Self-Love Is Bae
Self-love is not easy. At the age of 32, I’ve started to sprout facial hair. One wiry black hair persistently grows under my chin, and I can confidently say that I now have a moustache. This fresh knock to my confidence is coupled with a ferocious bout of adult acne: as I write this, my face is specked with 10 (yes, I counted) cystic spots, so sore and inflamed that I feel like a walking red beacon of zits. It’s as though my teenage suffering has returned with vengeful angst – only this time it’s brought an older friend, the hairy type that haunts women as we age.
I wish I could say I’m welcoming all this with a don’t-give-a-f*ck attitude. I’m not. All of us have body insecurities, and they certainly aren’t helped by a world of facialtuning apps. Instagram serves us a daily feed of edited selfies: lips plumped, cheeks slimmed, blemishes fixed. But among these impossible – and downright dangerous – beauty standards is a refreshing force of body-positive warriors. One of my personal favourites is singer Lorde, who consistently posts photos of herself covered in pimple cream. It’s this type of candid (and, sadly, rare) celebrity confession that reminds us that we’re not alone.
In this issue, we’ve placed a much-needed spotlight on some of these fearless pioneers. Chidera Eggerue, better known as The Slumflower, rallied a viral movement with her #SaggyBoobsMatter hashtag (read more about it on page 48), and on page 62, three local activists show us how to wear lingerie as outerwear, no matter your body shape. Slowly but surely, a brave army of women is coming forward with messages of acceptance, support and encouragement of how we see, feel and own our bodies. There will be times when we’re plagued by self-doubt – but rather than hiding our so-called imperfections, let’s talk about them and be one another’s cheerleaders for self-love.