Self Love Club
This has been a long time coming and I couldn't be more excited to announce the Self Love Club. I cannot take credit for this concept, it truly came from all the people in my life and community, the conversations or lack of conversations really motivated me to do something. I noticed how often both men and women, but mainly the women in my life, spoke poorly of themselves. Knowing women I found to be beautiful both inside and outside not see that within themselves really got to me and I realized it was time that changed.
A few months ago I held a Self Love talk at The Gladstone Hotel just before Valentine's Day and the response was overwhelming. Seeing the turnout, which was double than expected and the engagement gave me the faith that this conversation was not only need but desired by so many. For me, the start of self love happened during a very tough time in my life. I always find when things get hard that's when you'll learn the most about yourself and when it's most important to focus on yourself.
This conversation isn't only about loving yourself, but also about loving others. We need to make space that is inviting and accepting of everyone; of everyones past, present, future, struggles, successes and more. We need to support each other, in both confidence and insecurities. Allowing each other to speak openly without fear of judgement is the first step.
I posted this photo before my talk and the response I got was more than I expected. My caption wrote "4 years ago I wouldn't have taken this photo let alone posted it online. I wasn't happy with who I was, I thought my unique traits made me too different and unlovable. I struggled to appreciate what I saw in the mirror. It's taken time, patience and kindness to love myself and it's still a process 💗 "
The comments ranged from love, encouragement, emojis and of course a few negative thoughts - which I deleted. The negative comments didn't get to me, it's expected with social media but the comments that truly stuck out where the ones where people said I had nothing to be insecure about and that I've always looked great. Which I know comes from a positive place and had no ill-meaning but that is part of the issue. If we're always telling other people they're fine or have nothing to worry about, how can we have open, honest and trusting conversations. You can't judge a book by it's cover, you never know someones journey and what they've been through.
Another major concern I've had is how hard it is for women to speak positively about themselves. When I spend time with friends or even new acquaintances I notice how quickly we are to list the things we don't like or brush off compliments. When I was going through my struggles I used to stand in front of the mirror and compliment myself, it started with one thing and eventually grew to listing five or more things, both internal and external compliments. This wasn't an easy process and it definitely didn't happen over night but with time it made a huge difference in how I saw myself and spoke to myself. When I asked my friends to name five things they love about themselves the majority of them couldn't name more than 3. So this is my challenge to all of you, start with one thing a day and continue, grow that list until all you see in the mirror is things you love.
A few weeks ago we hosted an open call in Toronto and invited women in to share their stories, both of their insecurities and their growing self love journey. It was one of the hardest things to narrow it down to seven women, I wish I could include everyone, but these women truly represented the journey of self love and the fact that it's never ending. Meet Clark, Olivia, Krizia, Julia, Erica, Jahsway and Ellie - in order of appearance - and thank these brave women for opening up about so much and to allow it to be shared with everyone! We'll be sharing individual videos with stories from each of these women over the next few week so check back regularly!
The Self Love Club came from a place in my heart, something that matters immensely to me and MARY YOUNG as a brand. Everything we stand for is loving yourself for who you are, your natural shape and that confidence will always make you sexy. Working with Raw Beauty Talks was a given as they work towards the same goals as us, teaching young women about self-confidence and self-worth, and that your value isn't found solely in looks. By donating $3 from every item sold to Raw Beauty Talks everyone is a part of this change for better, for safe space and this ripple effect. To continue this movement expect more open conversations from us online and in person with self love events coming in the near future. In the mean time, continue to open up to those close to you, create a safe space and continue loving yourself every step of the way.