SELENA “REBEL GLAM” DODSON may be a familiar face within the cooking fraternity, having hosted a few cooking shows on the local television station. This time the bright lights and cameras are on her for a different reason – the launch of her book Love Yourself More.
“Love Yourself More is a project I have been working on for the past six years. Before that I have always been a self-love advocate. I have done empowerment projects but never labelled them, but as time went by I decided to put all together to create this.
“I feel as though self-love is the foundation of everything. And if you don’t love yourself then your foundation is broken and if your foundation is broken then no matter what you do you will never be happy,” she explained.
How the book was conceived was from writing things down what she believed in as a person.
“I had all of these little things I found to be true, which was the original name of the book, which I was writing down; things no one could make me stop believing. Over the years I started explaining them by writing essays about them and then I decided to put it all together as a book.
“We don’t think about things like that and every time you have to sacrifice, it’s you making the sacrifice. And every time that something goes wrong and somebody can’t eat, it’s you who can’t eat because the children have to eat.
“And I am not saying that there is not an important part in every person’s life where they have to love somebody else just as much or even more than they love themselves. But if you don’t actually love yourself and you do that, then you put yourself in a really bad place,” she added.
According to Dodson, the response to the book has been great all around.
“Doing my show, lots of people know me so a lot of people’s attitude is that it doesn’t matter what I do, they will support it. But in saying that, the hardest thing for me as an artiste in Barbados has been being placed in a box; and people having this idea, “So you cook, so what you doing writing?” And people assuming because I am a poet the book is a poetry book, but I have written plays and all sorts of stuff,” she said.
While pregnant with her last daughter, the mother of three – Selah, Rhaj and Ramiah – became very ill and had to be hospitalised for a short period of time. “When I got sick the doctors did not know what was wrong with me and I became reflective. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is on a whole other level of crazy and being in the hospital I really just wanted to be out. Seeing people in there and not knowing when they are going to go home, I was even more compelled to finish the book. I decided that was the time for me to sit and regroup and put it all together and get a lot of the projects I had on the back burner off the ground,” she mused.
When asked how she viewed the Barbadian public’s attitude toward self-love in general, the New York-born artist, with a Barbadian father and Jamaican mother, agreed that people are more into self-gain and not self-love. Using her show Art Lime as an example, she said fellow artistes would come and perform, but when it comes to supporting others in the same fraternity, they were usually absent.
“In Barbados I think it is a disease and a problem that stems from colonialism and it needs to stop. If you thought much of yourself and you knew somebody and they are your neighbour, then you would think much of them as well and want to support them as much as you want others to support you,” she said matter-of-factly.
Going forward, the glamorous rebel has a few more tricks up her sleeve which she hopes to launch in 2016, but for now she hopes that her book will reach people and help them to ideally learn to love themselves more. “I have read the book and outside of editing it I feel as if God has given it to me. It has helped me and I hope that it can help others as well,” she concluded. (RA)