There’s a classic saying: “There’s no such thing as perfection”. I’ve always believed physical flaws are like mosaic pieces. Individually, they might look a little uneven and out-of-place. Put together however and every piece makes art. Sometimes a masterpiece.
Does everyone have physical flaws?
The word ‘flaw’ in itself is quite misleading. It’s an imperfection usually found by society. You don’t think your nose is big until someone tells you and your hair is fine until an advert exclaims you need volume. There’s no real truth. Everything is an opinion people have uncovered. So, for every person thinking one body is too curvaceous, small or short, another believes it’s perfect.
Although everyone has their own beauty style, each country has a favourable aesthetic. We stereotype the French as loving simplicity and Brazilians basking in sun-kissed skin. As social media is global, it’s collectively put billions of us together and chosen one Instagram look for us all to follow. This is damaging our self-esteem because we’re losing identity trying to represent one ideal. How can people across the world all look the same?
The side effects of not accepting
Insecurity creates low self-esteem and a sense of idolisation. Disliking your appearance often leads to over-admiration for others – others who you believe are ‘better’. Psychology Today discusses how feeling bad about yourself can actually be comforting. It’s a familiarity that becomes a habit. You naturally see a person you deem beautiful and then begin the process of telling yourself why you’re not as good.
Should Physical flaws be changeable?
Some physical flaws have a cosmetic cure like my acne scars which I hope to eventually laser. My large forehead on the other hand is with me for life. Some flaws can and should be worked on. A spiteful tendency and quick-tempered rage for instance is not healthy to embrace.
The press suggest nipple fillers are a new thing – step aside lips. I’m not against plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures as I understand we may feel a flaw affects our confidence. With that being said, flaws will always be with us. A plastic surgeon cannot produce a flawless canvas. You can take the best eyes, lips and cheekbones in the world, put them together and they’ll still have faults. Physical flaws can modify – providing you are doing it for yourself, but the term never quite leaves a human.
Take a step back
It’s easy to over objectify and blow micro-issues out of proportion. That spot on your chin – is a spot on your chin. To you it’s a spot invading your entire face and making you look like a Dalmatian. Kendall Jenner has been photographed several times with spots, as have many other stars over the years. Cameron Diaz famously suffered from severe acne and still found success as a model – followed by being one of the highest paid Hollywood actresses.
Let your physical flaws empower you
Only recently I have begun to accept my scoliosis, (curviture of the spine). Because I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me, I never expressed sadness towards the condition. I always made my spinal surgeries sound fascinating and exciting. Every year in highschool, I went to hospital for more operations and post-recovery.
After my final one, my surgeon said, “That’s it – you’re recovered”. I got on with my life not knowing what to do. My hips are uneven (visible if I didn’t angle them in photos), my back is not completely straight and there are two permanent scars across my spine.
When I was pursuing modelling, no photographer captured photos showing my back. That was until a particular studio shoot. Photographing me in a swimsuit, I had my back to the camera as I tilted my head to the side. Although it’s not my favourite photo, the image reminds me to feel good about my scars and my body. If you can find strength in your flaws and see an empowering story behind them, you can likely begin to feel better.
Go behind your history
I adore photo albums. I love trying to recognise what similar features I share with relatives. My grandma has my face shape – one I have spent years wishing to change. How I dream of having chiselled cheekbones and a defined jaw. Only, I would then stop looking like her.
We all have interesting stories and people from our past. We’re beyond unique. And for each man and woman who married and fell in love with a person to help create your family’s generations, they potentially fell in love with the very traits you hate.
How to embrace your quirks – emphasise the positive
In the book Seeds for the Soul, a chapter discusses how we often assume our feelings are what trouble us. Most-likely, we’re troubled by how we think we should be feeling. For example, when going through a painful breakup, you may feel anger at not yet moving on, rather than accepting heartache takes time to heal. Sometimes we need to ride out our emotions and take them for what they are. Similarly, to how British people accept rain – though we do complain.
Find and note all your positive physical attributes – including traits others have complimented you on. Often in society, we’re torn between self-love and not wanting to sound arrogant. There’s no shame in admitting you love your appearance. It’s not a crime show kindness to yourself. And if a loved-one and stranger on the street deserve your kind words – so do you.
What are your favourite features? How do you accept your flaws? Would you consider plastic surgery?
If you loved this post, read: