Women around the world are making a pledge to be kinder to themselves by getting ‘Self Love Club’ tattoos.
The trend was started by Australian artist and all-round babe Frances Cannon, who says anyone can get a self love tattoo, as long as they abide by the following club rules: “You must always show yourself respect, love, forgiveness and understanding.
“You must show each other respect, love, forgiveness and understanding. You must be kind to your body, and you must take care of your mental health.”
Cannon originally got the words tattooed onto herself as a symbol of her own personal development and didn’t expect them to catch on.
“For me, it is a symbol of my journey to self love, and my desire to look after myself and be kind to myself,” she tells The Huffington Post UK.
“But each of the tattoos means a different thing to everyone who gets them. It’s really open and inclusive, which is really cool!”
She adds that it’s “wonderful” to know she’s made a small difference in someone else’s self love journey.
“The tattoo is just one little step, the rest of it is up to them though,” she says.
“Self acceptance is a choice you have to make each day, there’s no easy answer to self love.”
On Instagram, women have have sharing photos of their own Self Love Club tats, with many saying the three simple words are helping them cope with body image and mental health issues.
“I especially need to work on loving myself and my body as it is, and getting this tattoo is one step further in my recovery journey,” one user said.
Another added: “So happy with my new little tattoo and so proud to have joined the Self Love Club. It hasn’t been easy, but now I’m ready to cherish my body and my mind.”
Ruth Rogers, owner of London’s first “happy cafe” The Canvas Cafe, and founder of body image charity Body Gossip, is a big fan of the concept.
“Too many people aren’t filling their potential in life because they’re held back by low self-esteem and emotional health issues,” she tells The Huffington Post UK.
“Imagine what you’d achieve if you didn’t doubt yourself! If the Self Love Club will help people focus on respecting, loving, and appreciating themselves, it can only be a great thing in my eyes.”
HuffPost UK blogger Laura Whitehurst says self love tattoos can be incredibly helpful for people like her who are affected by mental health issues, particularly anxiety.
“I think the tattoo trend is beautiful. I think what it means for people with anxiety to express themselves outwardly in this way is to show the world a little bit of themselves ― what it’s like in their skin on their skin,” she tells The Huffington Post UK.
“Anxiety is an invisible illness, and nobody knows about the battles we all have going on inside each day, and these tattoos not only act as a reminder for the person to keep fighting each day in a beautiful way and to take care of themselves, but it shows the world a little bit of that fighter too, and what they’re telling themselves each day.”
Whitehurst recently had to take some time off from work due to anxiety and depression, and was inspired to get her own version of a self love tattoo when she felt her life was getting back on track.
“I got through it and ended up getting ‘warrior’ tattooed on me,” she explains.
“It’s a conversation piece, but when people ask about it, I can honestly tell them about my journey and that I am fighting through it.
“I think they’re a great way to break the stigma and get people talking.”
Whitehurst isn’t the only person getting a tattoo to symbolise self love with a slightly different look.
Hundreds of women have been getting tiny crowns tattooed on the themselves in an act of self celebration, while those who are needle-shy can buy “note to self” temporary tattoos, as a reminder of their own awesomeness.
Body image campaigner and editor of plus size magazine Slink Rivkie Baum, is pleased to see the rise of the positive trend.
“Self love is incredibly important, especially in a day and age where we seem to ‘have’ more yet as reports suggest are at our most dissatisfied,” she tells HuffPost UK.
“Self love is the basis to success on all levels of your life as it gives you the confidence and belief to achieve personally and professionally.
“Getting a tattoo is incredibly personal, so this isn’t the only way to show you believe in self love but I think if it helps someone to remember to be kinder to themselves, then it is great.”