#20BeautifulWomen, Self-Love, and Narcissism

By: Leah Weigel

There has been a tag going around my Instagram feed called #20BeautifulWomen. The idea is for women to post a picture of themselves where they feel beautiful, and tag 20 other women in that photo to do the same. I love the idea of stirring up some self-love and support of fellow women; however, I noticed this tag stirred up a little more than that. Some classmates were talking about a girl who had posted a selfie, calling her attention seeking and egotistical. This got me to thinking—where is the line between healthy self-love and narcissism? So I did a little research and developed a theory on how far self-love should go before it becomes destructive to the self and those around.

There are many different characteristics that a self-loving person may have. This includes self-confidence, desire for leadership, finding worth in relationships, and following self-proclaimed values consistently. All of these traits have to potential to be healthy, impactful, and lead to a very wonderful person. But when self-confidence is not rooted in reality, it can become damaging. A person who believes that their “way” or actions are exclusively correct or better, can lead to egotism, which essentially leads to failed relationships.

I think the easy way to put it is that self love is at its best when it includes loving other people just as much as yourself. The confidence you have in your self should be transferred into confidence in your friends, the leadership you yearn for should be the same leadership you want to see in other people, the value you see in yourself should be the same value you see in others, and the consistently in following what you believe in should be transferred into wanting that same freedom for everyone. I couldn’t care less if that girl posted a selfie or not. She was not hurting anybody by sharing her face with the Instagram world. She didn’t say “oh look how much more beautiful I am then everyone else.” She was posting through #20BeautifulWomen to share the beauty she saw in herself along with the beauty she saw in others. So ladies, get out there and love yourself, love your smarts, love your body, love your personality, love your sense of humor, love your selfies, love your outfit if its damn cute…and don’t hesitate to love others as well.

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