashion trends, makeup trends, tiktok trends, etc.. and that’s what makes you happy, that’s awesome. If you prefer to wear whatever you like and that makes you happy, that’s amazing. 

Feeling beautiful is something you have to find in yourself. Something I hated about my appearance was my nose, it’s long and it doesn’t go with the rest of my face. But then I remembered, in many renaissance paintings women have those long almost curved noses. I also looked at celebrities who have long noses. I started to feel better because the more I thought about it, what makes me recognizable is the features that are on my face. Every wrinkle and odd divit is what makes people say, “yup that’s Ali.” 

To be completely real, it took a long time for me to feel genuinely beautiful and to love myself, but it is 100% possible. Now allow me to get cheesy when I say, you are loved and valid and you need to celebrate you.