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There is a very fine line between self love and self promotion. Similarly, there is a fine line between self loathing and self deprecation.

I have seen this in friends, in my parents and in my clients – when there is a lack of self love, there is a lot of self deprecation. This can manifest as not being able to accept a compliment and not believing others when they are told they are awesome and that they are loved beyond words.

This is so common, and I used to do it too.

A lot.

Tip: Learn to accept a compliment before you insult someone

I could not receive a compliment for the life of me, and it used to really piss my girlfriends off. They thought that I was being smug and quite arrogant to reject compliments, when the truth was that my self-esteem was so low that I could not accept that someone else would think I’m pretty or nice or a good friend.

Maybe you have felt this too. If your friends have suddenly exploded on you for not being able to accept kind things they have said, then that’s your sign. What if your friend was right? What if you really are pretty cool and you are an awesome person?

Even if you don’t believe it, just pretend for now. Then see what happens. 

Next step: Self-Love

I don’t mean any naughty kind of self-love here, although that’s cool too! What I’m talking about is admitting to YOURSELF that you think you are pretty / kind / funny / smart / strong and many other nice things. This is not easy, I know. We are clearly the harshest critic of ourselves.

Why do we cut ourselves the least slack? 

I don’t get it.

Anyway, the next step is to love yourself. For me, I started to learn this not through mirror work, or self-help books. For me, it was through starting a fashion blog where I posted tons of selfies of myself in nice outfits.

I didn’t realize it at the time but I was actually “self-helping”. 

Posting nice pictures of myself, of my clothes, of the city I was living in started to make me feel good about myself. I could look at the photos on my fashion blog and honestly say to myself, “Hey, I look so cute here!” and sincerely mean it, in a kind and honest way.

Just look at this photo that my talented friend & photographer Joel Zimmer took for The Stylester back in 2010.

Analyzing, OK fine, psychoanalyzing it now, I have a look on my face that says that I’m pretty happy with myself. It says “Yeah, life’s great right now!” and I mean it.

That is a form of love and acceptance.

That is a form of self-love.

That is a form of self help!

Fashion Blogging is actually Self Help

There’s another famous fashion blogger who went from radically high heels to radical self love. Her name is Gala Darling and I think she’s pretty amazing. I met her in person and I still think she’s pretty amazing. She even created a workshop salon called Radical Self Love Bootcamp where the picture at the very top is taken from. Check it out.

Another fashion and beauty expert who turned toward self help and helping others is Leyla Naghizada, aka RealLeyla of YouTube fame. She became famous by doing hairstyle videos promoting a line of hair extensions her sister and she sold online. Those hairstyle channels got millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of views. She traded her hair extensions in for life coaching and is now a successful coach.

But there is a fine line between self love and self promotion

I fell into this trap and it all started with Instagram. As you know, I’m all over Instagram like cream in a Tim Horton’s double-double and “Likes” are like sugar. They are addictive. They play on your worst insecurities, like for example, not… being… liked!!!


Did that hit a soft spot for you? I hope so, because it did for me.

Getting Likes and followers on Instagram takes over me like a fever every 4 months or so and I go on a Googling rampage to try and find out how to get more of them. Then comes the embarrassing phase of posting countless selfies doing less than dignified things like making a duck face while wearing a hard hat.

This might be where your intention for showing yourself love gets muddled up with self promotion. This is a dangerous territory. 

When in this territory, my best advice is to switch gears and try to show OTHERS as much love as you possibly can.

You don’t have to stop posting selfies but make it less about you and more about the person who will see that photo. What will they get out of it? If it is anything of value at all, like maybe they will smile because you look cute and silly in a hard hat making a duck face, then go ahead, post it.

Start a fashion blog and post lots of selfies of you in your newest shoes. Show yourself and those shoes some love. Don’t feel weird about it but it is an awesome undercover style of self help. Plus you may get sent some free things to review in the mail. And if you need any pro help to create a logo for your blog, check out DesignContest and their affordable services where you decide on the amount you want to spend, and choose between various custom logo ideas.

Whatever your icebreaker into loving yourself is, it is perfect. Maybe for you it’s Crossfit. Maybe it’s Isagenix. Maybe it’s eating clean. Maybe it’s starting a business and entrepreneurship. Maybe it’s photography. Maybe it’s fashion blogging or starting a YouTube channel.

Whatever it is, it’s so you, and it’s so perfect.

Help yourself to some self love. Don’t worry, it is fashionable. You can say you heard it from a girl that self-lovingly calls herself The Stylester.

Love you!!!


Ps. Instagram Follow me on Instagram to see whether my next selfie will be quite undignified or very classy! Ooh the suspense! @rituashrafi.

Pps. The good people at First Site Guide created this how-to on starting a fashion blog. Check it out, it’s quite comprehensive.


  • Ashley Jones says:

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog.

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