Before you proceed to do a little vomit in your mouth and run away from your phone screen screaming that I’ve written a hideous ode to my boyfriend that should never have seen the light of day, I’m here to talk Valentine’s in a different way today. We’re not talking a significant other, mushy cards or synthetically soft teddy bears holding garish, cartooned love hearts, oh no. I’m talking the truth of Valentine’s- the reason why we should all get on board with this celebration of love. Because the truth is, to me, and so it should be to y’all- Valentine’s is about EMPOWERMENT. Whether that be listening to sexy songs that make you feel yo best self, shaving or not shaving in prep for the day (if you’re on the hunt for a new hair care product, the new wet and dry epilator by Panasonic* is a good shout) or shouting out those, romantic and platonic, that make your life happy happy happy, Valentine’s is about empowering ourselves, being thankful for the good people in our lives but most importantly, I’m here to argue it’s about self love.
So I wanted to spend today’s post celebrating some self-empowering things – because in my eyes, that’s what I’ve always viewed Valentine’s as. A chance to celebrate the person that you have become, and to be thankful for the beautiful humans life has surrounded us with. Romance ain’t even a part of it all. Self-appreciation, self love and self-empowerment are where it’s at, my pals.
The romantic pull of fashion to make you love yourself
I genuinely think the main reason I am a fash-oholic (new word I made up that 110% does not make sense- for your clarification I mean that I’m obsessed with clothes) is because wearing the right outfit, the most me outfit I can find, makes me accept who I am, and even- dare I say it?- like who I am. Fashion is a form of expression, and the clothes we choose to wear, whether we like it or not, are a definite marker of our identity. And being able to slowly journey through the varying stages of my identity to work out who I really am has been something I’ve always identified with, ever since I was young. I remember, vividly, being ten and feeling utter excitement at picking out some new outfits for an upcoming summer holiday. This feeling has transcended the years with me as I’ve slowly worked out who exactly I am and I feel that ever since I started this blog back in my first year of university, and I could channel these creative energies I had surrounding my pash for the fash (that’s passion for fashion – why am I an embarrassment?) I realised what clothes make me feel my BEST.
Now, I know I’ve gone for a clichéd Valentine’s getup in these pics, but I’d just bought a new silky dressing gown-type situation and I desperately wanted to shoot it because it made me feel good – but picking out the right outfit for any situation empowers me. Whatever you’re doing this Valentine’s, whether that’s throwing on your dressing gown after a busy day at university, rocking a cute co-ord to a date with a significant other, or putting on a fab bodycon or swing dress that makes you feel your best for a fun evening with the best friends you value most in life, fashion really is something hugely empowering, and I urge you to find your niche within your style this Valentine’s. Fall in love with yourself, my friend! That’s what it’s about!
Sexy songs to get yo groove on to
Another form of expression that I genuinely could not live without is music. It’s been a massive part of my life since I was a bub, I used to perform myself, want to again when I get the chance, and I’ve just always gone to music to make sense of various emotions that I’ve felt. And as I’ve been saying, Valentine’s to me is all about you doing you, and you celebrating your life, and what better way to do this than through music?
I don’t know if I’m going to sound like an utter silly thing saying this, but I strongly believe that there are fundamentally sexy songs. I’m going to make absolutely no sense here whatsoever, but pls follow my drift. Pls try to stay with me. Pls. These sexy songs aren’t songs particularly about sex or love, but it’s just something about the musical nature of these tracks that make them fundamentally sexy songs. Whether that’s the beat, the musical tone, the atmosphere the lyrics conjure- I don’t know, I ain’t no musical genius. But what I do know is that they’re damn sexy songs, and they make me feel my best self. Case in points explained below- have a boogie, g’wan:
To shave or not to shave? Choice is empowering
Something that I’ve really been thinking about recently is choice, and why it is that we do the things that we do. This has been sparked by a beautiful conversation Laura Jackson began recently, with her movement Januhairy, which has literally gone global. A campaign about choice, Januhairy makes us question the reason why we do certain things, and to make sure that it’s not because society has imposed these guidelines on us as women. It’s about choice, and letting women across the world know that they’re perfectly within their rights to choose to shave their body hair if they want to, just as they’re equally within their rights to let it grow. The movement has seen women taking to social media to post images of their natural body hair, and it has allowed women that choose to shave a space to justify why it is they want to. Either/or is totally, 150% fine.
Personally, I choose to shave. Why exactly? I’ve been thinking about that a lot, recently. At first, I was concerned it’s just been internalised in me to shave because ‘society’ deems it ‘the right thing to do’. However, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I just personally prefer the feel of my legs and underarms when they’re smoother. I am in no way against people who choose to grow their hair and I am so glad we live in a society where a narrative has been opened up about choice and to break down prejudices. I think however you choose to deal with your body hair, you’re freakin’ beautiful. It’s beautiful to own your personal opinion and confidence and happiness radiates from you once you own who you want to be.
If you choose to shave and want to shave for yourSELF- ya gotta be doin’ this for yourself because that’s what matters at the end of the day- the new wet and dry epilator from Panasonic* removes body hair simply and easily. With an LED light to see clearly any stray hairs and a gentle skin guard to carefully moisturise the skin and eliminate the chance of any rashes, this makes the process simpler than before for those of us that choose to shave. I know I often struggle with ingrown hairs (soz if this be TMI) and rashes when using manual shavers, so this new epilator cancels out that pain. You do you – choose to shave for yourself; choose to grow your body hair out for yourself. You’re the only component in this equation, pal!
Celebrate your loved ones (no cringe gifts in sight)
To me, Valentine’s is about being grateful for everyone you love in your life. Platonic- and perhaps romantic. Valentine’s is built upon the idea of romantic love, but I say to hell with allll that – Valentine’s is about all kinds of love. Tell loved ones how much you love them, remember loved ones you may have lost and think about everyone you’re grateful for, and how each and every person you love has enriched your life in various ways.
I have always celebrated all forms of love on Valentine’s Day. For example, when I was a lil bub, I used to get my parents Valentine’s cards, because I just felt compelled to tell them how much they meant to me. Similarly, my momma used to get me and my sister some chocolates as a wee treat. This mentality has found its way into my psyche and made Valentine’s a three-dimensional concept for me. This year, I’m celebrating my family and my closest friends, as well as my boyfriend. That’s how it should be.
Self love is the love we should be celebrating
But the crux of allllll o’ dis is the most important thing that I believe Valentine’s should symbolise: SELF LOVE. You are the most important person in your life. Your happiness comes from within. Celebrate who you are this Valentine’s and see those you love as an added bonus- you, yourself, are enough. <3 sendin’ ya loves this Valentine’s, peoples!
[*Disclaimer: This blog post has kindly been sponsored by Panasonic. Ya gal has got to see her blog as a business as she moves towards graduation. However, this blog post is an important message I would have nevertheless spread as Valentine’s approaches!]