I think we're all in agreement here over this: Choosing to love yourself is hard. Sure, there are days when you wake up and practically want to make out with the mirror when you see yourself, but there are others when you can't really convince yourself to smile at your reflection. Like with anything else that's an ongoing practice, you burn out. You get tired of batting away all those thoughts of "maybe if I was slightly shorter" or "man, if only I was less eccentric." Your usual loving thoughts loose steam and — with tired hands running through your hair — you let the doubts begin to creep in. Maybe if you dressed like those girls, maybe if you had a quieter laugh, maybe if you weren't so forward, or better yet, if you were more confident when you spoke. Maybe if you had class like Katharine Hepburn, or maybe if you were quietly intelligent like Carey Mulligan. Maybe if you changed all the things that made you you, things would be different.
Choosing yourself is hard. Ignoring the onslaught of images, thoughts, and words that come at you on a daily basis is a silent war in and of itself. So, yes, there will be days where you wave your hands and say, "No more."
You win, I'm not who I should be.
But during those days, remember that we're all still here behind you, patiently waiting till you rest up so we can pick you back up again. We've got nowhere to be, take your time. During those days when you just want to put the hat low over your eyes, and you can't seem to find the energy to keep yourself focused on what's true, there are a mess of women that'll keep fighting for you. There are a bunch of us that are here to remind you that you're beautiful, because the person you are right here has taken years and years to become her. We're not letting you toss away all that time you invested in her.
So during those time when you wish you could give up on yourself, look to the women who will firmly, but kindly, tell you no, there's no need to change. Here are seven who have done just that:
1. Amy Poehler
"When you do talk about yourself or to yourself and you have that tape running in your head about yourself, try to picture you are talking to your own daughter or your younger sister, because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful and you wouldn't be lying, because she is. And so are you."
2. Gabourey Sidibe
"People always ask me, 'You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?' It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl... it doesn't have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your home."
3. Mindy Kaling
"I have a personality defect where I sort of refuse to see myself as an underdog... It's because of my parents. They raised me with the entitlement of a tall, blond, white man."
4. Emma Watson
“Beauty is not long hair, skinny legs, tanned skin or perfect teeth. Believe me. Beauty is the face of who cried and now smiles, beauty is the scar on your knee since you fell when you were a kid, beauty is the circles when love doesn’t let you sleep, beauty is the expression on the face when the alarm rings in the morning, it’s the melted makeup when you have a shower, it’s the laughter when you make a joke you’re the only one who can understand, beauty is meeting his gaze and stopping understanding, beauty is your gaze when you see him, it’s when you cry for all your paranoias, beauty is the lines marked by time. Beauty is what we feel in the inside which also shows outside us. Beauty is the marks that life leaves on us, all the kicks and the caresses the memories leave us. Beauty is letting yourself live.”
5. Emma Stone
"Confidence is the only key. I know a lot of people who aren’t traditionally ‘beautiful’ — not symmetrical or perfect-bodied or perfect-skinned. But none of that matters because all that shines through is their confidence, humor and comfort with themselves. I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.
My great hope as young women is to start being kinder to ourselves so that we can be kinder to each other."
6. Lena Dunham
"This could very easily be taken out of context, and I think it’s funny now, but I remember looking in the mirror as a kid and it would be like for an hour at a time, and I’d be like: 'I’m just so beautiful. Everybody is so lucky that they get to look at me.' And of course that changes as you get older, but I may have held on to that little-kid feeling that was me alone in my bathroom."
7. Kate Winslet
"As a child, I never heard one woman say to me, 'I love my body.' Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. No one woman has ever said, 'I am so proud of my body.' So I make sure to say it to Mia [her daughter], because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age."
8. America Ferrera
"‘How much time have I wasted on diets and what I look like? Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world. And get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans!"
9. Meryl Streep
"I think that you find your own way. You have your own rules. You have your own understanding of yourself, and that’s what you’re going to count on. In the end, it’s what feels right to you. Not what your mother told you. Not what some actress told you. Not what anybody else told you but the still, small voice."
10. Coco Chanel
"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."
"I love food and hate exercise. I don't have time to work out... I don't want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Q. I'm not a trend setter, I'm a singer. I'd rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album than look like Nicole Richie and do a shit album. My aim in life is never to be skinny."