LOVE URSELF

Valentine’s Day is the quintessential Hallmark holiday. It’s narrow-minded nature focuses solely on celebrating those in relationships, but it fails completely to acknowledge that the first relationship worth having is the one you share with yourself.

This year, we decided to give the middle finger to the conventional V-day narrative, and instead to impose a message we all need to hear: LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.

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Sparking a new romantic notion

The kind that puts every woman at the focus of the narrative, and empowers to be her best self all by herself.

It’s time to challenge the normative traditions behind Cupid’s holiday. Why has society conditioned us to gravitate towards roses, wine, and boujee icons of “love” instead of empowering us to tangibly activate the very thing that all of those material tokens are intended to represent?

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Consider this a love letter

A virtual love letter, sure. But perhaps something that’s crafted and delivered with so much love, thought, and intent, that perhaps it echoes the sentiment of scribbled snail mail that’s hand-delivered.

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Like your go-to perfume, spritz yourself with some girl talk that’s not reluctant to get real on the mushiest day of the year.

Forget the flowers, frills and fancy dinners.

Sometimes good things come in small packages. Like a hint of charcoal rose, vetiver, and patchouli for a different kind of flutter. Keep things fresh and relish in the things that make you feel more like you.

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Valentine’s Day needs a rebrand.

Society has conditioned us to believe we need a significant other in order to celebrate this bullshit holiday. Like we can’t bask in flowers and chocolates and special-occasion wine unless we have someone to do it with, and sometimes for, us.

Why do we accept the thinking that relationships resemble a symbol of affirmation? Like somehow, we have to be “in love” with another person to be a fuller version of ourselves? Sometimes relationships can insinuate a toxic stereotype that translates as a declaration of self worth or a reflection of an individual’s recognition. Let’s nix this outdated narrative by setting our sights on a truth we all need to marinate: Your happiness does not always rely on a relationship.

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Be unabashedly you—there’s no one else quite like that.

Invest in yourself. Romantic relationship or no romantic relationship, everything worth having comes from a solace that only sustains itself from within. Embrace your quirks. Be gracious with yourself when it comes to your imperfections. Don’t be reluctant to appreciate elements of who you are. Celebrate small victories. And relish in the fact that in a world of seven billion people, there isn’t a single woman out there who is carefully wired the way that you are. Who you are, what you wear, how you live, what makes you laugh, what sets your soul on fire, these details are intentionally-crafted pieces that illustrate your womanhood. Don’t underestimate that.

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Accentuate the things that make your beauty feel authentic.

A little eyeliner and a pair of statement earrings goes a long way—without an audience and without a need for grand appearance.

Never underestimate the things that make you feel aligned with your truest self. Whether it’s red lipstick, a coffee in hand, or your go-to leather jacket—these seemingly irrelevant details denote who you are. Embrace that, and cultivate more and more of that energy and self-identity in to your life.

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Ignite an intolerance for the messaging that compromises the potential of how you choose to love yourself, and how you deliberately celebrate the people in your world who mean the most to you.

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…You find it in you to seek love where it counts.

In the things you’re passionate about. In the people who make you feel confident. In belly laughs, words of encouragement, and music that makes you break out in dance. In early sunsets and rainy Sundays. In the simple things that bring you joy.

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There’s a silent confidence that echoes that of a whisper when you embrace the mindset of loving who you are.

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— treat yourself sweet, today and every day —

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Let’s give a middle finger to the “Be Mine” bullshit.

The only obligation you have is to yourself. You don’t need to belong to someone else to live a life that’s rich with love.

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And in the words of the ever-inspiring Danielle Doby, “Give yourself permission to be where you are, and to still be loved for it.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, babe. Sending you love.

xoxo,

etheReal Collective