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March 30, 2015

The Self-Hate Epidemic


Last week I had the total fan-girl honor of meeting Arianna Huffington and listening as she gave the key note at a conference I was attending. She was every bit the elegant, articulate powerhouse you’ve imagined from watching her build her HuffPo empire and reading any of her books. (I often give On Becoming Fearless to friends in need, and have just started my now-autographed copy of Thrive). I frantically took notes as Arianna discussed the responsibility of the journalist (we need to start telling the good stories, too), that unprecedented stress has put our culture in a state of emergency, and this painful observation: That self-hate is the price our society pays for success. We have a collective delusion that success and joy, productivity and health must be mutually exclusive. I’ve heard other thought-leaders address this epidemic and unfortunately it was all too easy for me to shrug my shoulders in agreement. Because self-hate is my default mode. It’s the foundation from which I’m continually trying to build myself up. Maybe I wasn’t born that way but I definitely adopted the habit of being hard on myself very early on. I logically know it’s unnatural to not love yourself—it’s destructive and abusive—but it’s a habit that I’m having a hard time breaking. To be clear: I don’t sit around telling myself what a horrible person I am. I don’t mistreat my body or sabotage relationships. But that little voice in my head, that “monkey mind” is constantly yammering away about what needs to be done better, faster, or more beautifully. Ironically, if I bumped self-love to the top of my to-do list, the rest would probably fall right into place. Or at least I would enjoy the journey more. Know what I mean? Would love to hear how your are fairing in this department!

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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