When we first launched La Femme Collective, we had the honor of featuring #entrefemmeur Mary Young. Since she was one of our first features, we were nervous yet excited to see how the #LFCommunity would respond. As expected, none of you disappointed us. You greeted Mary with kind words, excitement, and positivity and set a great path for the entrefemmeurs that followed. Now we're back again with Mary Young who is sharing a more personal side to her business, the Self Love Club.
I remember it clearly. Standing in front of my mirror in my bra and underwear, analyzing my body. Every curve, dimple, wrinkle and bone stood out to me. I listed all the things that were wrong, that bothered me, and all the things I had to fix to be better, more attractive, and ultimately, happier. Not only did I list the negative physical traits, I went one step further. I was dealing with chronic pain at the time, between severe migraines, back pain and my recent diagnosis of endometriosis, I looked at my body like it was failing me. Not only did I not look ‘right’, I couldn’t heal, I wasn’t strong and I felt trapped in something that I didn’t want to associate with.
These thoughts, the negative self talk, the unworthy feelings were not my thoughts, but rather years of the media and society as a whole, changing the way I looked at myself. When I was younger I never thought having hips was a negative thing, so why did I now? I never complained that my crooked teeth needed to be fixed. These thoughts took years to learn, to repeat and to accept. And it took years to break them all down back to a neutral place where I started to love myself again.
I decided to stop looking at the negative in the mirror; the list of things I noted were now positive and not negative. I stood in front of my mirror every morning wearing a bra and underwear, looking at myself and repeating, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are worthy. I’m not going to say it was easy, it was far from easy, it took time, some bad days, and a lot of self talk to get to a point where I was able to stand in front of my mirror naked. No longer clothed, I would stand there naked, looking at myself in my most vulnerable and raw self, fully loving myself. I’m also not going to say that I don’t have bad days, that sometimes I can’t stand there and love every inch, but this is one battle I’m determined to win.
And I’m determined that we will all win in loving ourselves. This desire is not just mine, but so many women I know and I think it’s time we work towards the change together. That desire is what motivated us, the MARY YOUNG brand, to empower the Self Love Club, a movement that is opening up the dialogue within communities to focus on self love and acceptance.
"The club is not us, the club is not purchasing a garment, the club is you and your attitude."
Our belief is also expressed by donating $3 from every item sold to Raw Beauty Talks, a non-profit society promoting the mental and physical health of girls and young women by increasing their self-confidence and cultivating positive body image through education in schools, public events, and through media.
To grow this movement we’re encouraging women in their own communities to share, make a safe space and break down the barriers. We will continue to share the self love club online, using #theselfloveclub, as well as stories on our journal and videos you can see here, along with self love events in major cities in North America.