Sticks and Bones: A Guide to Self-Love

Back in primary school, your popularity status was determined by how decked out your Moshi Monsters house was or how complex your scooby bracelets could be. In amidst my memories of running loose in the playground, was my affection for my hair. Yes, you heard that right; I cherished my locks with the same amount of pride and care I had for my Tamagotchi digital pet. For some reason, my boring old hair was somewhat of a spectacle for my 11 year old peers. I was even bribed a few times to wear it out in exchange for some Red Rooster chips (I can never say no to food.) The only thing my little 11 year old me liked about her appearance was her blasted hair. But maybe, it wasn't my hair I was obsessed with, but others' compliments of it.

So you can imagine my distress when one day, my good ol' mother cut my hair a little bit more than my strict, designated guidelines. I remember my stunned reaction when I saw myself in the mirror. I spent the rest of the day in isolation wallowing in my despair and devastation; in my eyes, it was truly a tragedy. My poor old mother... I literally did not speak to her for the rest of the week. All I could fathom was hair = bad, trust = broken.

Then, once I entered high school, my eye sight became so horrible I was literally an accident waiting to happen. I was basically squinting at anything and everything (y'all look blurred and the same to me) and I couldn't even read the whiteboards at school (yeah, that's why I probably almost failed science... that's why...) But I refused to wear glasses for the horror that *gasp* I may look like a nerd or something (news flash: I was already a nerd, with or without glasses.) It took me a whole year of ridiculous squinting and blurred vision to overcome my insecurities as to what my peers would think and I finally got a pair of glasses, and wow guys - the world is so clear and I can like, see!!!

What with my new repaired vision I then found an abundance of things I had to improve on to be deemed "pretty." Look at my acne covered skin! Look at the size of my thighs! Look at the lack of certain features that society pressures girls to have! But mostly: look at the way that our culture stresses the importance of appearance as a measure of self-worth. Yes, self-love is important, there's no denying it. But why limit self-love to accepting the way you look? Being beautiful and feeling beautiful doesn't just mean being comfortable in your skin; it's knowing that you are more than the bones you live in. Limiting yourself to the restricting confines of your body and measuring yourself up to the hazardous and repressive European beauty standards does no one any favours.

So if someone had a time machine they could lend me, I would love to travel to the 70s to live in those snazzy times with their rockin' wardrobes but I would also go back and tell my younger self this: The roots on your head are not as important as the roots in your life, or the thoughts inside your head. The glasses you use to see aren't as important as to how you see the world. The size of your thighs do not compare to the size of your heart. As cheesy as it all sounds, I really do believe it's true. You are not defined by your insecurities. You are not simply the skin and bone of your body.

In the words of Jac Vanek, "You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every single day."

Last week, I let my mum cut my hair and I bought new glasses. But I also finished reading a really great book, volunteered at church, learnt new songs on my guitar, danced around to some crazy good tunes, cooked some half-decent French toast and daydreamed in the afternoon sunlight. And that encompasses me more than my outer appearance ever will.

Image via Jasmine Dowling


  1. Absolutely wonderful post! You should do more like this ☺️
    G x

    1. Thank you so much! It means so much to me and I definitely will in the future ☺️ Xx


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