There’s a classic saying – there’s no such thing as perfection. I’ve always believed that physical flaws are like mosaic pieces. Individually, they might look a little uneven and might seem a little out-of-place. But together, they collectively make art. And sometimes a masterpiece.
Understand what physical flaws are
The word ‘flaw’ itself is quite misleading. It’s an imperfection that is usually learnt through society. You don’t think your nose is too big until somebody tells you; your hair is fine until an advert exclaims you need volume.
There’s also no real truth. It’s all opinions that people have uncovered. So, for every person that thinks one body is too curvaceous, small or short – another thinks it’s perfect.
Before social-media, we went by stereotypes. We assumed the different ‘types’ of beauty in other countries. We might have known girls were aiming for a Kate Moss body, though there was always J.Lo. But as social-media is global – collectively one look is being promoted. Which is damaging self-esteem because we are losing identity trying to all 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 forms into a habit. You naturally see a person you deem beautiful and begin the process of telling yourself why you are not as good.
Ask whether your physical flaws can be changed
As an example, I have bad acne scars that I want to eventually have lasered. My large forehead however – that’s with me for life.
Some flaws can and should be 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 procedures – I understand that we might grow up feeling that a flaw is affecting our entire esteem, and why suffer with that?
Though flaws will always be with us. A plastic surgeon cannot edit a flawless canvas. You can take the best eyes, lips and cheekbones in the world, put them together, and it will have faults. So physical flaws can modify – providing you are doing it for yourself, nevertheless, 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 that’s invading your entire face and making you look like a Dalmatian.
Kendall Jenner was photographed recently with spots. Likewise, have many stars over the years. Cameron Diaz famously had 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
Without wanting this to sound like a ‘poor me’ case or ‘how amazing am I to have overcome this?’, I spent years in anger that I had scoliosis.
I hated the idea of people feeling sorry for me. I always made my surgeries sound fascinating and exciting. Every year in school, I would head back to theatre ready for more surgery and post-recovery.
When my surgeries were finished and my surgeons 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 are these two scars permanent?
I kind of fairy-tale wished that I could just look ‘normal’.
No photographer has wanted to shoot with my back on show. That is until I had a particular shoot at a studio.
We captured the image with my back facing the camera. Despite it not being my favourite photo, it reminds me to feel good knowing that I’ve come out stronger.
Maybe your physical flaw is not a surgical scar caused by health or giving birth. That doesn’t matter. Your empowerment could come from the fact that your flaw doesn’t affect your life – you go out there and flaunt it 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 are 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 of mine. I would say it’s altered my entire mindset.
What’s always stuck with me is how the book mentions that 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 that it will take time to move on, you become annoyed that the person is 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 – although we do complain.
Find the positives. This is where you need a healthy dose of self-love. Don’t worry about saying you have a nice smile or you like your legs. Keep it to yourself if that helps.
The lines between arrogance and confidence are tangled in culture. And that stops people from being complimentary to themselves.
It’s not a crime to act nice. If your friend and a stranger on the street deserve your words – so do you.
What are your favourite features? How do you accept your flaws? Would you consider plastic surgery?
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