Why We Need To Stop Using "Self-Obsessed" As An Insult

While we've made huge steps in the fight for more body positivity, fitness blogger Emma Louise's recent Instagram post is more proof that there's still work to be done.
On Wednesday, Louise posted two photos of herself in a bikini to Instagram, with comments from her followers pasted onto it.
"She's kinda obsessed with her own ass," one comment reads.
"Well in my opinion, she just went from self-obsessed too skinny to self-obsessed too muscular," another commenter wrote. "Taking this many pictures of your own butt denotes some kind of problem somewhere."

A different kind of post tonight.. but an important one 😊 These are a small snippet of some of the comments I've received (from people I know and people I don't) bcos of my Instagram. I'm sure many other girls can relate. . Its funny isn't it, that people can decide what sort of person you are from a few pictures. How people can equate sharing photos of yourself or your body online as being utterly "self obsessed". I think that's dumb. If someone expresses a twinge of self confidence they're usually knocked. Yet the same people to judge will also tell you to be happy and love urself πŸ™„ The amount of times I've stressed + cried cos' I've heard from someone/read something about myself where people have called me names cos of my pictures and "the sort of things I post" is horrible. I've spent a lot of today very sad about it actually. But then I remembered: it doesn't matter. I can f*cking love myself!!!!! 😊 and no, not in a "im better than you" kind of way. I can love myself and I can love my body and my person and my sense of humour and my weird quirky personality traits. And so can you. Cos imagine going through life hating yourself. I'm someone who's always struggled with confidence and has had a lot of "bad days", like many people. So isn't it wonderful when we have days that are great? 😊 To feel confident enough to post a picture of your body, to wear a certain piece of clothing, to speak out in a group; it's bloody wonderful. Never bash someone for looking "confident" or "loving themselves" or being "obsessed with their ass" cos, a) you have no idea how they really feel, b) if they are: be happy for them, & c) maybe practice your own bit of self love and go get some fresh air or something πŸ˜„βœ¨

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Louise posted these comments publicly, she wrote, to draw attention to the dichotomy that often happens in the narrative of body confidence: we tell people (especially women) to "love themselves" β€” but only to a certain extent.
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"How people can equate sharing photos of yourself or your body online as being utterly 'self obsessed,'" she wrote. "If someone expresses a twinge of self confidence they're usually knocked. Yet the same people to judge will also tell you to be happy and love urself."
While the negative comments initially disheartened her, she realized that there's nothing wrong with loving yourself and taking moments to celebrate when you're feeling confident.
"I can f*cking love myself!!!!!" she wrote. "and no, not in a "im better than you" kind of way. I can love myself and I can love my body and my person and my sense of humour and my weird quirky personality traits. And so can you."
Of course, there's a line between confidence and narcissism, as Louise pointed out, many of us don't love ourselves and our bodies 100% of the time β€” and that's why it's important to savor the moments when we do. And besides, there's nothing wrong with being "obsessed" with ourselves in a society that often tells us we're not enough.
"I'm someone who's always struggled with confidence and has had a lot of 'bad days', like many people," she wrote. "So isn't it wonderful when we have days that are great? To feel confident enough to post a picture of your body, to wear a certain piece of clothing, to speak out in a group; it's bloody wonderful. Never bash someone for looking "confident" or "loving themselves" or being "obsessed with their ass" cos, a) you have no idea how they really feel, b) if they are: be happy for them, & c) maybe practice your own bit of self love and go get some fresh air or something."
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Sure, Louise may have a body that's traditionally been more accepted in society, but that doesn't make her message any less valid. It's time we let people love themselves without exception.
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