Happy New Year! 2019 starts tomorrow and there’s an inevitable flood of “new year new me!” taking over the world. A word of caution though. New Years Resolutions, like everything else, are political. While I’m not really one for resolutions (after all change should be constant, not just for January), I’m looking at 2019 as my year of self love. I encourage you to do the same. Do it not only for yourself, but as always, to take down the system.
To start off, self love has become a commodity. The way we think about ourselves and our bodies fuels industries of oppression. A thing I like to do when I’m feeling sad about the way I look is think about who is benefiting from the thoughts. Its obviously not me. Usually it turns out that the people benefiting are usually old white men who tend to stand against everything I believe in. The benefit is almost always monetary. The last thing I want old white men in positions of power to have is more of my money.
Industries that I’m talking about here are generally makeup, fashion, and dieting. Stretch your mind though. This can be applied to almost any industry that commodifies wellness or beauty. Aside from the money aspect, these industries oppress in other ways. Make up for example, is known to use animal testing. The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters. Don’t forget about sweatshops and child labor either!
All this being said, you can still be a new you. Wearing make up or having a lot of clothes are not inherently bad things. If you do consume these products or support these industries, just do it consciously! Instead of buying from large companies owned by rich white men, buy from smaller locally owned companies. Make sure whatever your buying is cruelty free (there will be a logo if it is). Buy second hand. There’s a lot of options.
They way we view resolutions can be harmful. Think about the phrasing. Some of the most popular resolutions are “lose weight” “spend less money” “be more social”. The way these said are put downs. “Lose weight” implies that you are fat. “Spend less money” implies that you are bad with money. “Be more social” implies that you don’t have any friends. Simple fixes can make resolutions supportive. Instead of “lose weight” maybe say “exercise more” or “eat healthier”. Instead of “spend less money” try “save money” or “be more intentional with money”. Instead of “be more social” try “be present” or “appreciate loved ones”. Easily, put downs can be turned into self love.
The hate we have for ourselves is a product of corporate capitalism and as always the best way to fight hate is with love. That includes self love.
Happy New Year!
Every good wish,