flaw /flɔː/ (n.) – a defect in physical structure or form
The gaps between your teeth, the rough patch on your knees;
That slightly smaller boob, or slightly larger foot;
Your over-bitten nails, or skin too tanned or pale;
The blemishes on your skin, and teeth of yellow tint;
The love handles on your sides, or the scars, marks and stretch lines.
The list goes on and on. Will it ever end?
Most of us, if not all — from quiet bookworms to regal celebrities — experience or have experienced insecurity at one point in time. Being unaccepting of one’s own physical appearance is not uncommon, especially among girls (yes I know guys feel insecure too, but this one’s for the lay-deez). We often blame society’s pressure and expectations for girls and women to look a certain way to be considered ‘beautiful’, and this ‘beautiful’ is almost always associated with perfection. ‘OMG, she’s soooo perf!’ is widely used to describe a girl, usually solely based on her looks. But can we really blame society?
‘Perfect’ is defined as “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics.”
Qualities required by who? Desirable on who’s standards? Who is to judge?
Perfection is something we don’t need to have but can strive for. This perfection is not what magazines, music videos or Instagram tell us it is. Perfection is on our own terms. Don’t be upset because you’re not perfect, be happy that you can be better by aiming towards your own perfection. Perfection is being the best version of yourself. Truth be told, the only reason why none of us are perfect is because none of us are the best of ourselves. The beauty of it is that we can strive to be better – and that’s what living life is about. Imperfection is what makes us human. You are human. You are imperfect.
But don’t ever think that you are not flawless.
The zipper that can’t be pulled smoothly all the way up – that’s a flaw in the product. An app that keeps crashing – a flaw in it’s programming. A phone cover that can’t quite wrap around your phone – that’s a flaw in design. The ‘defects’ you focus too much on every time you look in the mirror – those are not flaws. Because you are not flawed. I’m sure you’re thinking, it isn’t as easy to believe as it is easy to say. But really, it is.
How do we accept these things we call ‘flaws’? We work towards perfection. Again, not because there is a need to be perfect, but because this helps us to be the better version of ourselves.
If there is a part of you that you feel insecure about and if it is something you can change, work towards changing it. For instance, if you think you weigh more than you should, make an effort to start eating healthy. If you think you think you’re too skinny, change up your diet and head to the gym. Improving the things we can change not only gives us confidence, but helps us to love our bodies better.
As for the things we cannot change, we should work towards changing too. How? We change our mind set. Find the good parts and focus on them. Take me as an example. My baby fat decided to stay on, of all places – my cheeks. I felt like I looked five years than I actually was. No change in diet nor gym visits could make me lose my chubby cheeks. I always wished for someone to come up with some kind of cheek exercise, no kidding. Now – although still as chubby as ever – I’ve learned to see that babyfatcheeks are youthful, and that’s not always a bad thing. Plus, they’re great stress balls. Squeeeeze them up in times of despair.
Don’t change you because someone else tells you to, or because you feel pressured to be what’s considered ‘beautiful’. Change you because you want to be better for yourself. Change you because you want to feel more confident. Change you and be comfortable in your own skin.
I firmly believe that a change in mind set can be reflected physically. That boost in confidence you get by a simple change in the way you look at yourself can give you an outer glow. Not the other-worldly kind, but the kind that makes people look at you and go ‘Wow, she looks great,’ even when you’re in sweats and with no makeup on.
This was not written to point fingers at a particular gender, at certain social media influencers, or at society. This article is the little I can do, hoping it can be a consolation of some sort for those who are feeling insecure, small and helpless. And I hope it has given you a little comfort.
Don’t ever forget: you are maybe not perfect, but that will never mean you are flawed.