The Self Love Project

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[Image description: A black-and-white pen sketch of three figures with the words “love yourself, it ain’t a crime” written in cursive.]

Project by: Amelia Foy, Amy Krimm, Anjali Kawa, Caleb Anthony, Cia Mangat & Keira DiGaetano
Cover art by: Emily Bourne

Self love, n. - regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. Self love is something endlessly important for our self esteem, mental health, and overall outlook on life. However, knowing our own worth, being content with who we are and treating ourselves with compassion and patience aren’t always easily achieved. Often, the advice we get is to start small: pick one thing you love about yourself and focus on it. Even then, still, it can be difficult to see the good in ourselves as clearly as other people do.

In this project, our contributors all picked one thing they love about themselves and submitted a piece of art/writing/poetry each about this. Then, they did the same for another contributor. Here’s what we created:


Amelia

To me, from me:

My sense of style.
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[Image description: Body from thigh to neck wearing bright red pants with blue flowers on them, a mesh shirt with a bralette, and a choker reading “BABE”.]


To Amelia, from Anjali:

Striding across the streets of London and Bath,
a blur of colour or even light (let’s just agree it is both),
you can see a woman who shouts at the top of her blooming lungs
to cast a spell of progress and only love is seen on her tongue.

Streaks of sunlight approach her,
but her own bright smile makes them ashamed,
a revolution in a human;
if change is the fire, then she was the flame.




Amy
To me, from me:

I love that I always think about other people and do what I love.

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[Image description: An outlined girl over a yellow background with pink text boxes that say: "I am constantly growing and changing whether you like it or not."]


To Amy, from Cia:
Your art! Your style! Your face! Your Instagram feed! Seriously, have you seen the embroidery that she does? They’re always stunning! Stunning enough for me to justify this many exclamation marks!


Anjali
To me, from me:
I know when my friends need me,
and I know what makes them laugh and gleam

I am in love with everything I have in me
it is my best trait (but my worst enemy)

I try hard to maintain and sustain people
and I’d like to think I’m sharp as a needle

I love like no one else I know
(some of it misses when the aim is me though)

I overthink but I’m out here loving
I make mistakes but I’m making sure the ones I love are living



To Anjali, from Amelia:

Your words - how you can string a sentence together so beautifully.
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[Image description: Pencil portrait of Anjali where her hair slowly fades into letters, surrounded by lined paper.]


Caleb
To me, from me:
I love how sensitive, vulnerable, and open you are.
You’re unapologetically yourself.
You are an overflowing bathtub, and open book; that’s unbelievably admirable. In a society that’s constantly wanting to be closed off and distant, you literally put up your middle finger and say “forget about that.”
You didn’t let society change or shape you.


To Caleb, from Keira:

This is a bit of an unconventional format, but Caleb’s an unconventional guy. I used Lorde’s song “Homemade Dynamite” as the background music because it reminds me of Caleb - bright, feeling, and connected.


Cia
To me, from me:
My handwriting - more specifically, how I still write even though I can’t read it half the time. It turns proofreading things into a decoding game, which is fun but very, very time-consuming. And my diaries - no matter how busy I am, I’ll always set aside time to decorate the pages. (These pages come from a rather good day, handwriting-wise.)

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[Image description: A journal spread of writing, collage and pen drawings, with a poem on the left and an account about Cia’s day on the left.]

To Cia, from Amy:
Her openness and kindness! Cia cares so much about all of us and I know she will always be by my side. She is such a talented writer and poet and I know she will go on to do incredible things- she already has.


Keira
To me, from me:
You know, you have nice feet. Like, on the spectrum of feet you could possibly have, yours are pretty good. You make an effort to notice the little things about people - the parts they put thought into, but don’t think anyone will ever pay attention to. You’re a try-hard, sure, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward. And, as we’ve already covered, the odds on that are in your favor.

To Keira, from Caleb:
[Image description: A photograph of an eye next to a poem (transcript below).]


with beautiful round eyes,
and a mischievous smirk--
it is plain to see
how she is artwork

with an inquisitive mind,
and sensitive soul--
she can make the most broken people
feel whole

and although my time with her
wasn’t as long as i wanted
i am so glad
our little friendship has started

so pretty girl, with those
beautiful round eyes
with the sensitive soul
and the inquisitive mind:

you are absolutely
l o v e l y

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