When you reflect on your life, do you regret the time spent dwelling on your perceived flaws and imperfections? We waste valuable time consumed with our flaws, but the fact is that no one else cares. The hard truth is that we miss out on life when we strive for perfection.
Does your heart sink when you see yet another filtered image online? We are bombarded with society’s expectations of beauty and are expected to follow like little sheep. But how much of this is just pure money-driven BS? Most of it! That's why it's important to stop worrying and start embracing your flaws and imperfections.
This article will outline the danger of obsessing over your perceived flaws and imperfections. It will also suggest 5 ways you can embrace them.
What are flaws and imperfections?
There is no such thing as perfection. And even if we can think of someone who resembles perfection, this is merely an opinion. Perfections, flaws, and imperfections are all based on subjectivity. We form some opinions through pop culture and societal messaging.
But maybe it’s time to ignore what everyone else says.
We view flaws and imperfections as a slight on our appearance or character. We consider them downfalls - a blemish or mark that widens our distance from perfection.
But here’s the thing, what one person considers a flaw, another person views as a source of beauty.
Consider the supermodel Cindy Crawford; she has a mole next to her lips. I suspect, at one point, she regarded this as a flaw. Perhaps she was bullied for it. But it is now regarded as a beauty spot and has helped raise her profile.
Society can be cruel toward anyone different. Fellow humans are uncomfortable with people looking and acting differently from what they regard as the “norm.”
Therefore, our flaws and imperfections make us stand out. I believe we should celebrate our flaws and imperfections. We are all different! Instead of worrying about what makes you different, accept who you are and start celebrating yourself.
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What happens if we don’t embrace our flaws and imperfections?
We are destined for deep unhappiness if we don’t embrace our flaws and imperfections.
Our quest for beauty will ultimately leave us unsatisfied if we focus on our flaws and overlook our assets.
We are living in an increasingly vain world. Celebrities feel the pressure to strive for the elusive perfection, which may lead them to cosmetic surgery. And these people then become role models for you and me.
When we are ashamed of our appearance, we may obsess over it. At its worst, this infatuation with our perceived flaws may evolve into full-blown body dysmorphia.
Body dysmorphia is described as “a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance. These flaws are often unnoticeable to other people.”
According to this article, suicidal thoughts are common in those who suffer from body dysmorphia.
It can also cause us to withdraw from our social groups, increase our levels of depression and anxiety and result in a perpetual urge to cover ourselves up.
5 ways to embrace your flaws and imperfections
Before we continue, if you feel like you obsess over what you regard as your flaws and imperfections to the point of possibly having body dysmorphia, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional to help you overcome this.
Here are 5 ways to help you learn to embrace your flaws and imperfections.
Social media is the root of all evil.
Yes, that is a bold statement. But I believe that social media does more harm than good. But when we learn how to use it appropriately, we manage to manipulate the platforms to work for us.
Social media is one big pool of comparison. I doubt anyone feels good about themselves after scrolling through the highlight reel of other people’s lives. We naturally compare ourselves with everyone we see on social media. It’s not healthy, as comparison is the thief of joy.
And these platforms are all designed to compare yourself to others.
Here are a few ways to limit your social media use.
- Set a social media use timer on your phone.
- Unfollow accounts that make you feel inadequate or ugly.
- Remove the apps from your phone and only use them on a computer.
If you want more tips, here's our article on how to stop comparing yourself to others.
2. Avoid beauty magazines
Remember the wise words from Baz Luhrmann in Everybody’s Free “don’t read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.”
For years, I straightened my naturally curly hair. I wore my makeup like other people. I dressed to whatever the fashion was. As a result, I lost my identity, all while striving to cover myself up to be more like others.
It’s taken time, but I am embracing my own interpretation of beauty. My hair may be wild, but it’s who I am. I don’t hide in make-up. And I am finally comfortable in my own skin.
You don’t need beauty magazines to be beautiful. The important thing is that you see the beauty in yourself and learn not to care about others. You are beautiful, exactly as you are!
3. Redefine your heroes
If you are a Kardashian fan, look away now.
In fact, no - you are the ones I need to get through to the most.
The Kardashians are not good role models; there, I said it. They spend thousands of dollars on cosmic surgery, to maintain an image of beauty that is simply out of reach for others.
And who decided that this is the standard of beauty anyway?
Do you know who my heroes are? Athletes, writers, and feminist leaders. Anyone who is unapologetically themself. Anyone who defeats the odds and stands against injustice.
Here are some suggestions for new heroes.
If your current heroes are all about aesthetics, please do yourself a favor and have a refurb!
4. Zoom out
When we focus on our flaws and imperfections, we overlook everything else. We don’t see our beautiful smiles or our shiny hair. We don’t see our kind hearts and our healing hands.
We see our whole selves when we stop focusing on our perceived flaws and imperfections. We see everything we are and everything we stand for.
I may even be so bold as to suggest that if you are reading this article, you already hold self-awareness. I suspect you are already a good person and do good deeds, and you should recognize this. Give yourself credit for all the incredible traits you possess.
Zoom out and look at the way you help and inspire others. Try and see yourself through the eyes of a loving friend.
You are more than the freckles you don’t like or the extra weight that you carry.
5. Practice self-love
Self-love can be difficult for many. I used to be deeply dissatisfied with my body. I wanted more curves. But I have learned to accept my body for all it does for me.
I no longer see my lack of curves as a flaw. Instead, I recognize it helps my athletic pursuits. I now show my body gratitude for the adventures it takes me on.
Tune into yourself and give yourself the space and time for self-compassion. Treat yourself as you would a good friend. To practice self-love, here are a few ideas for starting:
- Relax in a bubble bath.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Take yourself on dates.
- Treat yourself to a massage or facial.
- Buy yourself a gift.
Remember, kindness in and kindness out.
If you want more tips on this topic, here's our article on self-soothing and why it's important!
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You are perfect, exactly as you are. Our flaws and imperfections are what make us unique. Once we accept them and learn to love them, we can focus on our strengths.
Is there anything you do to help love and accept yourself, flaws and all? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!