By Ellie Schulman, Film and Television student, College of Communication


I came across the video above the other day and adamantly believe the subject is worthy of a blog post. Make sure you watch it before you keep reading so you can keep up with my thoughts. Go on, I’ll wait…

Are you back now? Good.

There are so many things about this Dove ad that I love, like the fact that Dove even produced it in the first place, but the content of the ad itself was what really struck me (surprise, surprise, an advertisement that succeeded in its goal). These people described themselves less accurately than a stranger described them, because, as so many people are, they are more critical of themselves than of others.

STOP, I know what you’re doing! Don’t you click out of this tab after reading that line because you think I’m about to get all “love yourself for who you aaaarrreeee” on you. I promise I’ll try to be as honest and sarcastic as I am in person. It’s just that I understand that it’s hard for us to love ourselves completely, even when we do know our good qualities.
The funny thing is, it wasn’t until writing this that I realized why it’s so difficult to focus only on our good qualities. It’s because having “good qualities” automatically means there are “bad qualities” too, right?

Well…yeah. Nobody is perfect. And that’s my exact point.

Take your best friend, for instance. He or she is your best friend for a reason, right? You guys get along fabulously. You’d probably say something like this to describe them: “We make fun of the same movies, have the same favorite coffee shop, and can both easily watch five hours straight of The Vampire Diaries. And she has a pool in her backyard, WAHOO! But dang, she does this one really weird thing…she takes her laptop into the bathroom with her….”

Okay maybe that’s not exactly what your best friend is like, but whatever.

The point is this: we love our best friends to the moon and back even though they are flawed, so why do we have so much trouble loving ourselves the same way?

Sure we have bad qualities! I’ve got tons! Ask any of my ex-boyfriends! But here’s the kicker: the reason we should find the things about ourselves that we love is because those qualities hold more weight than the negative ones.

If we focus on something positive, then we might begin to realize, however slowly, that our lives are actually pretty good. Or we’ll get so distracted enjoying the good things that we simply don’t have time to worry about the bad things anymore. Or, my favorite, we’ll realize we have the potential to make our life better because we are strong.
It’s not terrible for us to dislike certain things about ourselves. But it isn’t helpful if we get so hung up on trying to change those things that we start treating ourselves poorly.

Now imagine me saying this next line in the calm whisper of a Buddhist Monk: “Your body…is a temple.”
And don’t forget, so is your mind!

Treat yourself well. Don’t beat yourself up mentally if you did poorly on a test. Remember that you are a survivor by nature. Take a deep breath and a step back. Muster all the patience and optimism you never thought you had in you. Things will get better.

We’ve reached the point in the article where some of you are feeling inspired, some of you think I’m full of it, and some of you probably stopped reading a while ago. (Congratulations if you made it this far, you’re making me proud!)

I’m now speaking directly to those of you who think I’m full of it.

“But Ellie,” you think, “this all sounds great in theory, but it’s so much harder in practice, don’t you know?! Your advice is awful!”

HOW DARE YOU! No I’m just kidding. Let me take a moment to be serious, because I think it’s important.

If you find yourself having a more difficult time than feels reasonable, I encourage you to talk to someone about it. Start simple: open up to a friend. Once you’re ready, don’t be afraid to seek the assistance of a professional—if anything, that makes you exceptionally brave. Please consider this seriously and don’t brush it off.

I’m sure you’ve got things to do so let me wrap up by putting this whole article very simply: you are the best friend of your best friend—he or she looks at you the same way you look at them. Try to think of yourself from their viewpoint and you’ll start to see wonderful things about yourself, both physically and personality wise.

You are all beautiful.

Here are a couple of BU resources if you’d like someone to talk to:
Student Health Services
And some inspiration: Students Speak


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