“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
RuPaul got it right. This is a lesson I’ve had to learn and relearn through my entire life.
When I was a kid, I lived in the shadow of my older sister. She was the smart one, the pretty one, the kind of girl that you wanted to be. I, on the other hand, was a spastic hyper mess. I had no sense of social propriety, I just tagged along with my sister and did what she told me. I was a bit of a sheep on my younger days.
My mom remarried when I was a sophomore in high school. The man she married was a very religious man and was very focused on image. Time and time again, he would ask me why I didn’t take more pride and care in my appearance. I didn’t care. He wouldn’t stand for it. So, every morning, before school, I had to stand in front of the mirror and name things I liked about myself.
At first, it was torture. I couldn’t look myself in the eye. Eventually, I started to see myself in a better light. Attributes I wanted to enhance. I started to smile more. I felt better in my own skin.
My mom’s ex-husband didn’t do much for me after that, but I do owe him thanks. I never would have seen the awesomeness that is me. Even now, at 26, I start to doubt because of internal and external influences. When those moments arise, I look into a mirror and quote Ru and Cool Runnings. I see pride. I see power. I see a bad-ass mother who ain’t taking no crap off of nobody. Watch the movie for the full effect.
I love me and I love you. I hope you love you, too.
Amaris Hinton is a 25-year-old bookseller who resides in Cincinnati, OH. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA of the Arts, concentrating on Film and Video. Her hobbies include knitting, reading, writing and spending time with her family. She also has a deep appreciation for gingers. That and cupcakes. Yeah.