Ladies, indie soul singer Elijah Bland is on a social media mission to empower you and improve your self-esteem. Inspired by his own track "Wash the Mirror (Love Yourself)," from his 2008 album Soulcentric, he enters the foray of hashtag activism with his #LoveYourself campaign. The campaign kicked-off with the release of an official lyric video for the song, featuring natural hair vlogger Kyana Marie (and her fabulous 'fro), dancing along to a montage of selfie submissions from beautiful "real women" in all shapes, sizes and colors. The self-affirmations that accompanied many of the pictures added to the positive message echoed throughout the song lyrics.
Though empowerment and self-love are perennial issues that plague women all over the world, unfortunately the song itself feels dated and unoriginal. A rerecording or even a remix would have been beneficial here. Also, a good portion of Bland's campaign rhetoric is borrowed from similar movements (Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," for example). Lastly, it seems a tad hypocritical to preach "self-acceptance" in one breath and scoff "Since when is zero a real size?" in the next. It indirectly advocates tearing someone else down so that you can feel better about yourself.
Nonetheless, I wish Mr. Bland much success with his noble venture. I just wish it wasn't so copy and paste. Why not start a similar self-love/body positivity campaign for men? Now THERE'S an original concept. But don't let my reflections sway you. Check out the video for yourself and for your own opinions. To learn more about Elijah Bland's #LoveYourself campaign, to show your support or to sponsor a #LoveYourself tour in your city, visit his website.