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.
Understand what physical flaws are
The word ‘flaw’ itself is quite misleading. It’s an imperfection usually found by society. You don’t think your nose is big until somebody tells you; 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 we assume follows trends. We stereotype the French as loving simplicity and Brazilians basking in their 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 self-esteem because we’re losing identity trying to represent one ideal.
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 begin the process of telling yourself why you’re not as good.
Physical flaws changeable?
As an example, I have bad acne scars I want to eventually laser. My large forehead however is with me for life. Some flaws can and should become worked on. If someone is spiteful or quickly falls into a rage and verbally insults, that’s not something to just embrace.
It’s in the press that 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 is affecting 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 – the term never really leaves a human.
Take a step back
It’s easy to over objectify and blow a micro-issue 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 was photographed recently with spots. Likewise to many stars over the years. Cameron Diaz famously suffered a strong case of acne and managed to become a model. Followed by being one of the biggest paid Hollywood actresses.
Let your physical flaws empower you
Only recently I came to terms with my scoliosis. I hid my angry thoughts and upset because I hated the idea of people feeling sorry for me. I always made my surgeries sound fascinating and exciting. Every year in school, I headed back to theatre ready for more surgery and post-recovery.
After my final operation, 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.
No photographer has wanted to shoot with my back on show. That is until a particular shoot at a studio. We captured the image with my back facing the camera. Though it’s not my favourite photo, the image reminds me to feel good knowing I’ve come out stronger since my surgeries. Maybe your physical flaw is not a surgical scar caused by health or giving birth. That doesn’t matter. Your empowerment could come from your flaw not affecting your life – you flaunt your flaws with pride.
Go behind your history
I adore photo albums. I love looking at my relatives and trying to grasp a painting of my ancestors. My grandma has my face shape. 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 or 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.
Emphasise the positive
Seeds for the Soul is a favourite book of mine; altering my entire mindset. What’s always stuck with me is how the book mentions our feelings are not what troubles us. It’s how we feel we should be feeling about them that causes problems. For example, rather than accepting a heartache and realising it takes time moving on, you become annoyed a person’s in your brain. Why can’t you let them go? Why did you even have to get close?
Sometimes we need to ride out our emotions and take them for what they are. Similarly, to how British people take rain – though we do complain. Find the positives. This is where you need a healthy dose of self-love. Don’t worry about admitting you like your smile or toned legs etc. No one has to know your favourite features.
The lines between arrogance and confidence tangle in culture, stopping people from complimenting themselves. It’s not a crime to act nice to yourself. If a friend 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?
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