When I reached puberty, I dealt with insecurities and social anxiety the same way all adolescents have throughout the course of history. It’s normal, right? We all get that sympathetic talk from an adult saying everything we are experiencing at 13 is completely normal and good and that we will grow out of our awkward phase and in just a few short years, transform into our adult selves.
Is it just me, or does it feel like puberty is still happening?
Now I don’t mean in the voice cracking, acne nightmare, sexual crisis way. I mean the mindset I had at 13 feeling like my body didn’t meet expectations and the constant struggle to look like the magazines has only escalated over time.
I am in my 20s. I am successful in my chosen career path so far; I have friends, hobbies, passions, and talents. And I would say that I am pretty. But with media not just on magazine racks at Target but at the swipe or press of a button on my phone, I am constantly attacked by the enchanting images of the “bikini body”. I am smothered by the “naturally flawless” makeup and skin care ads. I am left undone by the celebrity diets that state, “With just fifteen minutes a day, you could look like THIS!” Minus the camera crew, the personal chef, the personal trainer, the clothes picked out for me, and the photo-shopped perfection, right?
It is alarming how many makeup products start off by saying natural. Now for only $14.99 Full coverage foundation to give you that natural airbrushed glow that will have you looking flawless. We know that the magazines and ads sell a fictitious idea of beauty, and yet we pine after it. We go on extreme diets and purge our life of joy all so that we can only let ourselves down again and fall even deeper into personal loathing for not achieving “flawless”.
What if we challenged ourselves to be flawed?
What if instead of using the makeup, the filters, and unrealistic exercise routines to look like the fake person on the trashy magazine, we just looked in the mirror. We would see our freckles, acne scars, and dark circles under our eyes. We would see our uneven skin tone, stretch marks, cellulite, and unwanted hair. We would see our fat rolls and oddly proportioned bone structure.
We would see ourselves. Flawed, but human. Wouldn’t that be better?
I am tired of trying to look like a picture. I want to look human. I want my body to tell the story of my life so far and to not be embarrassed to show that yeah, I don’t have a flat stomach. And I am okay with it. I am more than okay with it, I love it. I want to own the term “flawed”. It has become beautiful to me. Peace washes over me when I think of how flawed and human I am.
And I am not going to make excuses anymore like “I am a hot mess today that’s why I am not wearing makeup.” Screw that. I’m not a hot mess. I am flawed. I am beautifully flawed and I am okay if you see the marks and scars on my face and the stretch marks on my body because my humanity is beautiful.
So I am going to pass on the airbrushed makeup and Instagram filters. It will be a challenge, but even if I am the only one who thinks flawed is sexy, that is okay with me. I am naturally flawed.