Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

Confidence is sexy. I think, basically, everyone out there can agree with that, and it is especially ideal when searching for a partner. However, you can’t be confident in front of someone else if you aren’t confident with yourself first. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true. You should be proud when you look in the mirror.

Being body positive – for your own health and happiness – is so important. All too often, we get swept up into the whirlwind of unrealistic expectations that society places on both men’s and women’s bodies, which can lead to issues with mental and physical health. Rather than focusing on how comfortable we feel in our bodies, we become obsessed with the media’s idea of how we’re supposed to look, how we’re supposed to act, where to shop and what foods to eat, just to name a few. We starve ourselves, overwork ourselves, send our emotional health plummeting so that we can maybe look like that photoshopped model one day. It’s an incredibly toxic culture, and we all need to learn to acknowledge it on an individual basis.

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

The diversity on our planet never ceases to astonish me, but we tend to forget how beautiful a thing that uniqueness is. Every single one of us has our own unique characteristics. Sorry to be cliche again, but it would be so boring if we were all the same, yet we have a difficult time accepting when someone doesn’t conform to the way we think they should be. It’s a problem that’s becoming increasingly evident in our society’s current climate. But we’re all beautiful, regardless of our weight, our height, our flaws or what other people think. We are inherently beautiful.

It’s important to take a long look at yourself and take time to appreciate who you are as a being. Take note of the things you really love about yourself and gently acknowledge the aspects you dislike or feel uncomfortable with. Realize that it’s okay to be dissatisfied sometimes, but you’re in the only body you’ll ever have – you need to learn to love and accept it, flaws and all.   Otherwise, you’ll never be truly happy.

My self-esteem used to be in the pits; there were so many things I hated about myself that I could barely even stand to look in the mirror sometimes. Gradually, I learned to make peace with the things I don’t like. Sometimes I still acknowledge my negative feelings toward what I see as my flaws, but I am never so hurtful toward myself anymore. You have to own it; sometimes you even have to fake it ‘til you make it. But it’s all worth it. Allowing yourself to be comfortable in your own skin lifts a tremendous weight off your shoulders. You’ll be happier in the end, and more confident. Loving yourself gives you power. Embrace it.