Embracing Your “Flaws”

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There’s a good reason I put part of this title between quotation marks. Every woman has things she hates about her own body . . . at least, that’s the conventional wisdom. Learning to love yourself, “despite” these supposed shortcomings. So I’m laying down some much-needed truth today. Are you ready for it? Here it is: there’s no such thing as flaws on a woman’s body. Mind-bending? Doll, it’s the damn truth. And you can trust me because I am a professional photographer, gazer-upon and curator of the human form extraordinaire.

Sure, there are probably things you don’t prefer about your body. And we’re relentlessly conditioned by makeup companies and shapewear brands and cosmetic surgeons to find the faults in ourselves so that we’ll turn around and spend lots and lots of money to “fix” these “problems.”  We look at roving Kardashians and pop stars whose largely fabricated images are inescapable--they’re simply everywhere--and subconsciously absorb the notion that that is “real” beauty. But all of that is utter nonsense. (Please go look at some before and after pictures if you need the reminder.)

This is usually the point when someone says, “oh but look at all these other wonderful things about yourself. Focus on the good, not the bad.” But NO. I’m telling you, there is no bad. Those “problems”? They’re solid gold.

A better maxim to pull from is “One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.” Or even better, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Women certainly do look at one another, eyeing the other person up, seeing how they measure up against us. We identify all kind of beautiful features in other women, wishing that we possessed them for ourselves. Her eyes! Her lips! Her skin! Her legs! Her willowy frame! Her plump curves! Her bold way of speaking! Her strong arms! Her perfectly silver hair! Her serene smile! Plus countless more. The list of our longings is endless.

And here’s the real reason, the secret that probably no-one has ever said to you before: Women identify conflicting traits in other women because ALL of these traits are desirable.

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ALL of them. Literally and truly. That soft tummy is someone’s luxuriant pillow. Those short legs are someone’s pixie dream. That skin--in any shade--is someone’s watercolor ideal. Those broad shoulders speak strength and resilience. And right now, hundreds if not thousands of women are sitting in beauty parlors paying oodles of cash for precisely your hair. Not to mention the fact that our bodies are wondrous, magical-electric machines designed to function in the face of any obstacle, meaning even your scars and stretch marks are miraculous.

So you don’t possess every bodily feature you’d like. Who on earth does?? We’ve all seen what happens to those that try for such perfection. At some point, they stop looking human--and they can’t have an off-maintenance day, because that whole house of cards starts falling apart.

So next time you’re in front of the mirror, eyeing those areas you don’t care for, treat yourself yourself a reality check and admire them instead. Because I promise you, someone else already is.

You were made Beautiful, doll. Own it.