Self-Love or Narcissism?

None at Strand Bookstore

Fri, Mar 29 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Skye Cleary will pull from the work of philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir and bell hooks as we attempt to determine when self-love crosses over into narcissism. How do we love ourselves without succumbing to the dangers of narcissism? Is narcissism all bad?

“Love yourself first,” is a common self-help platitude, but what that means is rarely clear, and all too often it evolves into narcissism. Simone de Beauvoir saw narcissism as “a process of alienation: the self is posited as an absolute end, and the subject escapes itself in it.” In other words, narcissists set up an image of the self as the central meaning in their life and wallow in it. They escape by losing themselves in their reflection, daydreaming about ideal images of themselves, or doing whatever they can to become the center of attention. Some look for the spotlight on a stage, some turn to social media with dreams of fame and influence. Narcissism is a strategy to make oneself loved and desired by anyone who will look and listen, and can be the very antithesis of self-love.


This Olio is about the philosophy of self-love and its darker side, narcissism. We will turn to philosophers including Simone de Beauvoir and bell hooks and discuss questions such as: Is narcissism all bad? When does self-love cross over into narcissism? How do we love ourselves without succumbing to the dangers of narcissism? How does social media, capitalism, and consumerism fuel tendencies towards narcissism? And how does the way we curate ourselves for the gazes of others compromise and enhance our being?

Teacher: Skye Cleary
Venue: Strand Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Location: at Online

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam & Robin Schlenger

June 7, 2020, 7 p.m.

Regulating Business in a Capitalist Society

Location: at Online

Teacher: Lawrence Cappello

June 9, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Escape From The City

Location: at Online

Teacher: Ted Barrow

June 10, 2020, 8 p.m.

Progressives, Radicals & Well-Meaning Liberals

Location: at Online

Teacher: Angie Beeman

June 11, 2020, 8 p.m.

Press Start to Begin: A Survey & History of Video Game Music

Location: at Online

Teacher: Whitney George

June 12, 2020, 8 p.m.

Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

Location: at Online

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

June 14, 2020, noon

Socialism, A Day in the Life

Location: at Online

Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.

Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

Location: at Online

Teacher: Andres Bernal

June 19, 2020, 8 p.m.

Internet Omnipresence & Critical Thinking

Location: at Online

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

June 22, 2020, 8 p.m.

New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Rob Larson

June 30, 2020, 8 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.