Many people have negative associations with the word "Millennial." Millennials usually face a lot of criticism, including accusations that their problems, such as anxiety, derive from laziness and a narcissistic sense of entitlement. In actuality, a lot of Millennials' fear comes from uncertainty. As a Millennial, I can attest to the fact that I have anxiety about the uncertainty of my future. I feel like I should know what to do with my life and who I am, but I do not. Instead of developing self-love, I spend a majority of my time worrying about what other people think of me and desperately seeking validation from those around me.
Women especially feel the need to be accepted and desired by others because of society’s expectations of who we should be. The concept of loving ourselves is foreign because we live in a society where women, more often than not, put everyone’s desires ahead of their own.Society tends to discredit your experiences and emotions, which increases insecurity, making it an arduous journey to loving yourself.
When you find yourself prioritizing your needs before anyone else’s, you are essentially defying society's expectations. You are putting a stop to self-hate and are showing others that it is possible to achieve a sense of self-love. Everyone has unpleasant days where your hair is a mess, you miss the train, or you are late to work, but we also tend to criticize ourselves more than anyone else. Even if you do not look like a Victoria’s Secret model or eat as healthily as Gwyneth Paltrow, you are still beautiful. In many cases, celebrities are wealthy enough to pay nutritionists and trainers to motivate them, exercise with them, and prepare meals for them. Most people in this world do not have that luxury, and when we end up eating healthy and working out on our own, it feels even more fulfilling.
Additionally, with the popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, Millennials are susceptible to unremitting judgments from people they may not even know. Most Millennials post pictures of awesome parties they have attended, the delicious food they are eating, or their latest workout routine. Having your best moments posted on social media does not make it easier to learn to love yourself, trust me.
I am not ashamed to admit that I get envious of people’s Instagram posts, even those of my friends. The truth is, I would much rather focus on doing my best in classes than looking at pictures of people’s social lives. I would preferably read On the Road by Jack Kerouac than watch hours of Jane the Virgin. Nevertheless, I often succumb to the stress of not having enough followers while knowing that it would be better to focus more on doing things that are beneficial to my future.
Try not to meet society's standards, exceed them. Prove people wrong by working every day towards loving yourself; whether it is giving yourself a morning mirror pep talk or putting on that scarlet red lipstick that feels sexy, just make sure you make your own happiness one of your priorities. Some of the most powerful steps in achieving self-love include forgiving yourself, encouraging yourself, and practicing self-kindness. It may sound selfish, but you are not responsible for their happiness; you are responsible for your own. Once I started practicing self-love, everything in my life started feeling so much better. So listen to what your mind and body are telling you; if you are exhausted, take a night off of partying to get some Zzz’s. When you start withdrawing from society’s expectations, your love is evident to others. Know that if you sincerely love yourself, then you have more love to give to the world.