Self-Love or Narcissism?

Tishk Barzanji - Opumo

“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? 




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


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Other upcoming Olios


May 22

Stoicism in a World out of Your Control

Taught by Massimo Pigliucci
7:30 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $20

May 22

The Holy Fool

Taught by Geoff Klock
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 24

Sex, Pleasure & Intimacy in the Time of Capitalism

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 25

OlioHouse | The Production of Nature

Taught by Lauren Hudson
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20

May 30

Painting the Apocalypse: Haring, Basquiat and the Eighties

Taught by Charles Riley
7 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Jun 2

New York City: From Reconstruction to Universal Rent Control

Taught by Lauren Hudson
2 p.m. at Grant's Tomb

Sign Up - $0

Jun 8

OlioHouse | Words, Labels, & Power

Taught by Jeanne Proust
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jun 14

The Emergence of Sexuality

Taught by Jamie Warren
7 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $20

Jun 23

Female Power and Desire in Shakespeare after #MeToo

Taught by Christina Katopodis
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Jun 26

Jun 29

OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism

Taught by Skye Cleary
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


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