One thing I've really learned is that what a person looks like has nothing to do with how much they love themselves. Some of the seemingly most #blessed people in the world struggle with crippling levels of self-doubt, while others, who might appear to have nothing, shine with self assuredness and self-love.
My own personal journey to achieving self-love has been an interesting one for a few reasons. First, being half Chinese and half Norwegian has sometimes made me feel like an outsider, especially growing up in a community that wasn't completely void of ethnically focused social cliques, from which I was often excluded. I was either not Chinese 'enough,' or too 'ethnic.'
And being that I look ethnically ambiguous, I can't tell you how many times I have been asked, 'What ARE you?' and I can't tell you how after hearing that year after year, you do start really wondering, 'what am I?'
And while it kind of sucked to have my identity constantly challenged by strangers throughout my already awkward teenage years (and even today), I'm actually grateful that it gave me the opportunity to self-identify. It meant I got to carve my own path and define myself on my own terms. Along the ways, I also learned that I don't actually have to answer that question. Not everything requires a definition, and not everything needs to be tangible.
Years of modeling brought on a completely different challenge to my self-love. In an industry that places a primary focus on your appearance - one that comes across as professionally objective but that is actually incredibly subjective, remembering that your opinion of yourself comes before anyone else's can be quite the feat. A perfect example is being told I was too small and too big in the same day - by the same client!
Two things have really helped me stay aware and grounded. The first was having awesome parents that no matter what I am doing, are there to remind me of the things I truly value - creativity, intelligence, and kindness. The second is consciously putting time aside to spend alone, so that I can check in with myself. My favorite way to do this is through little rituals - my morning sun salutations, or a beauty routine that reminds me that it's ok to feel selfish, even if it is just for a second.
I've already talked a little bit about Biossance here and here (btw anyone I know who has tried Biossance has become totally addicted - no joke). Their latest product, The Nourisher Precious Rose Face Oil, has become my ultimate go-to for my stolen moments. Not only does it have the Biossance plant-based squalane that I love so much, but it also has chios crystal oil, which is extracted from crystal drops gathered from a tree native to the island of Chios in Greece, and boosts natural collagen production. It also has Vitamin C, which fights free radicals and is one of my favorite ingredients for brightening skin. But my favorite part? The smell! I instantly relax when I open the bottle. It smells light, fresh and warm, and like the most beautiful roses.
So yes, Valentine's Day is done and gone, but self love month is still in full swing. How do you love yourself? Answer on Instagram and Biossance might just gift you their entire line. All you have to do is:
- Follow @Biossance on Instagram
- Post a photo with a caption finishing this sentence: 'I love myself most...'
- Mention @Biossance and tag #selflovegoals
And P.S. they're giving their entire line away to 10 lucky winners, plus 50 more winners will get a deluxe sample of the Nourisher, so the odds are in your favor! Good luck!
Photos by Nikko DeTranquilli and me.
In collaboration with Biossance. All opinions are my own.