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Frances Cannon Creates 'Self Love Club' Tattoo, Builds Community Around Self-Care

The “Self Love Club” started with one tattoo. Australian-illustrator Frances Cannon came up with the idea one day while drawing. She reached out to her friend, tattoo-artist Gemma Flack to inscribe the words “Self Love Club” on her skin, and then shared a photo of her new ink with her 72,000 Instagram followers.

Within weeks of sharing her “Self Love Club” tattoo, Cannon, who said she lives with anxiety and has depressive tendencies, decided to make the club official – inviting others to get similar tattoos and authoring a set of 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.

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The rules, Cannon said, were designed to promote care of body, mind and others. Self-care is important because you are all you’ve got, she added. Shortly after posting the club rules on Instagram, others began sharing their “Self Love Club” tattoos.  

The club’s message is meaningful to more than just Cannon. “When loving yourself is an everyday struggle and you need a reminder to help you on the way,” one club member said, sharing her inspiration for joining the club on Instagram.  

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“This tattoo comes at a very meaningful time. I am not in my best place and am struggling to love myself, forgive myself, and move forward,” another wrote.

Related: What It’s Like to Have ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety

Self-care and mental health is a common theme of Cannon’s work. “My work is inspired by my life,” Cannon said. “Since I live with a mental illness, obviously it is something that is a part of my everyday life and something that inspires my work.”

Cannon is collecting all of the tattoos that have been shared with her and hopes to turn it into a bigger project. “I’ve had very positive feedback about the ‘Self Love Club,’” she said. “I think people really resonate with the idea and that’s really wonderful that I have been able to be involved in such a loving movement.”

By Jordan Davidson

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