Self-Love Is Bae

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - EDITOR’S LETTER -

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.

Holly Mead­owsEd­i­tor

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