Self-Portraiture as Power: How I fell in Love with the Woman in the Photos

Self Portraiture as Power: How I fell in Love with the Woman in the Photos.

Self Portraiture as Power: How I fell in Love with the Woman in the Photos, now on VERITE WOMAN, Self Portrait, Photographer, Photography, Woman, Model, Fujifilm, VSCO Cam, photo editing, artist, creative, how to take a selfie, feminism, self love, how to love yourself, how to have self confidence, Instagram.
Words and photography by Michaela d’Artois.

We live in a selfie nation. Did you know that there’s a tactic of taking a photo called a fake selfie? In which someone else holds the camera for you but you extend your arm out as if it is, in fact, a momentary shot that you conjured yourself (with a go-go gadget arm length no less). Our fascination with this self-curated phenomenon seems endless. Yet self-portraiture gets a bad rep. It is easily seen as vapid to spend hours on the floor of your apartment, self-timer mode in full effect, being creative director to your own limbs. However, in a journey with the self as subject, I have found it to be one of the most liberating forms of creativity and expression I have yet to face as an artist. I would go as far to say that it has connected me deeper with who I am as a woman, and allowed me to fall in love the woman in the photos.

I have long been mystified by why we seek muses outside of ourselves. We’re told to look at yourself too long, or to focus on your own-ness is an illness of narcissism, yet narcissism is actually a mental state derived from fear of lacking.
Think of the most impactful female artists who have used themselves as the canvas for their work: Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman, Lois Mailou Jones, and my personal favorite Ana Mandieta. All of these women saw the most important study was themselves. If more people looked inward for inspiration rather than outward to those #LifeGoals, #BodyGoals, #CoupleGoals we swipe through daily, we would have more women living and breathing their truths.
Self Portraiture as Power: How I fell in Love with the Woman in the Photos, now on VERITE WOMAN, Self Portrait, Photographer, Photography, Woman, Model, Fujifilm, VSCO Cam, photo editing, artist, creative, how to take a selfie, feminism, self love, how to love yourself, how to have self confidence, Instagram.I hold the belief that when someone photographs you, they take a little part of you with each image captured. Their eye is requesting you to fit inside their vision, whether they mean to impose or not and once the still is shot you have very little control where that image will go, how the conversation around it will be formatted. When those photos go “live”, thousands, maybe millions of eyes take what they want from the photo. Whether the female gaze, male gaze or other gaze sees it, they are free to digest and judge it as they wish. If the thousands of years of art history prior to the life of Instagram tells us anything,
the female has always been a part of art’s context, however, she has had very little say on how she is portrayed and then viewed. We can never stop creepers from creeping, or subjects being objectified but we can structure the way She as Subject is being used.

Self Portraiture as Power: How I fell in Love with the Woman in the Photos, now on VERITE WOMAN, Self Portrait, Photographer, Photography, Woman, Model, Fujifilm, VSCO Cam, photo editing, artist, creative, how to take a selfie, feminism, self love, how to love yourself, how to have self confidence, Instagram.

Fast forward a year into my journey, almost all the content I create is self-portraiture, and this project of documenting myself has been liberating, to say the least. With uninhibited freedom of working in solitude I am unaffected by the time it takes me to “get the shot” and the fearless to express my truest self. When I click through the photos I have taken, I see a woman comfortable in her body, in her space, in her sexuality — she is not trying to fit into someone else’s vision, or appease someone else’s gaze but she commands her own. I found myself falling in love with this woman’s vulnerability, she’s unrestrained, enjoying the flaws that make her real. I love the way the light catches the tiny sprinkling of hairs on her upper thighs, the way the soles of her feet are always dusty from running around her L.A. studio. I love the way that on any given day she could embody a million different women while still staying true to her self. I love that I am in control of how I am being portrayed, and it isn’t at the expense or direction of anyone else. I am so much more than my physical self, and through the photos, I create I can tell that story in a two-dimensional format.

As anything else, the more familiar we become with a subject, the more normalized it becomes to us. Through the act of photographing myself, I was liberated to get to know who I am and see myself objectively. It made me more comfortable in my skin. It made me more comfortable to see that from an outside perspective those little things that bug you about your surface “self” were really not apparent at all.
In the art of self-portraiture, we don’t all need to be Cindy Sherman’s. Part of the craft is self-discovery, and in a world where publishing just means sharing I realized these photos don’t have to go anywhere if I don’t want them to — they are first and foremost for me and no one else.

It’s the study of self.

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Money 101 With Cool Girl Accountant Claire Van Holland

Money 101 With Cool Girl Accountant Claire Van Holland, now on VERITE WOMAN, Financial planing, money hacks, financial tricks, accounting, how to save money, how to be smart about money, how to start a business, girl boss, money questions answered, Los Angeles, entrepreneur, business women, intersectional feminismThroughout my twenties, I’ve noticed a repetitive complaint amongst my girlfriends — “why did no one teach us about money in high school?” We bemoan missed financial planning tactics and current credit card standings. Even as I began my own company, and set out to thrive, I came up short on resources and direction when it came to financing your own endeavor. Then I met Claire Van Holland.
Claire’s not your regular accountant, she’s a cool accountant and after one session with her, I was ready to set up a fan club, there would be shirts of course. Instead, we settled on a Q & A, right here, that we all can gain from. Consider this the financial planning course you missed out on in high school!Money 101 With Cool Girl Accountant Claire Van Holland, now on VERITE WOMAN, Financial planing, money hacks, financial tricks, accounting, how to save money, how to be smart about money, how to start a business, girl boss, money questions answered, Los Angeles, entrepreneur, business women, intersectional feminism

Vérité Woman: What are the three basics of being on top of your money your twenties and thirties?

Claire Van Holland: One: If you fear it, don’t let that fear get the best of you. This is the only way to move forward!

Two: Look at your money. As simple as that may sound, some people choose not to look at it, which is 75% part of the problem. If you don’t look at it, you don’t know what you’re dealing with. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, then you for sure won’t be on top of your money.

Three: Be consistent. Whether you choose to look at it 1x/ week or 1x/ month, set a date and a time where that is what you do. Consistency is key!

Vérité Woman: What would you tell women who have anxiety surrounding their debt or finances?

Claire Van Holland: Money and finances is simply a form of exchange. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to forget that when we live in a society and culture that places more value on it than we should. The best thing to remember is that money will always come and money will always go. Being at peace with your money flow will help the anxiety. Putting better controls over your money flow is what will lessen that anxiety even more.

Vérité Woman: How do you advise your clients on re-working their perspective on money?

Claire Van Holland: I remind my clients that there is nothing to be ashamed of. When folks come to me for help, there is always some degree of shame. I am always very clear that working with me is to be in a non-judgment zone and a safe space. I’m here to help and whatever point it is that they stand with their money, working with me is to help them get to a better place and reach their goals.

Vérité Woman: What does this mean to you: How does one “attract” money?

Claire Van Holland: To not be afraid of making money and to know your worth. As women, it’s easy to undersell ourselves. Everyone I know has done it, including myself. But if we are going to reach our true earning potential we have to believe that we deserve to make what our work is worth. Part of this lies in the mentality of knowing the value of your time and the other part is not being afraid to ask for what your time is worth — and not back down.

Vérité Woman: What are the most common mistakes that you see people making surrounding their finances?

Claire Van Holland: The biggest one is not being consistent when dealing with your money. This should be habitual and become as common as something like brushing your teeth or drinking water. We live off of the money we make so it is just as important as keeping up your hygiene.

Join Claire on the 3rd Thursday of every month (starting this month), Clair will be launching CV Ledger Office Hours, which is an opportunity for ladies and lady business owners to join her for 45-60 minutes each month and ask any money related questions that touch business and finance. It’s free to join, Claire just requests that people sign up with her mailing list and submit a question beforehand.

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Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba!

Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! When scrolling through Anna-Alexia Basile’s Instagram feed it’s easy to garner her aesthetic is highly influenced by color and light. Color through light. Light impacting color. It seems only natural that she booked herself a ticket to Cuba just a few months after the country settled differences with the U.S. and opened its welcome gate. Retrophiles have shared in worry — Cuba will soon be impacted by our tourism, and will no longer feel like a moment stuck in a time long, long ago. However, you see here, this has yet to unfold. Cuba is still a land of charisma — each photo almost bringing to life the sounds, smells, visuals of Havanas streets, all swirling together into one visceral treat. We wanted to know everything Anna could tell us about this until-now forbidden place, so grab your café cubano and read on…

Why Cuba?
My world is ruled by color so Cuba was a no brainer. Everything — the house, the cars, the people — are so vibrant. Cuba speaks my visual language, so it was the ideal place to make some color-heavy magic. Plus I’ve always been enamored w salsa dancing and salsa music– you can barely walk the streets there without getting pulled into the rhythm. You may be dancing with a stranger, but the moves are perfectly familiar.

What cities did your Cuban adventure take you to?
We flew into Havana and immediately drove to Viñales, a small rural town on the western side of Cuba. Viñales is so dreamy — it has one main road that’s lined with tons of colorful houses that lead you to the main square. The streets are filled with locals and travelers alike who are all mixing, mingling and dancing in the square into the wee hours of the night. By day we rode horses through the avocado groves and tobacco farms and sampled local rums and hand-rolled cigars. By night we’d always find ourselves back at the main square dancing with strangers and dipping in and out of bars with live music.
We ended our trip in Havana, Cuba’s capital. We spent our days soaking in the ocean air and exploring the winding streets of old Havana. We made friends with young locals and would explore art galleries and beautiful pools by day and then dance into the night on timeworn rooftops.

How did you prep for this trip? 
I did a lot of pre-planning because I knew we were going to have very limited access to the Internet once we arrived. My tips for anyone considering making this beautiful adventure are to:
Download an offline map — enter in all the destinations you’re interested in before you leave the States. This will show you what’s near each other so you can group activities in close proximity together on the same day
BYOB: Bring Your Own Basics — Because of the embargo, Cuba doesn’t have a lot of the basics that we’re used to having day-to-day. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted elementary first aid until I got some gnarly blisters on my feet. Not only did the stores not have Band-Aids, but neither did the emergency room…in Havana, nonetheless!
Embrace the Bike Taxi — Bike Taxis are a great way to quickly shimmy through the skinny streets of Havana. On our first day there we had a young kid Bike Taxi us around Havana Vieja and point out all the big landmarks so we could familiarize ourselves with the area.
Talk to the locals — Make friends with people you meet in the street and spend time with your hosts. Chances are they’ll turn you on to something unexpected!

Tell us about Cuban life: What stood out? What impacted you? Where did you feel the most inspired?
I was blown away by how friendly and welcoming the locals were — both in urban and rural settings we were greeted with open arms. It felt easy to experience the culture because everyone was excited to share it with us. I was most inspired by the colors. My eyes were constantly on sensory overload. I never knew where to look—the corners where the colorful houses meet, the vibrant cars whizzing past each other on the street or the striking older Cuban women smoking cigars alongside ancient buildings.

Let’s get down to it: Where do you suggest travelers go, eat, shop?

Viñales | Eat: At the Casa Particulare that you’re staying at! The hosts will often cook you a really delicious local meal that’s a nice change from the usual nosh

See: Tour the tobacco fields on horseback and take a day trip to Cayo Jutías, a wistful crystal-clear beach where the locals drive their old cars right up to the water

Do: Salsa dance with someone new in the main square!

Havana | Eat: At El Dandy for quick and delicious vegetarian friendly meals and free popcorn, La Guarida for a nice sit-down date, $0.30 street pizza!

See: Get lost in the streets of Havana Vieja and walk the Malecon (the big wall along the sea)

Do: FAC (Fabrica de Arte Cubana) for an evening experience of the young and modern in Havana

Shop: Clandestina for locally designed really rad clothing and bags

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The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You.

The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty.The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty. The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty.The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty.
The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty. The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty.
The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty. The Beauty Line That Embraces The Rarity of You. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cle cosmetics, natural beauty, clean ingredient beauty products, made in California, skincare, lifting face masks, pigment lip powder, blogger loved brand, southern California, Self Care, Minimalist, Branding, Minimal aesthetic, intersectional beauty.It seems like a daunting feat: to craft a beauty product that can be worn by any woman regardless of skin tone, yet that enhances the rarities of each. Impossible? One might conclude so, yet Clē Cosmetics is proof that inclusivity does have a place in the beauty industry — the beauty line that embraces the rarity of you.

The formula to this come-one-come-all approach is not a marketing ploy, but a transparency — in the way they speak to their customers (educating on their clean ingredients) but also in the actual make-up of the makeup. With lightweight, sheer powders, mists, and pigments the Clē woman is not hiding who she is but giving life to her inner whims through the products. No longer concealing freckles, but highlighting their existence through the Essence Moonlighter Cushion. Offering a coquettish kiss through the Melting Lip Powder — one that takes your natural lip hue, and brings it up a few watts. A Lifting Mist that just seems to take what you’ve already got and breathed new energy into its surface. Just soak up those product names: essence, melt, lift — they are words that don’t mask who you are but seep into you, becoming one with the wearer.

When we asked Lauren Jin, the companies founder about what inspired Clē she was quick to remind us that “beauty is purely from the self.” Now let that sink in a little.

Our favorites from Clē:
Melting Lip Powder in Hot Chocolate + Milk Chocolate (shown above on cheeks and eyelids as well)
Essence Moonlighter Cushion in Copper Rose
Dry Mask Pack + Lifting Mist 

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Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love.

Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love. | Now on VERITE WOMAN, how to learn self love, how to have confidence, how to feel good about yourself, how to stop being depressed, how to have confidence at work, how to have confidence in relationships, how to manifest love.Now that you’ve been introduced to the most important layer of the self-love journey, we want to give you some tools to implement, that will help turn this elusive concept into a habit: Our Tried and True Practices for Finding and Sustaining Self Love! This isn’t an easy out of insecurities, it’s still hard work but from what we’ve found they will set you on the right path. Get ready to free yourself from self-doubt.

Inside:
The inside encompasses the ego and mental selves (if you haven’t read our last post, be sure to do that first) — this is who you believe yourself to be on the inside, what makes up your personality and rules your belief system.

  1. Take charge of your thoughts. Open up the notes in your phone and make a list. Define a being that you could love. Define a being that you believe is beauty. Not by cultures standards, but by your personal standards. For example, your mother is a force to be reckoned with, her large presence and unwavering stance has always been admirable to you — put it on the list. This list will be your touch base whenever you feel unsure in yourself. That’s why it should be kept on your phone, so you can get to it in dire times.
  2. Speak to your body as if it were someone you love — gently, reassuring, pulling out its best attributes to remind it how beautiful and powerful it really is.
  3. Make a list of gratitudes. This is one we at Vérité Woman can testify to its powers to heal. When you’re feeling a surge of insecurities about your self worth, ability to achieve, or attract love whip out a journal or your phone notes and make a list of all of the things that you love about who you are (a very important step to meditate on), things you made happen (big or small) that make you happy, and things you have attracted: got that job you wanted, made amazing friends that you love and look up to, most importantly gratitude for the beautiful life you’ve built yourself. This list will immediately make you glow, and put into perspective that your good energy and high-level of worth made these wonderful things come to fruition.
  4. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. Social media is one of, if not the largest source of feeling inadequate in our modern day. We allow this tool that is meant to be a source of inspiration to be a source of pure mental plague. Unfollow all the accounts that do not serve you, or the people who make you feel lesser — it’s not thinspiration, it’s sickness. This makes room for accounts and people that leave you happier and more whole.
  5. Forgive yourself! We hate when others teaching self-love say “accept who you are” because we believe you are always changing, growing, learning in an upward trajectory. However, instead we say forgive yourself — it’s too much weight to carry around the guilt you feel from past actions, or the bruises you dolled out from being too hard on yourself. When you’re feeling these pasts plaguing you just repeat I forgive you as your mantra until it passes. But most importantly while you say these words to yourself meditate on believing them. With habit, the words will become reality.

Outside:
These tools address your physical self —that body that has taken so much abuse from others and yourself.

  1. Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love. Romance it, pamper it — face masks may not be the key to self-care but the action of caring for works wonders. Act like your body is a relationship you are in and have to consistently cultivate, because guess what, you do.
  2. Find beauty in who you are — This should be apart of your Gratitude List (see above). Describe in depth the force in your curves that demand attention, the clarity of your eyes that see the best in people. You can choose to keep this in the same place as your gratitude list, and your list of defining beauty traits to reference when needed.
  3. Self portraiture. This, for some might be the most difficult step in this process — so many feel a veil of shyness hide their true charisma once a camera focuses on them. When you’re all by yourself set up a camera, the self timer on your phone, or even just go to selfie mode. Spend time documenting what you look like when it’s just you. Document varying emotions if you want to take the project that far — when you have tears running down your face, when you are smiling at the camera, when you feel sexiest. Take hundreds if you have to. It may sound like a whole bunch of time wasted on vanity, but in fact it is a wonderful healing exercise into seeing yourself from an outside view. Look at these photos as if you are a stranger finding splendor in this confident woman. Soon you will start to believe in her, and become her.

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