Haute Topic: This Valentine’s Day, learn to love yourself first

There's always a lot of talk about what we need to complete ourselves, be it a loving and doting life.

There’s always a lot of talk about what we need to complete ourselves, be it a loving and doting life partner or ripped abs and the fitness discipline of a professional athlete. We’ve railed against the unhealthy messages associated with Fitspiration before, and we’re thrilled to see some new marketing campaigns that take the focus off so-called “ideal” bodies in favour of loving physical activity for the fun, challenges and, yes, the shit-ton of sweat that goes with it.

Sport England just launched their newest campaign, titled #ThisGirlCan. It aims to support women of all shapes, ages and abilities in the quest to be more active. The body-positive messaging is hugely inspiring, with slogans like “I swim because I love my body. Not because I hate it,” and videos of women who look like women you actually know getting their workout on – jiggles, cellulite, love handles and all.

Toronto director Claire Edmondson just released a powerful new “I’m a boxer” commercial for Everlast that features a young female boxer training to follow in the footsteps of Muhammad Ali.

“I imagine a world where it doesn’t matter whether you’re a boy or a girl- what matters is how well you play,” she says in the spot’s voice-over. “So don’t call me a female boxer. I’m a boxer.” This, in stark contrast to tennis player Eugenie Bouchard being asked to twirl and show off her outfit by an on-court presenter at the Australian Open.

So as Valentine’s Day and, eventually, swimsuit season rolls around, do yourself a favour. Stop looking for superficial paths to self-fulfillment and love your body for what it is. You don’t need prince charming, and you sure as hell don’t need to be a size six.


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