Importance to the individual and the self is a phenomenon that came by as a product of modernity. With more emphasis on self-accomplishment and success becoming often defined as what you are able to make of yourself, talks about what is important to the self and how to understand our own personalities have increased. Nowadays we see a large number of people who propagate what is known as the ‘self-love’ culture. The self-love essentially prioritizes the well-being of the self and calls for the acceptance by each person of their own individuality.
This movement which is increasingly seen in online spaces and urban settings have its benefits as well as adverse effects. We can say that it is extremely necessary, especially when we have a society that is constantly finding fault with us and setting standards that very few are able to stick to. Everyone who does not meet those standards, whether it be about success or beauty or relationships, are considered as failures. Many companies are designed in such a way that they prey on insecure individuals and make a profit by offering them products that supposedly will make them ‘enough’. However, this is a false hope. in this situation, it is absolutely crucial that we have counter-narratives that dispel these myths of success and encourage people to understand their own uniqueness. We should not buy into the ideas that are marketed for the sake of money nor give into traditions that place unwarranted emphasis on appearances and performances. This idea can even cause serious mental health issues when one is constantly seeking the approval of others to be worthy of love.
The problem with this self-love culture, however, is when it goes out of hand and becomes almost narcissistic. People tend to get obsessed with their own selves and will do anything they have to in order to secure what they think will bring them fulfillment. This is dangerous because such an individualistic outlook might lead them to take advantage of others and even cause them harm. It also makes them egoistical and unwilling to accept any criticism. They forget that loving oneself does not mean loving everything about one’s own self and being against all kinds of change or betterment. In fact, if one is loving, one should be willing to change or work towards bettering aspects of their personality which might be potentially hurting themselves or others. Anger issues is an example of an aspect like this.
Self-love is healthy as long as it doesn’t lapse into the other extreme of being obsessed and infatuated with everything about ourselves. Man being a social animal has to live in relationship with others and anything that hinders that will potentially hurt him as well. It is a tightrope walk of loving oneself and accepting our personalities, flaws and all, and being cocksure of our supremacy and infallibility as an individual. We should love ourselves enough to identify things that could potentially be hindering our growth as a person while also keeping in mind that it is not our performance in the world out there that defines our worth. If we are able to be secure in our identity thus, evolving and changing, and embracing it, then we will also be willing to take constructive criticism as well as discern between what should be taken seriously and what should not be.