Self Love Movement is Not an Excuse…

self love, self acceptance(Editor’s note: This was originally posted on March 14, 2014.)

People are talking more and more about self love, self acceptance, and body positivity. And it’s awesome. It truly is. The world will be better for it. There are, however, people who are anti-self love. Yes, you read that right. There are people who get upset with people loving themselves. Let me give you an example. This lovely person took the time in her day to private message me this…

“Seriously you have a bad attitude it’s really sad how rude and hateful you get with people. Life is about making the best of it meaning making yourself happy which no one wants a big belly hanging over their vagina no that wouldn’t make anyone happy don’t make people feel bad for wanting to change their weight because they’re not happy with how big they’re. the older we get the harder it gets to lose weight plus with our hormones we tend to find it hard to lose weight and gain more and no it’s not healthy to he skinny either but the point here is you seriously need to take a chill pill the truth can he hard to handle but we all want to feel beautiful and you can’t dare say being fat feels beautiful side IT DOES NOT it’s the hard honest truth you need to accept it everytime I see you put stuff up about self shaming all I’m thinking is how much you actually hate being big but you’re too lazy to change it so you try to make yourself feel better about the situation. I’m fat and I’m working on it I won’t let myself go but you need to support women on trying to get healthy!! I heard you talk at a bwf conference and you sounded like you were out of breath I’m sure lots of weight doesn’t help with that. Please help women want to get healthy not just deal with what they have been left with which is being overweight anything is possible and things worth getting are never easy!”

I have a few things to say about this and to all of those who get their knickers in a twist over self love.

•Are there not more important things in life to get worked up over? If people learning to love themselves is an issue for you, open your eyes. There are bigger issues you could positively direct your attention to.

•People miss the point: loving oneself doesn’t mean not working towards change. Reread until it makes sense.

•Do not judge unless you walk in someone’s shoes. For fuck’s sake. Does this person know my story? Take the time to get to know someone and what they’ve been through. We all have a story to tell. Support and love go much further than hate. Oh and guess what….that support and love help with change.

•For example, the being out of breath had nothing to do with my weight. I was literally bone deep exhausted doing four events in one month, running three businesses, traveling and taking care of five children. Yes, I could barely breathe. Maybe instead of sitting there criticizing me, you could have seen how I was and given me a hug while you watched me do that for hundreds of other women.

•Self love is not solely about weight. When we are insecure we make everything about us and our insecurities…which she did. Which I used to do. There are healthy, thin and fit people who do not love themselves. This is what I’ve come to realize and when I promote self love, it’s not ‘fat acceptance’….it’s people acceptance. None of us are perfect, however, we can work towards change, but we can be nice to ourselves in the process.

•The comment is full of hate, assumptions, and dripping with self doubt and hate from the person that wrote it. My first reaction was wanting to tell her to fuck off. Yes, I said it. This unicorn is far from always graceful. I reflect a lot of hate that comes my way. I get more ridicule and hate from people since starting Birth Without Fear than I knew imaginable. I have learned to let most of it roll off and work through things that I take more personal. This cut deep, not because it’s full of truth as she says, but because she wrote it to try and take something in my life and hurt me with it. I came to the conclusion that I am so very sad for her. Not only does she miss the point of loving oneself, but when you don’t love yourself…you can’t love others. I hope she finds peace and in a place she can do this. In the mean time I blocked her ass so she can’t send her self hate my way.

This kind of thing ends up fueling my passion to a whole other level. I will continue to promote and defend self love. I will continue to help women to love themselves and support them in doing that so that they can make changes they wish to make. Isn’t that a brilliant idea? I think so.

{January, the sexy fat unicorn}

self love


  • Meg

    YOU GO GIRL!! I struggled with my weight & body image after gaining a fair bit in my early 20s. I tried everything to get I a place where I was happy with myself, and it wasn’t until I was able to start loving myself the way I was that I was able to make the truly healthy and body-loving choices that helped me get to the fitness and physical level that I had always desired. Yoga helped so much, and encouraging words from PEOPLE LIKE YOU. For true and lastin change, you have to accept yourself the way you currently are, and then work WITH yourself, not against, to get where you need to be. Loving yourself at every step of the way ensures you won’t backslide with a box full of Oreos, because you just don’t need to! Because you’re happy. That is the message I try to spread to the world with my yoga practice and my words. I’m so glad we’ve got allies like you and your wonderful blog to help open people’s eyes.

  • Jen@PlusSizeBirth

    **Standing Ovation** This post is exactly what so many of us need to read right now and thank you so much January for writing it. All too often negative messages are heard louder than positive ones. The journey to self-love is powerful and freeing. Life is too darn short to hate your body!

  • jess

    So sad that people can not only feel this way, but also take it upon themselves to spread such negativity and hatred.. Some people really don’t understand that you can be happy and practice self-love and acceptance AND work towards a goal for yourself, whether it be weight, health or nothing to do with your body. Although I understand it, self love is hard when we are taught to strive for perfection and that being happy is only acceptable once that perfection is achieved and maintained. Sadly, we are taught that happiness then, is settling with where we are at in this present moment.
    I truly feel that if we felt love and acceptance of ourselves, not only would we improve as a society, but it would help us to reach our goals, whatever they may be. It is a lot easier to eat healthy foods if we respect our bodies. It’s through lack of respect of our bodies that we eat junk (just my theory). We would look after ourselves a lot better, physically and mentally if we loved ourselves. Nobody puts the effort to do the absolute best by something they hate or despise, so why would we take care of ourselves if that’s how we feel. This generation is deluded and tricked into believing that you have to feel hatred towards your body. Marketing calls it ‘motivation’, but really it’s all kinds of negative feelings about yourself. And then, stupidly enough, if you break out from that and see it for what it is, you get all kinds of backlash! People taking it upon themselves to point out what they perceive to be your flaws and pull you back into that mindset. Amazing that they get so offended though! When in reality, what the hell is so negative about loving yourself? Its hard enough as it is with all the messages society puts out there, you don’t need it from general folk as well! You do well chick! I find self love a difficult thing and love reading your stuff for reminders 🙂 sorry about the long vent! Some people just argh!

  • Rickee slezak

    I love your views in self image, we are the soul not the body, if you are happy with your weight, hell yeah! If you want to lose the weight, hell yeah! If you need to gain some, hell yeah! What I get from what you are saying is love yourself, because you are worth being loved.

    That persons message to you gives me a “Dr. Amy” vibe 🙁

  • Lauren

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with so much negativity and nastiness for sharing great and inspiring things. I truly do not think I could handle it (or atleast as gracefully!) E-hugs to you <3

  • Kelsey

    The fact that someone would want to tear down any other woman who promotes self love is baffling but I guess self hate can really do some crazy things, especially to us women. Please, keep spreading love and light to women who need, want, and appreciate it.

  • Abbigale Erwin

    Obviously she is just concerned about the weight issue. I’m pretty sure if loving yourself meant being happy with your weight you would post uninspiring things that said “going to the gym because I’m unhappy with myself” Some people are happy with their bodies but not happy with their mind, or feel bad about family issues or work or whatever! Being happy with yourself isn’t just on the outside. It took me up until 2 years ago when I started following BWF to step back and say, I don’t know why she’s doing that so maybe I should just be open to it. It’s hard to not judge people, especially when you have no tact like I do, but I’ve found that the things I was judging people on before are the things that I support fully now that I’m educated and listened to why people do those things. I’m a better person for it and I LOVE MYSELF more now. Had nothing to do with weight or my appearance. If you want to loose weight, good for you!!!! High Five. Anyway… Everyone knows I say what’s on my mind no matter what. Thank you for loving yourself and helping others be better to love themselves.

  • Beth

    I just want to send some positive vibes your way and tell you that “Birth Without Fear” has changed my life. I’m so sorry you’re receiving negative comments. I can’t believe someone would be so hurtful towards you–don’t let those negative comments mean anything! Your website has literally given me SO MUCH hope and positive thinking I don’t know what I’d do without it. Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Kristin Casey

    If I got a message like that, I would probably CRY! I am struggling with the way I look very bad and have been since I had my daughter December 2012. I have never been a small person but I was happy with my size 12, 170lb, 5’8″ body. Now, I have been diagnosed with diabetes and I try so hard to lose weight to better MYSELF. Not for anyone else. I am 218 lbs now with a huge, flappy belly. I know that flappy belly will never go away but I can improve the rest of me. I just don’t understand why someone, especially another woman, send this to someone. If anything, this gave me a little more motivation! Thank you!

  • Leah

    Just wanted to say thank you, January. I love sharing your self-love posts with my friends. I have 2 best female friends, one who is skinny, and one who just had a beautiful baby boy and is struggling with her post-baby body. Funny thing is, they are both just as unhappy with their bodies!! I am trying spread the message to them (and keep reminding myself) that we need to love ourselves to create the change we want. And that sometimes the biggest change we need to make is in our MINDS, not our bodies!!! January, I follow this blog and your Instagram, and I am constantly inspired by your posts. So, thank you for giving so much of yourself and creating this community! Let’s keep it positive ladies!

  • Libby

    Oh this message breaks my heart. To hate yourself so much that the idea of someone else loving themselves as-is is utterly inconceivable to you. Oh… I hope she finds peace. I hope she finds whole love. I hope she stops lashing out at others because of the way she’s been told to feel about herself.

  • Caitlin

    ‘When you don’t love yourself… you can’t love others’. So true. Self hate can make you ‘jealous of’ instead of ‘happy for’. I often find myself feeling jealous of others (although I’d never be so mean!) maybe I need to turn in and figure this self love thing out! Thanks for making me think!

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