Looking for ways to love yourself by reading a beauty magazine is like looking for ways to respect other cultures by reading Mein Kampf. It simply does the opposite. And soon enough you find yourself watching Ryan Gosling movies whilst you suck on your thumb and cry, "Why did you leave me, Toby, why?" and no self-love comes from that. Instead, take advice from someone who has learned to love themselves. Just by following these little nigglefixes... Oh, and lots of therapy of course.
List all the things you are good at
You are more than your body and your appearance. Yes, even if you are a woman. Pick up a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the things you are good at. Such as "I am good at crying on buses" or "I am good at guessing who the killer is in a movie and I am not afraid of telling the whole cinema".
(Remember, it does not have to be things that other people find to be good qualities.)
List the things you love about your body
All bodies are lovable. Especially yours. Make a list. Even if it is hard, note all the best things about how your body looks. For example, I loved the little mole I had on my shoulder. It turned out to be a raisin, but who cares, I had already decided that it was a part of me. I love my very hairy arms - I used to hate them. Now, they are nothing but good news. I keep warmer during winter, they are soft to fall asleep on and who needs a tan, when you have a natural dark layer covering your skin?
Remind yourself that you are beautiful on a daily level
A good idea would be to put notes on your mirrors, saying things like "I am beautiful", "I am worthy of good things" and "I have pretty eyes". Actually, do not just put them on your mirrors. Put them on your walls as well. Seen the movie "The Number 23"? Plaster those walls with compliments. Do not stop there. Cover every wall you ever come across with complimentary notes. They will hate you in Starbucks, but you will end up loving yourself enough to not care what people think.
If people think their opinion matters
Some people have a tendency of thinking that whenever they have an opinion, it needs to be shared. Be it men shouting from cars or your best friend telling you that you should lose weight. In your early stages of learning to love yourself, you feel inclined to listen to them. But here is a sentence you can learn by heart and recite whenever someone shares their unwanted piece of mind: "Look, Betsy (even if their name is Steve), I love my wobbly stomach and it is only my opinion that matters. I do not exist for your viewing pleasure, I do not exist for you. All that matters is what I think - beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I behold that I am tremendously gorgeous, so keep your thoughts to yourself and stop staring at my shoulder-raisin."
And then you stick a note that says "I am pretty" on your friend's mouth so that she cannot say another word.
Allow yourself to wear whatever you want and eat whatever you want
The beauty magazines will tell you how to look. If it was up to them, you would wear something designed by those who sponsor their magazine and you would be at your skinniest. Actually, could you just be a skeleton? That would be preferable because this in this dress, there is no room for excessive skin - and as we know, all skin is excessive skin. Screw them. If you love dressing up as a giant rabbit wearing a horizontal striped t-shirt, you will wear that. You love M&Ms? You go spend £20 in the M&Ms store on all purple M&Ms and you do not feel bad afterwards, even if you were broke and you do not even like M&Ms that much and you just went to the M&Ms store because you thought it would be funny to ask an employee "Excuse me, but do you have any M&Ms?", but you panicked and bought a big bag instead, it is okay, you can do that.
Repeat this. Out loud. Till you get it.
There is no such thing as an objective reality, when it comes to beauty. Beauty standards are set by money-hungry, old, white men behind big desks and these men make a lot of money off of your insecurities. The more you hate yourself, more you spend and the richer they get. You are beautiful. You are.
Finally, we all know where true happiness lies. In ice-cream. Loads of ice-cream.