For the longest time, I was not Justin Bieber’s number one fan. I remember when he was a really young thirteen years old; I was a fun-loving fan girl who jammed out to Bieber’s hit single “One Time”.
Although he has gone through quite a bit of poor publicity and events that we all have been made aware of, Bieber seems to be making quite the comeback. His new album, Love Yourself, has a song in it also called Love Yourself. The entirety of J Bieb’s album consists of uplifting and deeper messages that we have an audience have yet to see come full circle in his music.
The song Love Yourself holds an interesting premise in that it is both bitter and caring at the same time. Biber writes this song to an ex. Justin points out that the girl he’s writing to be completely full of herself. He was able to recognize that she loved herself but in a vain, narcissistic, and only surface-level deep sort of way. Bieber goes as far as to say that his mom doesn’t like the girl he was with and this is a big statement because he goes on to point out that his mom loves everyone.
Yet, the course of the song Bieber proposes to his ex that if she is truly that into herself on a surface level, she should go and love herself. Although it can be argued that Bieber is basically telling his ex to get over herself, he is giving her the sound advice of maybe she will avoid a lot of problems in her life if she aims at loving herself. Bieber saw the side of her where she was vain and caused a lot of problems in their relationship. However, he gives her the idea that she should go and genuinely love herself in a more true, deeper way.
Mainly, I love the way this new Bieber song sounds. Yet secondly, I enjoy this song because I think Bieber has a point: the girl is not fooling herself in her egocentric tendencies of what she thinks she is portraying to others and herself as real “self-love”. No, instead, he calls her out and lets her know that if she’s really that into herself, she’ll go and learn to really love herself and accept who she is.
The truth to the story of self-love is that self-love is not compartmentalized. Self-love enraptures the entirety of one’s self. This looks like loving yourself for both your strengths and weaknesses. For your highlights and your flaws. For your achievements and the times you fell short. For the times you resisted and the times you gave in. For the times you grew and for the times you were utterly stubborn.
When thinking about self-love, I begin to think of the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde is a character that struggles with his dual personality. The two personalities he possesses include a jovial, amiable Dr. Jekyll who is friendly and very sociable. On the other hand, Edward Hyde is a mysterious, darker, and crueler character in his nature.
The interesting part of the plot line of the story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as one character is that they are in a battle with one another. They both exist, but the battle is about who will triumph and appear more than the other.
This can be the same of us if we do not practice the art of self-love. For each person, loving yourself may look different. It may come with different challenges that another person may not experience. Some people are better at loving themselves than others. Some people find it easier to be their own worse enemy.
In my own life, I have always had the tendency and been more inclined to be my own worst critic. Some of my own self-talk has sounded like “Wow, you did not do hot on that midterm at all. You didn’t study as much as you should’ve…” etc etc.
Relatable to the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we all have parts of our personalities that we like and do not like. Things we see more as light and things we would perceive as darker. Yet, the truth of the matter is that we are one person and we cannot expect for this person to be 100% good 100% of the time. Flaws are apart of human nature. Yet, similarly, so are the strengths we have as people. Some people are awesome communicators, some are incredibly generous, and some are so skilled at what they do in their life.
Regardless of the strengths and weaknesses each and every person possesses, the beautiful thing in being a genuine human being is that there is room to struggle, to be free in who we are flaws and all.
One of the major components of self-love is the acceptance and allowing yourself to be a person whom you can love unconditionally with the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.
Self-love is not genuine when you only allow yourself to be loved when you have done something right, got the highest grade, did the best at work, are the mom who never messes up, is the woman who has it all together and never shows anyone that she is not always wonder woman and she has moments where she has no clue what is going on.
Self-love is a journey to embark on. Just as if you would be travelling to another state or country, you are required to have your boarding pass. In terms of self-love and fully getting to the point of accepting yourself for who you are, your boarding pass is that you are willing to accept your humanity. Lastly, your boarding pass on the journey of self-love is that you have the choice and the ability to love yourself freely in accepting no conditions that go along with giving and accepting this love for yourself.