Self-love: A Social Experiment

Self-love: A Social Experiment
  1. What do you love about yourself?
  2. Is it hard to love yourself?
  3. If it is, why? It’s not, why? 

On Saturday, August 26th 2017, I asked for volunteers to answer these three questions. I posted a status on FB and reached out to some of my closest friends and then, before I knew it, they were sharing these questions with their friends and so on. 

This experiment was inspired by noticing a few new-found lines on my face that could host novels and freckles that could be used to connect the dots to the world’s greatest problems. Who knew a gloomy Saturday and dusty bathroom mirror could generate such introspection?

But, before you dive right into reading these original, emotional, and humorous responses, I just wanted to take a second to thank every single person who participated in answering these extremely vulnerable questions. Some of the messages I had received were from life long best friends, acquaintances, and even some complete and utter strangers. Each person who contributed to this social experiment made this post possible and I simply cannot thank you enough for opening the doors to your life and sharing your personal opinions on self-love. 

Please keep in mind that these 100 responses were just “copied and pasted.” They are raw, they are real, and they are passionately and unequivocally authentic.


“I love my strength and perseverance. I love how kind I am and forgiving I am to everyone around me. Inspiring others and being inspired to do great things makes me feel like I’m heading in the right direction. 

Yes

In this society I don’t feel like I’m physically enough or pretty enough to be accepted. I have a hard time loving myself when people don’t love me. It’s hard to value things within myself that aren’t valued by everyone around me.”

-Victoria (Age 15)


“1.) I love that I am relatively outgoing and am good at meeting new people and making new friends.

2.) Yes it is hard to love myself.

3.) It is hard for me especially now being in high school I’m always comparing myself to others and always thinking I’m not good enough.”

-Alyssa (Age 15)


“1. I love that I am a considerate and understanding person

2. Yes

3. It is very hard because you are constantly reminded by social media of what you’re expected to be/look like”

-April (Age 15)


“1.) I guess I like how I can really listen and understand people or where they are coming from and stat calm if they are rlly upset of something

2.) sometimes

3.) sometimes I feel like there’s nothing and sometimes I do”

-Faith (Age 15)


“1) my willingness to make new friends 2) yes 3) because the world around you gives you so many reasons not to”

-Emily (Age 15)


“1. I love that I can be fun and crazy around new people and anyone! 

2.  Not really because I like the way I am and I wouldn’t wanna change myself for someone or something. 

3. because I like the way I am and I wouldn’t wanna change myself for someone or something.”

-Mia (Age 15)


“1. I love that I am generally openminded and patient person. 

2. No and yes

3. I pick at myself more than I need to and constantly worry over every little action I take and that makes me super critical of myself. But I find that disliking myself is rather discourteous to the people in my life that care for me like my family and friends so I always try my best to appreciate myself a little more with their support.”

-Jen (Age 16)


“1. I love how generous and friendly I am because I like being able to be approachable and make people feel loved. I love my ability to love and find beauty in simple things. I love my creativity and urge to make a change in the world and get things done. I love my intelligence and desire to learn. I love my appearance and style. I love my sense of humor and how I can make almost anyone laugh; I love making people laugh. I’m kind of realizing this sounds really self-centered but I don’t think about these things all of the time and have a big ego, it’s just because I’m actually writing it down and realizing how much i actually i actually really like about myself

2. Not really

3. Sometimes I can find things I don’t like about myself and it can bring me down a little. If these things can be changed (a personality trait, hair style, etc.), I can make it a goal to work on it and feel better about it and myself. The trick is to not let the little things that bother you make you forget all of the wonderful things that make you, you.”

-Lexi (Age 16)


“1. I love how open and friendly my personality is because i love meeting new people and making friends.

2. Yes, because sometimes loving myself makes me feel conceited and also knowing myself the best, i see all my flaws which can sometimes override the good qualities.”

-Joshua (Age 16)


“1.) I love the ambition and potential I see in myself and the way I am able to carve my own path, rather than feeling the need to follow the crowd

2/3.) Often times, it is hard for people to love themselves. Living in a world where everyone constantly compares themselves to people they see on the internet makes it difficult for anyone to see the characteristics that make them so great, as they spend the majority of their time looking at how great everyone else’s life seems in comparison to their own.”

-Olivia (Age 16)


“1. I guess I love how hard I can work (academically, athletically, etc.)! Subsequently I love my body (most of the time)- I’m proud of my weight/shape and the hard work it took to get there. I also love how organized I can be.

2./3. It can be hard to love myself especially when I mess up or something doesn’t go right. It can be easy to blame everything that happens on yourself but in reality you had no control over it. It’s also tough when I don’t fulfill a goal but it just takes a new day to start again!”

-Victoria (Age 17)


“1. I’m handsome as fuck

2. No, how could you not love someone so handsome 

3. See answer #2″

-David (Age 17)


“1. I love my appearance! I love my dimples a whole lot and that I look just like my mother. I love the way I treat myself, my friends, and my family.

2. It’s not hard for me to love myself but it wasn’t always that way.

3. Oftentimes people focus on their imperfections rather than what they love about themselves because they are so concerned with making themselves perfect. I got rid of the idea of trying being perfect and focused on the things I love about myself. I realized that my body is all I have and that I needed to love it for what it is. I didn’t learn to love my imperfections. I just started to realized that they weren’t imperfections at all.”

-Katia (Age 17)


“1. What I love about myself is everything. There’s no one else like me. Everyone is different, I love the fact that no two people is truly the same we are who we are for a reason. Everyone has their own flaws but those flaws make us who we are and every little flaw about me I love, makes me just want to better myself if anything and improving who I am.

2. I do believe sometimes it is hard to love myself.

3. It’s sometimes hard to love myself because the way society is portrayed now a days. Everyone always seems to judge one another for something. People set standards and we want to meet those. Hearing comments about you can make someone rethink how they feel about themselves as a person therefore, loving myself can be difficult sometimes when I hear someone judging me, having a mean comment either on what I’m wearing, how my hair looks, my face, etc.”

-Melissa (Age 17)


1) I think I love my positivity about myself

2) yes its difficult 

3) I think it is very hard to learn to love your self because you see the worst sides of you more than you see the worst of anybody else. I am constantly comparing myself to others and everyone always thinks that someone else has life figured out. Someone is always going to be more successful than you, and someone will always have less than you. So I think it’s hard to find the middle and be happy with that.”

-Alyssa (Age 17)


“1. I really love my personality, I have an ability to just go up to people and almost always make good conversation with anyone. Because of it, I get to meet tons of great people and rarely miss out on making friends. 2. Sometimes, while I love meeting people, I’m constantly thinking about what might be on their mind. While it helps me make good conversation, it leads to a bit of self doubt in case things aren’t going the way they should. 3. I suppose I covered that”

-Levi (Age 18)


“1. Something I love about myself is my ability to connect with people. I am someone who can talk to anyone and I am very proud of that trait. 

2. Some days are harder than others. I have struggled in the past with accepting myself but I have worked so hard to get to where I am emotionally and I am proud of myself for that. 

3. When it gets hard, I remind myself of the quote, “no matter what amount of negativity you are presented with, 5 minutes from now could be your best moment.””

-Caroline (Age 18)


“1. I love everything about myself. I love my body, my mind, and my soul.

2. I don’t think it’s hard to love yourself.

3. In order to achieve anything you need to believe in yourself and believing in yourself goes hand in hand with loving yourself. Whether it is making friends, getting a job, or any life occurrence that every human goes through, if you don’t love yourself, then how will others love you?”

-Jaron (Age 18)


“1. What do you love about yourself? How brace I am, creative, determined, my eyes

2. Is it hard to love yourself? Hell yes

3. If it is, why? If it’s not, why? Well with the world putting pressures on you and being a normal human that judges others as much as them self I’ll tend to compare myself a lot. It’s easy to love what other people express they love about you too, it’s the small things we sweat that are hard to forgive, forget and eventually come to love all the things that make us who we are”

-Shea (Age 18)


“What do I love about myself?

I love my lack of care for others words and actions. I pride myself on the fact that I live my own life and I don’t let others influence my actions

Is it hard to love yourself?

Very much so. I’m a perfectionist and I hate it when I make mistakes which to me, seems like always. The littlest thing that goes wrong sits under my skin and eats away at me until I change it.”

-Jesse (Age 20)


“1. I love my willingness to help others and I’m very accepting of everyone. 2. It is not hard to love myself. 3. It isn’t hard for me particularly because you only get one life to live and it’s what you make of it. I try to be as positive as possible.”

-Yolanda (Age 18)


1. I don’t know what I love about myself. 2. I find it hard to love myself. 3. It’s because I think if I love myself, it will show outwardly, which could be mistaken as being cocky and cause me to lose friends. Friends are a priority to me, so I want to avoid losing them at any cost.”

-Cam (Age 18)


1. What do you love about yourself?
What I love about myself is that I am outgoing and adventurous and free-spirited.
2. Is it hard to love yourself? It depends on the day.
3. If it is, why? If it’s not, why? Some days I wake up and look at myself in the mirror and think wow I love myself and the way I look and feel but then there are off days where I don’t feel good and happy about myself.”

-Sophia (Age 18)


“1) What I love most about myself is my drive. It has gotten me through life up until this point. I am a different person without it. It has never diminished in size, only has grown stronger as I’ve gotten older. It’s almost like a fire inside me that forces me to achieve whatever I truly want, no matter what. 

2) It can be hard to love myself sometimes since I see ALL my flaws and mistakes and dwell on them for a while as I imagine we all do. But I usually get over that when I remember I only ever make the choice I make to the best of my ability with the given knowledge that I had at the time.

3) #2 kind of answers this.”

-Robert (Age 18)


“1. My personality

2. Nope

3. I love me idgaf what others think of me”

-Robin (Age 18)


I actually thought a lot about this, and I found it hard to find what I actually loved about my self. I still can’t pin it down. This being said, I do not find it hard to love myself because at the end of the day I know I’m a good person with great friends and family and people who care about me, and that’s enough for me.”

-Jack (Age 18)


“1. I love my determination and dedication to my goals 2. Yes, it is. 3. Because it’s hard to be able to validate my accomplishments”

-Jessica (Age 18)


“1. Yeah I love myself. I love that I’m driven by my goals/desires. Looking to the future helps move on from the past. Even if not all my goals are achieved, the journey is just as important as the destination.

2. It can be hard to love yourself when people give you reasons not to. Those are the people you don’t need around you.

3. ^”

-David (Age 18)


“1. In terms of physical attributes, I love my hair. Every kink and curl on my head represents an outward extension of who I am and where I come from. In addition, in terms of characteristics, I love that I am caring, kind, and compassionate. One quote that I truly live by is, “Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalia Lama

2. Yes and no

3. I think it’s hard to love yourself when media depicts “beauty” as fitting a certain “criteria”. A majority of us most likely have doubts and question whether or not we check into that box. However, if I have learned anything this past year, it is that beauty cannot be fitted into a box.”

-Tayja (Age 18)


“1. I love my drive and natural want to teach and lead. My tenacity and ability to stick with things until they’re perfect. My passion of raising a better generation that the one I’m in. My effort to always put the best version of myself forward is what I love most about myself. 

2. Everyone has flaws. Nobody will ever be 100% happy with where they are. But life is about chasing your dreams and discovering what you love about yourself. 

3. I’m someone who is very honest with themselves. I realize when I am good or bad at certain things, as well as what I like and don’t like about myself. But my drive, the thing I like most about myself allows me to work hard to get to where I want to be, so I can make the best of the opportunities that are presented to me.”

-Joe (Age 18)


“1. I love how motivated and driven I am, how good I am at public speaking and networking, how good I am at ping pong, and how smooth I am with the ladies. 

2. It’s not hard to love yourself, but it’s also not hard to hate yourself. Everyone has different levels of self-pride and self-love.

3. Some people will always hate themselves no matter how many blogs about inner strength they read. I cannot answer a question that applies to every human because everyone is so much different than how they come across to people. I can only continue to love myself and do what’s best for me and the people in my life.”

-Ryan (Age 18)


“What do I love about myself. 

My crazy curly hair

How with the perfect lighting my face looks flawless

My butt (haha)

The way that I always try to find the best in someone

Is it hard to love yourself?

Yes, I find it hard to love myself some days, sometimes I will straight up tell you I love myself for who I am and how I am take it or leave it. But for someone who lives with anxiety there are times I tear myself apart: am I to fat? Did I do a good job with my makeup? Did that girl look at my funny? Damn I shouldn’t have ate that cupcake, now I can’t eat for the rest of the day so that way I look skinnier. We live in a world where I honestly struggle every day to find things that I love in myself, I can’t always find something that I love about myself and it hurts when you have someone tell you that you look good but you look at yourself and just plain and simple don’t see it.”

-Margaux (Age 19)


“1. What do you love about yourself?
– I don’t think I love any specific things about myself, but I love myself as a whole.

2. Is it hard to love yourself?
– Personally, I never had trouble being comfortable and loving myself. I always stayed true to me and it’s never been hard.

3. If it is, why? If it’s not, why?
– It was never hard for me because I always surrounded myself with people who encouraged me to be myself. Being surrounded by so much love from friends and family made me love myself. “

-Michelle (Age 19)


“What I love about my self is that I can talk to any person and if they are down I can make them happy. #1 At times it is but you just have to think positive and always smile even in the hardest times. #2 Yes because people that aren’t really happy they pick on weak or vulnerable people. No because you have friends that love you and also family that love you so if you have those two things you can’t be Hurt. #3”

-Eric (Age 19)


“I love my ability to take 5 shots within 5 minutes with no chaser”

-Anonymous (Age 19)


1. I guess I love how I can make other people laugh. Seeing smiles on others faces is what makes it all worth it.

2. I would say that right now it’s hard to love myself, slowly trying to turn that around, but for the time being, it’s hard.

3. I think it’s hard to find that love for myself because what I mostly see are my flaws, what I could work on. Although I’ve been slowly working through them it seems like a new one pops up when one is dealt with.”

-Keith (Age 19)


“1. I love my memory and life ambitions. If I hear or read something once, I tend to remeber it. It can be annoying at times, but it’s proven to have had many benefits so far. My memory ties greatly into the ambitions I have. Without being able to look back on all I’ve accomplished and overcome, I wouldn’t have anything to challenge myself with to do more. I want to accomplish so much in my lifetime and many goals seem unattainable at the moment. I find the best thing about having goals and ambitions that seem unattainable is discovering more about yourself as you push your limits.

2. I find it can be both hard and easy to love yourself at times.

3. Nothing in life is simple. The concept of love and loving yourself is super complex. While there are so many things that I do love about myself, I always find it easier to pick out the negatives. It’s easy to get lost in all the negatives, especially when I subconciously think about them more. Self-acceptance and love takes a lot of reflection and understanding. Not until high school did I realize that no matter how hard it can be to love yourself, nothing will change who you are in this moment, so love yourself and make an effort to be the person you hope to be. Letting go of the things you find hard to love about yourself makes loving yourself easier when you take everything day by day. So sometimes I find it hard to see past the negatives, but once I am able to look past them, loving myself is easier than it may seem.”

-Grace (Age 19)


“I love the fact that I love helping people be happy or overcome tough situations, 2, I would say so because I feel as if I have more flaws than good things about myself and sometimes I really dwell on the bad instead of the good,3, probably because I’m the only one who thinks of myself that way, I always want to be a better version of me but I feel like I get too attached to the idea of who or what I want to be.”

-Liberto (Age 19)


“I love how family oriented I am. I don’t not love myself however loving myself hasn’t been a top priority of mine as loving others is. It’s not hard but loving others is easier.”

-Bella (Age 19)


“1. I love my eyes. I think they’re my best quality.

2. It’s really hard to love myself.

3. I’ve been overweight for a good majority of my life and it’s hard to have a lot of self confidence when most people in the media are skinny and attractive. As a gay male, there’s almost a standard where you have to either have abs or a 7 figure bank account for anyone to have interest in you and it kind of sucks when you don’t meet either of those standards”

-Dan (Age 19)


“1. I love how dedicated I am to work and school. The satisfaction of doing well makes me feel happy and accomplished. During the school year, I love being able to put all my time and effort into assignments and doing well in class. During Summer, working hard pays off (literally). Physically, I love my smile. I take pride in never needing braces and having straight teeth. I find that many often are jealous when they hear I never had braces.

2. Of course it can be hard to love myself

3. Although we live in a time where acceptance is more common than not, it is still hard to love yourself. Category myself as “plus size”, I feel we are not exposed to women and men who are of larger size. Everyone should be able to connect with others and feel comfortable in their skin.”

-Michaela (Age 19)


“1. I love my ability to give other people a shot: I feel that those who are quick to judge miss out on a huge percentage of friends (or even just a friendly conversation). By making choosing not to talk to someone based on the way they look or what you’ve heard from others, you really limit your ability to make friends, or even make someone smile. I’ve had extensive friendly conversations with anyone from grandparents at Target to cashiers at Journey’s, and I have always liked that quality in myself.

2. Honestly, yes it is hard to love yourself in a world that revolves around who’s hooking up with who, who got the most likes on an Instagram post, and other trivial things that I feel consume our generation. But the key word there is trivial: none of these things will have any relevance to us in the coming years. When I remind myself of that, I feel more in control: those trivial things only matter if I make them matter, and I try my best to not.

3. If I’m being perfectly honest, what I wrote in #2 is easier said than done, so of course I would agree that yes, it is still hard to love yourself at times. I think everyone has moments where they find that they have some flaw or something holding them back that makes them feel “lesser” than others around them, but keeping in mind that these things only matter if we make them matter, I think that self love is always achievable, and even if we stumble to a place where it seems impossible, we can always climb back out of it.”

-Big Mac (Age 19)


1) I love my ability to create and my sense of humor 2) It is hard 3) I think sometimes, and I hope this isnt taken the wrong way, but I think it’s easier to love yourself when you lack introspection.”

-Adam (Age 19)


“1. What do you love about yourself? My sarcastic sense of humor, my smile, and my hair color.

2. Is it hard to love yourself? In the past, yes. But just this past year I feel like I have become a lot more self confident.

3. If it is, why? If it’s not, why? In the past, I have had a lot of trouble with self confidence and being happy with who I am, how I look, and who I surround myself with. I constantly asked myself what others would think and how they would react… and my taste in a not-so-supporting “support system” was definitely not helpful. However, in the past year (since starting college, actually) I have found myself becoming more confident. Starting school in a new place (a very, very new place) is stressful but also exciting. This excitement gave me the push I needed to focus a little more on myself, when I had clearly been neglecting my own self worth in years past. This summer I have definitely grown to love myself more than I ever have in my entire life. So much so that just last night I posted a picture on my personal Instagram and did not even check to see who was liking the picture or how many likes I was getting (whereas before, I would scroll through the likes constantly to see if anyone new popped up). I posted it for me and for the people who truly care about me and my life. I am only here to impress myself, and I want to do that more and more each day.”

-Emma (Age 19)


“1. I love that I am “too nice”. It doesn’t always get me what I want, but I like knowing that I’m making people happy.

2. Yes

3. I always stand by my personality traits and don’t wish to change them because they make me who I am, but physically, it is hard to accept my looks for what they are. With social media, it’s hard not to want to look flawless every second of the day. The idea is constantly reinforced that if something is attractive, people will “like” it.”

-Alexis (Age 19)


“1. What I love most about myself is that I stand up for what I believe in even if it’s not the popular opinion. 

2. Yes

3. There is pressure to fit in with others and I never have. I struggle with depression and anxiety but was raised to speak up for what I believe in so I’ve always been kind of unpopular because of how outspoken I am.”

-Chanté (Age 19)


“1) I love the way I can read people and I love my talent for communication. I’ve always been passionate about people, and understanding them is the first step to becoming a great communicator. I also love that I can understand things pretty quickly, I love my efficiency, and I love that I’m (somewhat) athletic.

2) & 3) Loving yourself is not always easy. I struggle when I feel fat or insignificant or less valuable when compared to others. It’s hard to fully accept and love yourself for strengths and weaknesses. My friend has a shirt that says “Flawsome” and I appreciate the mantra that although we have flaws, EVERYONE has flaws. The only way to grow is to accept them and continually work to better yourself.”

-Alyssa (Age 19)


“At first when i read this question i thought it was a self centered kind of question.  I then said to myself no this is not, we should all have something we love about ourselves.  Especially in todays society, everyone wants to be that model on Instagram or that person because they have something that they don’t have themselves.  People look on social media and envy other people but they don’t realize that they are special and unique themselves.  It took me a while to figure out what i love about myself because i was one of those girls that didn’t think she was worthy or beautiful.  I always had insecurities and its been taking time for me to embrace them and to love them.  I do no think looks are everything and thats why i think i love that i am a very caring person.  I will do anything for anyone.  I will be a shoulder for someone to cry on, a person you can call in the middle of the night to cry to.  Today there is so much hate in the world and it makes me so sad.  I think that being caring is a characteristic that takes practice.  Caring people really do change the world and i think that is what i love about myself.

At times i think it is really hard to love yourself, its still taking me time to love myself and love all my insecurities.  

I think its hard to love myself because i am self conscious about certain things and its hard to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are worth it and you deserve the absolute best and nothing less.  Its hard to look in the mirror and tell yourself that your beautiful in the inside and out.  I think its so important to love yourself before loving someone else.  If you can’t love yourself how can you love someone else? you cannot.  We have to start embracing our imperfections and start loving ourselves for who we are.”

-Collette (Age 19)


“1. I love that I am a Boston Bruins fan and that I love all kinds of music. I was brought up well and I know how to treat people and I am very kind. And I don’t get offended by much.

2. & 3 It is not hard to love myself. I go through life with happiness. I always try and look on the bright side of things but when I am sad I turn on Green Day and rock out!!! plus I have a good group of friends that help keep me grounded”

-John (Age 20)


“1. I love how compassionate I am to others. I won my sorority’s “best shoulder to cry on” superlative last year because I like to help other people who are feeling down. 2&3. It’s hard to love myself sometimes because I have a hard time not comparing myself to others physically. Social media makes it really easy to wish you were someone else. Although I love my mind and the way it works, I don’t always love my body.”

-Devyn (Age 20)


“1. I think hard about something that I really love about myself as it isn’t something I really think I about on a daily. I guess my personality and not in a conceded way as I am very proud of how much I’ve changed. In middle school and much of high school I was very quite people would forget I was in the room. Later in high and in college I’ve grown out of my shell and joined the collegiate ambassador team and I am no longer that shy kid in the corner. I love that so much. 

2. Don’t get me wrong I do love myself I just find it very hard to. 

3. My biggest issue with loving myself is I am my first biggest critic. I’ll pick on every little fault I can find. I know I shouldn’t but I do.”

-Kaitlin (Age 20)


“1. I love my ability to laugh in many situations. Something’s that others consider to be stressful can become not so stressful when you add in a few laughs

2. No

3. If there is something that I don’t love about myself I can change it or learn to love to it”

-Xavier (Age 20)


“What do you love about yourself?

⁃I love how others come to me for advice and find me their go to person when they are in need of help. Knowing that people see me as a strong and trustworthy person keeps me motivated to be the best person I can be. 

Is it hard to love yourself?

⁃No

If it is, why? If it’s not, why?

⁃When I feel down I try to think that I am not the only person who is having a bad day and that others may have a harder life than me. It helps that I am open enough with myself to realize that everyone deserves to be loved, whether it be little acts of kindness or big gifts.”

-Alivia (Age 20)


“I love the confidence I have. It really came out and grew ever since I joined the Army. It pushes you to extremes and places you didn’t know existed both physically and mentally
Of course I love myself!
There’s no reason to not. I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished so far in my life and yes there’s been some low points but it’s extremely satisfying to claw yourself out of them. I love myself and the approval from myself is all I need to be happy”

-Nilton (Age 20)


“1. My personality & willingness to make others laugh
2. No
3. I have confidence in the kind of person I am and I think knowing that who I am is good enough, helps me to find it easy to love myself.”

-Kaeleigh (Age 20)


“1- my personality , 2- yes. 3- it’s hard because society sets certain expectations for what’s considered “beautiful” and I think people have a hard time with self love and acceptance if they don’t look the way they think they should”

-Kayla (Age 20)


“1. Honestly, that’s a tough question for me. I don’t really even know how to answer it. I’m not a typical 20 year old guy and that is something that I do love about myself, but, it’s also something that I kind of hate about myself. I come from a big family so I always had a different perspective than many other kids my age who may have come from a smaller family. I’m one of six kids and I had to start to grow up from a young age and it brought me to where I am now and now i dont live life or even look at life the way a lot of 20 year old guys do. I work full time, I wake up early for work, I go to bed early, I don’t party like a lot of 20 year old guys do, I don’t drink and smoke like a lot of 20 year old guys do and I’m not free with my body like a lot of 20 year old guys are. That’s just not who I am and that’s, like I said, something I love about myself but also something I dont like about myself.

2. I find it very difficult to love myself.

3. I find it very difficult to love myself for the something that is probably the wrong reason. Outside of my direct family and maybe one other person, I have never really actually truly felt what it’s like to have someone love me. My extended family is not in the picture anymore and they have not been in my life for a long time, so, I have always been very isolated and felt very lonely for most of my life. I’ve always had my direct family with my siblings and parents there for me but, I have never had anyone legitimately like me or love me and if they did, then they have left my life so, I constantly feel insecure about myself and feel like there is something wrong with me. I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years and I’ve been rejected and pushed away by a lot of people that I thought cared about me but as it turmed out, they didnt. The common denominator in all of those equations has been me. Honestly, when you think about yourself that way, it’s something that really messes you up on the inside and it really plays a big part in why I can’t love myself. I feel like people run from me because there is something wrong with me whether it’s my looks, my personality, my demeanor, anything. I constantly feel like there is something wrong with me and that is really the reason that I find it difficult to love myself. Being alone for such a long time and not having a lot of people to rely on makes you turn to yourself and you really see what you are made out of, you trust yourself more and you value yourself because you know who you are in your heart, you know yourself better than you know anyone else and you figure out who you really are.”

-Kenny (Age 20)


“1)I would have to say my personality because I make friends very easily and I am very outgoing. I’m not upset or sad really at all so being happy and positive really changes your entire day.
2) Depends for me on the day, some times yes some times no
3) Sometimes it is just because when on the rare occasion I am upset I see so many flaws and I am stuck in a groove. When it’s not hard, I find everything to be amazing and I like so many things about myself! So for me as I said, it just depends on the day!”

-Aisling (Age 20)


“Part of love about myself is my willingness to put others before myself, especially those I care deeply about.

It is hard to love myself, i think i’m not worthy most of the time of the love i receive from others.”

-Uly (Age 20)


1) I love my confidence and work ethic. I think it really enables me to overcome barriers and stay resilient even in hard situations. And, if I’m being honest, I love my eyelashes lol.
2) honestly, yes, it’s hard to love myself and it’s something I struggle with every day.
3) I think it’s hard for me to love myself because of what we see in the media and pop culture every day and has been for decades. The ideal women is skinny and smart and beautiful with perfect skin and is tall and essentially a Barbie doll, so for someone who is 155 pounds and only 5’6, with thick thighs and a tummy, you just feel inadequate. You’re just surrounded by these images and there’s this pressure to be that and look a certain way, especially for girls and women of all ages”

-Meghan (Age 20)


“I love that no matter what circumstances I’m in I’m usually level headed and that I have enough mental strength to not lose my temper so easily. Sometimes it can be hard to love myself it just comes with my depression I have really good days and I have really bad days but I just keep moving forward knowing that what’s going on in the moment will end”

-Joe (Age 20)


“1. I love my hair, smile, eyes, and passionate personality.

2. No

3. It’s not hard to love myself because I know I’m beautiful in my own way and if I can’t realize that, then no one else can.”

-Shannon (Age 20)


“1. I love a few things about myself. I try my hardest to be kind to everyone around me, and that’s something I take pride in. I also try to help those in need when I can, and I love that about myself. But the thing I love most about myself is the music I make. Playing the songs I write for whoever will listen gives me an opportunity to open myself up to the listener, and it gives me a chance to connect with them in a way that not a lot of people get to. Whether they relate to my songs and find comfort in them, dance along, or just enjoy hearing them, it’s a beautiful thing to share that experience with people. That’s what I love most about myself.

2. Yes, it is hard for me to love myself, but there are days it’s a lot easier.

3. Sometimes I feel incredible, and I love myself more than ever. But there’s also times when I look in the mirror and think “Wow, I’m a wicked shitty person. Why the fuck am I like this?” It all depends on the day. I try to do a lot of good things, and I love myself for that. But I’ve done a lot of shitty things too, and those things makes it a lot harder for me to love myself. That’s being human I guess. Sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with who you are. It’s hard to figure out whether the good you’ve done outweighs the bad.”

-Liam (Age 20)


“1. Mostly everything.

2. Not really.

3. I don’t care what others thinks of me and as long as I think highly of myself then I’ll feel better about myself. If I think about myself highly then others should too.”

-Logan (Age 20)


“1. I like the fact that I can bounce back easily. No matter if I had a bad day at work, relationship troubles, etc. I always know there is light at the end of the road. This has helped me push through and be the person I am today.

2. I think it is hard to love yourself and certain phases of your life.

3. Depending on where you are in your life effect how you view yourself. At the end of the road, there is always light. Telling myself this gets me through.”

-Isabella (Age 20)


“1. I love how big my heart is, and how much I care about my friends and family. I also love my lips and eyes!

2. I have a very hard time loving myself

3. I’ve struggled with self-love my entire life. I find myself in a constant state of comparison, whether it be comparing myself to people in the media, or my friends and family. I tend to get into a certain mindset that strives for perfection to prove to people that despite my struggles in life, i’m succeeding. Its tough to not have this mindset all the time when I see people accomplishing bigger and better things than what i’m accomplishing, or looking better than how I hope i’m looking. What i’ve come to realize though is that each person is on their own path in life and everyone has flaws. These things are what make people human and not perfect robots. I hope that over time I can crush this mindset once and for all, but for now, i’ll attribute it as one of my many flaws that i’m growing to love each and every day, because after all, who would want to be a perfect robot anyway?”

-Gabby (Age 20)


“1. What do you love about yourself? I love how easily I make friends. I’m a pretty outgoing person, and I always make it a goal to make quality friends wherever I go. I’m also the type of person who is obsessed with small-world moments because they constantly happen to me from being friends with so many different kinds of people.

2. Is it hard to love yourself? No.

3. If it is, why? If it’s not, why? I don’t think its that hard to love myself in the sense that I know what makes me feel and look good. That’s not to say there are not days I don’t love myself, it’s just that I am optimistic in trying to everyday.”

-Drew (Age 20)


“1. I love my hair and fashion style

2. Not really

3. Every once and a while i will have that off day. And all i do is look and the mirror to remind myself of all the great qualities i know i have. That makes everything better”

-Jenn (Age 20)


 

“1. i love that i have such a caring trait in myself. I care so much about people and i’m always willing to help anyone when it’s needed. 

2. Yes 

3. It is hard to love yourself because society makes it so hard to. I just started learning to love myself by not letting people ruin my happiness. i think that loving yourself starts with putting yourself first.”

-Farida (Age 20)


“1. I love my confidence in my own abilities

2. Initially yes, but once you realise that loving yourself leads to inner peace and happiness it changes everything.

3. It truly isn’t hard loving oneself, as imperfections are completely normal in life, one must accept themselves, and love themselves first before being able to spread that love to others.”

-Amaan (Age 20)


“1.That somehow I able to get the things I want done done, and right! 

2.Yes

3.Because I am a perfectionist! If it’s not by my standards then I beat my self up about it a lot..”

-Marian (Age 20)


1. I love that I can dance and practice Buti Yoga. It helps me to accept the things that are difficult to accept, and to better understand myself as a person. I love that I discover new things about myself when doing these things.

2. 100%

3. For me I have only recently begun to like myself, let alone love. I have a difficult time taking compliments, and “difficult” is putting it lightly. I had grown so accustomed to not being accepted by other people that I started putting myself down more and more until I liked nothing about myself. However, through creative expression and movement arts, it has started to turn around. Buti Yoga has shown me that I can be who I am. I take all of the energy I feel within myself and channel it to a more positive outlook. Things have definitely gotten easier in the self-acceptance aspect of my life since I was introduced.”

-Darah (Age 21)


“I love how funny I am. It’s very hard to love myself, because I have terrible anxiety and hate a lot of things about myself”

-Alessandra (Age 21)


“1. I love my chase of adventure and happiness. No matter what happens in life, I am always striving to see things in a positive light. I am always open to opportunity, and hardly turn anything down.

2. Yes.

3. I think it’s hard to love yourself because there are so many ideals and standards that society presents to you. As a gay Latin man, I don’t fit many societal standards. If you get into the trap of comparing yourself, it can lead to a lot of self doubt. But as the famous Ru Paul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the he’ll you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?!””

-Will (Age 21)


“1. I love that I can make myself laugh so easily. I love that I’m a person who thrives off of seeing/helping other people succeed. I love that simple things make me happy and I love that I have a lot of love to give no matter what happens to me in life. I’ll never be a negative person. 

2. Yes

3. It’s hard to love myself sometimes because I grew up thinking a lot of things that make me stand out today were not beautiful qualities or strong characteristics. It’s a difficult mentality to shake. I’ve developed my confidence and self love in waves and I still have a ways to go.”

-Olivia (Age 21)


“1. What I love most about myself if that I know I always have everyone’s best interest in mind. I’m very empathetic and want people to believe there’s good in the world, despite whatever craziness they may be going through. 

2. It can be, I have my highs and lows like everyone else.

3. I didn’t have a “typical” upbringing and my life spiraled for a while. I’ve suffered from a panic disorder and depression for many years, so with that comes a lot of negativity about yourself. But it’s also given me another reason to love myself, because I’ve gone through some extremely tough times and still made it out smiling”

-Amanda (Age 21)


“1) I love that I’m funny. Or at least I think I’m kinda funny. I love that I can make people smile and laugh. I love that I try to stay mindful of myself and my actions and how they affect others. 

2) once in a while it will be. 

3) it used to be hard. Through meditation I’ve learned to love myself. It’s not always easy but it’s definitely improving with a constant effort. I also think saying out loud or writing down 5 things a day you’re grateful for is a good way to increase your happiness”

-John (Age 21)


“1. I love my hair and my smile (mostly how it makes others happy)

2. At times it’s very hard for me to ove myself but for the most part it’s not- because despite me hating myself after eating a chocolate cake or having a glass of wine I still am who I am at the end of the day and it’s who my parents made me to be.

3. Sometimes it’s hard because sometimes I compare myself to others or I’m upset with myself that I couldn’t make others happy. I know I’m unqiue and I know my parents are proud of me which makes me who I am- that’s why it isn’t hard to love myself most days. I’m a replica of two people who inspire me the most and who could possibly love me more than anyone on this planet and have learned how to be myself.”

-Quinn (Age 21)


“1. i love my ability to care for others but to not let my feelings skew right from wrong. 2. somedays are harder than others but for the most part i love myself. 3. i am very bipolar so sometimes im so angry for no reason and ill snap at other people and later on look back and keep thinking about how i treated them badly. but thats only on my low days.”

-Kayla (Age 21)


“1. I like that I have the ability to help those who I love and I have the I want to help those who I don’t know. 2. It’s not hard to love myself because I try to be the best person I can be, something about myself I know I have to work on but I accept that and love myself for accepting my flaws. 3. If I don’t love myself, who will? I try and be honest and loyal, I’m not perfect by any means but I’m me and I’m ok with that because our flaws are what bring people together and help us learn and grow”

-Taylor (Age 21)


“1. What I love most about myself is how hard I work whether it be at school or at work. Also how I can cheer my friends family etc up if I know they are down.

2.Yes

3. Sometimes it’s hard to love myself because I feel like I’ve always done things to please other people or to fit in my whole life, and now I feel like I’ve totally missed out on pleasing myself and learning to be confident in who I am and now that I’m trying to I feel like I’m always making the wrong decisions which can be frustrating. But if I can’t love myself first who will and that’s why I keep trying each day”

-Natassia (Age 21)


“1. I really love my hair (even though I always hated it when I was a kid) and my ambition. 

2. Yes it is. 

3. Although I mostly am happy with how I look sometimes I just pick on my self. It’s a struggle between being healthy and looking healthy. I also judge myself against others even thought I know I shouldn’t. It’s just hard to go places and want things that don’t look good or aren’t in your size. Additionally, I feel like my ambition to succeed will at some point not be enough and I’ll hit a point where I can’t get any better. For that I fear I may not live my dreams out and it bothers me to know/think I won’t be my best self”

-Karlee (Age 21)


“1) I love how dedicated I am to the important things and people in my life. I also love how I can separate my emotions from certain things in my life because that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today.

2) everyday is different, I think as you get older it’s easier to love yourself because you meet so many people in college, your adult life, work, etc and you experience different people and their attitudes towards themselves and their lives. It’s not always easy to love yourself but you are able to accept who they are because you’ve grown to accept yourself.

3) it can be hard to love yourself because of outside influences and pressures to look and act a certain way. But if you’re confident in yourself, that ability to love yourself comes easily.”

-Briana (Age 21)


“1) I honestly feel that I am a genuinely loving and empathetic person and I love that people feel comfortable confiding in me and coming to me for advice or just a listening ear.

2) Yes

3) I’ve always been an anxious person and my personality has always been that of a perfectionist. So no matter what I accomplished or how hard I worked at something, I was always terrified of failure. Instead of an opportunity for growth and success, each new situation felt like another opportunity to fail or to realize that I wasn’t good enough. I also tend to be someone that puts all of my self worth into external validation rather than having a strong sense of self-confidence and loving myself from within. Recently, one of the things that I love about myself is that I have been able to recognize the traits that I do love about myself and give myself the freedom to enjoy things without always worrying about being perfect. Letting go of that and learning to have internal self worth as opposed to external validation had been the most rewarding and transformative journey of my life so far”

-Tess (Age 21)


“1. It is hard for me to say what I love about myself but from the presepective of others is that I am able to provide humor to someone’s day.

2. Loving yourself should come with understanding that a challenge must be conquered and self-love shows that there is good in life.

3. It is hard since so much in life is difficult with many distractions and other opinions”

-Drew (Age 21)


“1) My Eyes. 2&3) I do not have much love for myself because I don’t believe I generally hold up to the expectations of those around me, nor have I accomplished enough in life to consider myself worthy of love personally”

-Nick (Age 22)


“I love my sense of acceptance to others. Sometimes it’s hard to love myself when insecurities get in the way”

-Sam (Age 23)


“1. What do you love about yourself? I love my ability to find my smile and/or laugh in majority of the situations life throws at us.

2. Is it hard to love yourself? Loving yourself takes a lot of work & energy. You constantly have to practice self love & self awareness. It’s about finding out who you are as an individual & exploring & not being afraid.

3. If it is, why? If it’s not, why? We live a such an instant world. A world were beauty is defined mostly through appearance & through unrealistic expectations. Therefore it is hard (especially for young women) to not compare. A lot of people don’t take the time to address self love either. Negative talk surrounds them because it’s normal to criticize yourself. You strive for perfection through social media but not through everyday life. You have to wake up in the morning & do the superwoman pose in the mirror & talk to yourself! People don’t know where to put their energy sometimes & it’s just finding the right person in your life whether it’s a friend, family, whatever- to tell you, hey it’s time to be selfish, it’s ok. The journey of being mindful about self talk is a beautiful journey that leads to self love.”

-Taylor (Age 24)


“1) I love my personality and my smile. I love how supportive I am of my family and friends. I love that I am always here for someone to vent to. I love my sugar coated free honest attitude.

2. It is extremely hard to love yourself in a world where physical appearance reigns supreme. 

3. We live in a world where many people want to rip you to shreds in order to feel better about themselves. Social media runs this generation without a doubt. Many people think if they don’t get x amount of likes on a pic they are less worthy or not as attractive as others that get those fast quick triple digit likes every time. Everyone has their own idea of perfect that they crave to be. It is hard to love yourself because we are all our own worst critics at the end of the day. 

But at the end of the day, if you don’t genuinely love yourself completely who will? ..it has to start within you.”

-Jasmine (Age 24)


“1. I love my smile. It’s not perfect by any means, and definitely has rather southern style look to it. But from age like 18- present it’s always the thing about me I would change last.

2. Depends on the day/ mood honestly. At times I feel like I’m a coping with depression success-story. Not sure if that’s how I’m supposed to answer that one but yeah, some days it can feel like I’d rather be anyone else. Especially if I get that feeling scrolling through instagram. Everyone just seems like they’re lives turned out exactly the way they wanted and it can be hard to see stomach.

3. Yikes lol. Social media man. It’s tough because you get the feeling people don’t like the things about you that are the most important to you. They like the likes’, the appearance of happiness, but when faced with raw emotion, one-on-one, and two souls just being themselves it’s terrifying. I find myself hiding behind that a lot and that gets hard. But then when it’s just me and my own thoughts, reminding myself who I am again, and then it’s a little less terrifying. Okay, maybe a smidgen less terrifying.”

-@ The Real Shakespearian Tragedy (Age 24)


” “The never ceasing passion to continue forward”

I would say that I have a more difficult time remembering to love myself. Seems the world outside tends to distract me from looking inside more often then not.”

-Ike (Age 24)


“1. I like that I’m always willing to listen and be adaptable. Because of this, even if I’m not perfect in some regard, I know i will always be able to learn and get better.

2. They’ll always be times when i don’t love where I’m going in life or doubt myself in some way, but I do love my self because of the reason in question 1. In life, no matter where I’m at, im always trying to better myself to be the best I can be. If i love who i am and express that to other people, I think naturally it tends to bring more joy to everyone!”

-Ryan (Age 26)


“Hmm.. some hard questions! I would say the thing that I love about myself would be my constant desire to take care of others. It’s why I’m a nurse. In all other aspects of me, I’d say yes, it is hard to love myself. I devote a lot of time to care for and love others that I tend to neglect myself. I also have a terrible sense of self confidence which makes it challenging to find many other aspects to love. I’m working on it. I think everyone battles with their self confidence every day. Obviously some do better than others.”

-Kendra (Age 28)


1. My ability to not let the small things bother me. I’ve always been pretty good at not stressing over things I have no control over. 2. I don’t think so. 3. I’ve never struggled with self-esteem or self-confidence. I’m not narcissistic, but I have a healthy love of myself.”

-Heather (Age 36)


“I love who I have become. I’m confident, outgoing, and honest. I also love that I am not afraid to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in.

I don’t think it’s hard to love myself, but I do still question myself daily. I guess that’s part of life. However, I’m comfortable with who I have become and will continue along my current path with conviction.

I guess that’s why it’s not hard to love myself. I wouldn’t have felt this way 30 years ago. It’s a process. Some will attain this much earlier than me, and some never will. But for me it came when I found my path in life – my calling, if you will. That helped me in my journey and allowed me to accept me for who and what I am.”

-Elizabeth (Age 46)


“Okay, here it goes. There aren’t many things I love about myself, but I feel like I am a kind person and I try to treat people with love and kindness. I love making people happy, however I can. It is very hard to love myself. I am turning 50 soon and I am not happy with what I see in the mirror. I wish I looked better and had more energy!!”

-Michelle (Age 49)


“1. I don’t know if I would say I love this about myself but I feel that I am a helpful person. 2. Yes 3. I am pretty hard on myself and always feel I should do better.”

-AnnMarie (Age 52)


“1. I love that I love my family and consider many of my friend as such. After experiencing many good and tragic episodes in my life, I still trust that God has a better plan for me and often carries me through life. I feel very grounded spirituality and in my womanhood and am in a very comfortable place in my life. I treasure the small pleasures in life that make me smile or tickle my heart. I’m grateful for all the friendships that I’ve made and their emotional connections that join us forever.

2. It is not hard to love myself.

3. I’ve been fortunate to have an outstanding family support while growing up. So, I learned at a young age, that all girls were special, beautiful and smart. I knew that there would be rough times, but that all dreams were attainable. The sky was the limit! All of my friends shared the same ideals which made life interesting, fun and a challenge. At a young age, I learned what the consequences would or could be if I didn’t love my inner self.”

-Noemi (Age 53)


“Tough questions. There are very few things I love about myself more that I like. There is always room for improvement. 1. My passion… 2 & 3. Yes, you always question whether you could improve on the different little things about yourself that can be annoying/troublesome to others and areas you can improve about yourself both physically and mentally.”

-Terry (Age 58)


“What do I love about myself you ask? Everything, even my flaws. I love my love of people and all animals. My patience and willingness to listen. I work hard and don’t try to complain too much. I love how i have no regrets, only lessons learned. I am this way because I was responsible for raising two children. And i wanted them to love themselves and be confident. And thry are. It is not. Because i am not an enemy of myself “

-Judy (Age 59)


Thank you so much for taking the time to read these messages from 100 beautiful people. Over the past few years, self-love has been a topic that has meant more to me with each passing day. When you take a step back, out of the whirlwind we call “life”, you discover that you are bold and possess a soul full of fire that is capable of burning away all of your insecurities and trivial self-doubt. 

Until next time, 

Layne Marie Kingman ♥

 

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