Also sometimes referred to as the International Day of Self Love, International Natural Day is part of the journey toward self acceptance and self love. Falling the day before Valentine’s Day, which is a celebration of the romantic love of a couple, the symbolism lies in the fact that a person is only truly able to love someone else when they are able to love themselves!
History of International Natural Day
The founder of the day, Sanah Jivani, was inspired by a personal event to establish the day as well as the Love Your Natural Self Foundation. A life-long battle with alopecia caused Jivani to struggle with her appearance during middle school and high school, particularly when she was bullied for wearing a wig and then began to engage in self-harm.
Jivani’s motivation to establish International Natural Day came through a desire to help other kids who have been through similar struggles with wanting to hide the way they look. The Love Your Natural Self Foundation spread throughout hundreds of schools in the United States, encouraging kids to be themselves and love themselves for who they are.
Inspired by the foundation, International Natural Day began in 2011 as a day for young people all over the world to celebrate the freedom that comes from being natural. This day is a testament to the courage it takes to stand up for yourself for who you are, as well as the potential growth that can come when a person is empowered to be themselves!
How to Celebrate International Natural Day
Get started celebrating International Natural Day with some of these ideas:
Use the inspiration of International Natural Day to live that best life and be completely natural for the day. Skip the makeup and the hair straightener. Don’t worry about if that lipstick is perfectly applied. Appear to the world in a natural manner that allows you to just be you and to be comfortable in your own skin.
Raise Awareness for International Natural Day
One amazing way to celebrate and support the day is to hold events at school, in youth centers or other community spaces to encourage people to be their natural selves. Create a safe space where acceptance is the norm and people are free to talk about their own journeys and lives without judgment. Those who feel that hosting an event might be too much can certainly participate in the day by letting friends know about International Natural Day, putting up flyers, sharing on social media and more.
See a Counselor
Part of Sanah Jivani’s story of self-harm is related to bullying because of the way she looked. Her healing story didn’t happen overnight but took some time and investment by getting help and being vulnerable with an adult counselor. For those who are struggling with self-harm, negative behaviors, low self-esteem, bullying or other difficulties, it’s important to get help from someone who can act as a lifeline. Check with a school teacher or counselor, ask parents or call a hotline to get started on the healing journey.