Yeezy is endlessly quotable because he's always talking about something — and of all the things that Kanye West quotes have taught me, it's his self love and confidence that have perhaps been the most inspiring (and body positive). No jokes here. Kanye is fully part of my #SelfLoveGoals. West is easily one of the most intriguing and important artists of our time, if not ever, and for many good reasons.
Beyond his influence on music and fashion, West openly thinks critically and his work, and his conversations create space for us talk about certain things as a culture. I mean, there are plenty of people thinking the same things going through West's brain, no doubt, but few have said things like "George Bush doesn't care about black people" aloud. He doesn't always get it right, and sometimes he says things that are problematic. And I do understand that criticism, but we are all going to do the same at some point.
The criticism of West's confidence, self-love, and belief in himself could not be more off-base, though. West is regularly singled out as a villainous, arrogant, egomaniac who has zero grasp on reality, when in actuality, he's very aware of what's going on. West's self-love is political and meaningful. It's not frivolous or thoughtless, and it survives despite a tidal wave of haters and critics. It's exactly the kind of self-love that I hope to have someday, too.
Here are just 11 quotes that inspire me to be more like 'Ye:
1. "You're gonna love me or you're gonna hate me, but I'm gonna be me."
Who cares what they think, really?
2. "You are now watching the greatest living rockstar on the planet."
Seriously, nobody better be missing the opportunity to take in your beauty.
3. "So when I raise my hand and say, 'Hey, I'm a creative genius,' it's not out of arrogance — it's out of motherf****** truth."
Knowing what you're good at isn't arrogant. But look at that face ... that outfit. Genius.
4. "Humbleness and humility? I don't like it, it doesn't feel natural."
Don't downplay yourself, babe.
5. "You need to watch how you're talking to me, yo."
You monitor your words and make sure your self-talk is respectful and productive. Why would you let other people talk smack to you?
6. "Everything I'm not makes me everything I am."
All your struggles and every time you've been excluded, oppressed, or marginalized has shaped you. And that's beautiful.
7. "I refuse to follow those that society has set up."
Who gets to say when and how you feel fierce? Not society, just you.
8. "I am a photographer's dream."
You should be in pictures.
9. "But ... but, I'm the best!"
Yes. Yes you are.
10. "You cannot give me any advice"
No, random dude on the street, I don't think I should smile. No, random stranger, I don't want to hear about losing weight. I know my body best.
11. "Let me do me. You like it? Cool. You don't? Fast forward."
Who has time for people who don't "get" you?