Sara Kuburic speaks to IRISH TATLER on how and why we should all embark on the journey to self-love.
It should be the simplest thing in the world; to love our bodies. But for women especially, this continues to be a devastatingly hard task. Centuries of being taught that the way we look defines us and that those looks should only adhere to one aesthetic has eroded our confidence, our pride in who we are and our love for ourselves. According to a new global report by The Body Shop, which reveals the state of the female “self-love crisis” around the world, a huge one in two women report feeling more self-doubt than self-love, with 60 per cent wishing they had more respect for themselves.
But thanks to the likes of mental health and self-love advocate, Jameela Jamil and existential psychotherapist, life coach and writer, Sara Kuburic; we're fighting back. This is an age in which women are coming together more than ever to push back against a one-size-fits-all standard.
Speaking to IRISH TATLER during a round table interview with fellow journalists, Kuburic explored the need for self-love and the vital role it can play in our long-term happiness. But noting that after centuries of self-doubt and societal pressures, Kuburic understands it isn't an easy journey to go on.
But although difficult, it is important so below, Kuburic outlines the four simple rules of self-love.
1. understand that perfection is not the goal
"Perfection is an illusion," says Kuburic. "It's a trap. And it fuels consumerism but it also just fuels self-hatred and, and disappointment and self-resentment. I think we need to normalise what it means to be human, which is inherently to be imperfect. There is no other way.
There is no perfect person, no perfect body, no perfect relationship. Perfection just doesn't exist. And the sooner we stop striving for that I think the better."
2. Be authentic, not just for you but for others
"We need to be careful about what we're consuming because what we consume will shape us, it will shape the way that we relate to ourselves and to other people. And the great thing is that we have the autonomy to create the space that we want," explains Kuburic.
"We need to just show up authentically. I think there's just so little genuine content out there. And I think if we show up authentically, we give other people permission to do the same. We show them that they're not alone. And I think that can go viral, it can become a trend, we just need to stick to it. Because I know when I see genuine content, it makes me want to do the same. And so I think it's all about giving each other safety and space to show up authentically, regardless of who you are, how you do that, or what your role in society is."
Perfection is an illussion, it's a trap.
3. use social media, the right way
A lot of the time, social media gets the blame for feeding into our self-doubt and forcing us to feel like we need to look and act a certain way. Something, Kuburic doesn't necessarily agree with. "I don't think social media inherently is the issue. I think the issue is how we use it, and how as a society we've chosen or being coerced, and conditioned to use it," she explains.
"I think you see with heavy social media users, that they do experience lower self-esteem. However, they're also twice as likely to feel more emotionally supported. And so really, I think that highlights how our social media experience depends on how we show up in the space and that's ultimately how we're going to be impacted. But I think social media has been a great tool for activism. But unfortunately, it's also been misused."
4. PRACTICE OPENNESS
"It's ridiculous to me that we've taken something as beautiful as the relationship we have with ourselves and made it a goal, a result, something that we can be judged on, something that we can compare," opines Kuburic. "It just takes the sacredness out of the whole experience.
You can't force yourself to love whatever part of you and oftentimes it does have an adverse effect. So for me, I feel like acceptance is a beautiful place to be; to be open. I personally practice openness to whatever I'm feeling. Regardless if it's my emotional state or my physical state, I practice openness. I always say before acceptance, there's couple of stages; there is understanding and there's compassion.
It's ridiculous to me that we've taken something as beautiful as the relationship we have with ourselves and made it a goal, a result, something that we can be judged on, something that we can compare
Even if you can't accept it, always try to go, 'do I understand myself today?' 'Am I striving to understand myself today?' Even when I might not fully understand myself today, it's an 'am I putting in the intention to understand?' 'Can I offer myself some compassion to whatever I'm feeling?'. If it's not full acceptance of me in that particular moment, and then self-love would be down the road, but again, it's just taking that pressure off and just allowing myself to be open."
For more on The Body Shop's Self-Love movement, see bodyshop.com