Opinion: Finding your own version of self-love

Alexandra Tinline

During finals week, my sister and I — in an effort to exhaust as little energy as possible — decided to hop on a PARTA bus, instead of making the 10-minute walk to Bowman Hall.

As we sat there, in a zombie-like state, a girl sat down next to us with a huge smile on her face. I gave her one of those awkward, closed-mouth smiles you’d give any stranger that won’t stop staring at you in return.

“I just finished my last final ever!” she said.

My sister and I congratulated her and asked her that basic question. You know, that dreaded one that every grown up asks when you are home on break before giving you a disapproving sigh: “What are you going to be when you grow up?”

As she responded, talking with her hands, I noticed a huge rock on her ring finger. Being a journalism major, I’m nosey by default, so I asked. “When’s the wedding?”

She laughed, looked at her left hand and sad that it was a “ring thing that [she was] starting.” She said it was a promise to herself to always know her worth, to always love herself because she shouldn’t base who she was off of a man. Or anyone else, for that matter.

I couldn’t stop thinking about those words during my stats final, when I should probably have been thinking about means and parameters.

Do I even know my worth? Do I love myself?

Or am I just a social media-obsessed millennial brainwashed from seeing women like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner showing ‘self love’ on Instagram by posting selfie after selfie?

After my boyfriend and I broke up, I went through that phase where I blasted my social media with selfies. I don’t know if it was because I wanted the acknowledgment that someone found my potato-head attractive, or if it was just me embracing my beautiful, strong womanhood again.

So asking for a friend, would that make me a narcissist?

That’s the weird, twisted part about it all. There is such a thin line between loving yourself and just straight up being obsessed with the way you look, and this unnecessary need to see how others react to you.

For this reason, it’s always important to remember the wise words of Ice Cube. “You better check yo self before you wreck yo self!”

Trust me, it has been a process trying to find me again. Some days I really hate myself, but over the last couple of months I’ve grown to love and be confident in my uneven love-handles, my flying squirrel arms and my gummy smile.

It’s ok to laugh. I do and that’s what self-love is to me.

So would a ring on my finger or the ring of my phone notifying me that @bradtheman_63 just liked my selfie really help me know my worth?

No. But self-love is so dynamic that everyone’s interpretation is different, and there is no wrong way of showing love to yourself.

So, “You go Glen CoCo”. Be the best you can be, because you are beautiful, you are strong and you deserve love especially from yourself.