"Imperfect" Beauty: Taking a "Flaw" and Making It Your Most Striking Feature
I love a cleft in a woman's chin. I love really pale skin. I love deep-set eyes, extremely full lips, and strong, hooked noses. For me, it's not "Oh, how do I fix it?" Rather, it's claiming the features that make you who you are and making the most of them. Some call these qualities "flaws," but I find that they are the key to finding one's own beauty identity.
My definition of perfect beauty is that it be unique and completely individual. Unfortunately, my way of thinking is not yet universally accepted. No one ever told me as a child that my deep-set eyes were beautiful--but I now know that they are a striking element of my look. No one ever says that freckles are nice--but I think they are beautiful and should never be hidden.
It happens all the time: The very feature women complain to me about is precisely what I find most beautiful. And it's no wonder women don't like these features, since most of us have never heard them complimented. In a perfect world, mothers would remind their daughters each morning how beautiful their strong noses are, how lovely their deep-set brown eyes or pale skin, and how special their curly red hair or full lips. In a perfect world, we would grow up to accept ourselves for our special traits and to be genuinely content with our natural looks. We would possess an endless amount of self-confidence.
But too often this is not the case. Mothers, themselves feeling insecure about a particular feature, pass that feature on to their daughters along with a sense of shame or insufficiency about it. Boyfriends or husbands pick up on a woman's feelings of inadequacy, sometimes making her feel even worse. It is an unhappy cycle.
I refuse to accept that the only perfect beauty is that of a Barbie doll or a supermodel. Instead, I find beauty in the flaws, those characteristics that don't fit society's narrow definition of beauty. Sadly, women who have these characteristics have been taught not to like them. The challenge is to reverse this way of thinking.(Continues...)