To love and cherish yourself: the self-love ring
The recent movements of body positivity and self-appreciation have been long needed and long overdue. But some people have opted to take the process one step further and show their love for themselves with the same grand display one would usually reserve for a significant other. Yes, people are even marrying themselves in a rising trend known as 'sologamy'. Is it a positive display of self-empowerment? Or teetering on the edge of narcissism?
The idea of liking yourself so much you put a ring on it started around 2016. It’s not known exactly what drove the trend, as women have been preaching self-appreciation for many years! But it could be down to a combination of these things:
The rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram has encouraged women to love themselves. Although seeing filtered beach bodies on our news feed isn’t always great, there have been many women who have posted photos of their natural selves too and persuaded others to do the same. For example, there was a trend which involved ‘No Make-up Selfies’a photo of yourself without make-up. Many celebrities participated in this and told women to love their natural selves! The selfie culture in general pushes women to appreciate their bodies, as they post photos of themselves and receive ‘likes’ and comments from their friends and family.
The influence of celebrities has encouraged women to love themselves too. Many famous figures have talked about their tough times growing up and how they’ve learnt to appreciate themselves. Others have encouraged magazines and photographers to not edit their photos so that women can see that their bodies are not in fact flawless.
There has also been a rise in participants of meditation and mindfulness taking time out of the day to be present within yourself. Research has shown that it can reduce stress, depression and anxiety and experts encourage people to take time out of their day to focus on Meditation interlinks with self-love as it focuses on taking time out of the day to concentrate on yourself.
Self-love rings have been branded by some as an anti-engagement ring but loving yourself doesn't mean you've taken yourself off the market, as it were. They are meant to represent one’s commitment to oneself and a dedication that you’ll put yourself first and look after your own well-being. They are meant to be worn on your little finger to represent a ‘pinky promise’ to yourself. Some jewellers offered specific ‘pinky’ rings but they can be bought as a smaller regular engagement ring.
Supporters of self-love displays say that the act can relieve pressure on your partner, as you are no longer relying solely on them to make you happy. In the wise words of Ru Paul “if you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love anyone else?”
Some people have taken to buying self-love rings with their best friend, in a sort of very-expensive version of those friendship bracelets and necklaces you had as a child.
Saying “I do” to yourself
For some, buying bespoke diamond rings for yourself isn’t a grand enough gesture of self-love. Some women have gone a step further and organised entire wedding ceremonies for themselves. The first sologamous wedding was thought to be in 1993, when an American woman called Linda Barker married herself in front of her close friends.
There's no legal process involved in marrying yourself, so you can't divorce yourself after an embarrassing night drinking, or start a sordid affair against yourself with your spouse. It’s just a celebration of yourself more than anything. It appears as though it is more women who are taking part in this than men, possibly as a protest against the pressures that they often feel to be in a relationship.
What’s the appeal though? Well, the women who have done this say that: