“That thing about you, the thing that you hate the most, that you call a flaw, that’s what draws me to you, what I love most about you, what I wouldn’t trade for the world.”
Oh, the joy that would be mine if I heard these words from my significant other. Wait a minute. I do hear them. He tells me how much he loves my thighs – I hate them. I think they’re way too thick and could do with a lot less cellulite. He thinks the little mole on my face, right above my upper lip is really sexy – I think it just makes applying make-up much more difficult because I have to work around it. He likes to put his head on my belly when we lie in bed just chilling, says it’s the perfect cradle for his head – I secretly wish I could wear an invisible waist-trainer to cinch that damn waist all the way in, especially when I’m naked.
I think my arms are too fat and my butt isn’t tight enough. I’d love for my boobs to be perkier and for my lips to have a bit more definition. And for my hair to be longer. And for my skin to be flawlessly radiant. And for that annoying little skin tag on my neck to just disappear. And the list goes on and on. I could find a million things that are wrong with me, with my body, with my person. I could probably write a book on the subject. Sadly.
I’d like to think that I’m not alone, that there are millions and millions of people out there who worry about the several little (or not so little) imperfections they think they have. People who want better anatomies, deeper voices, broader shoulders, wider hips, who want to be taller, or not so tall, who want to be skinnier or not so skinny. I’m sure there are people who go to great lengths to get fairer skin that looks natural (they don’t always succeed now, do they?), people who spend hours in the gym pumping iron to build almost non-existent pecs and squeeze six packs out of hitherto flabby abs.
What is it with human beings and their so called flaws? Who defined perfect and why should we be perfect according to that definition? Were our ancestors crazy when they took girls into “fattening rooms” in preparation for marriage? Were they crazy when they insisted on potential daughters-in-law having “child bearing hips” and strong backs? When did ‘skinny’ become the norm? And flat bellies. And muscular arms. And slim thighs. And perfectly round boobs. Who agreed that this was the picture of perfection? At what council was this decided? I certainly would like to have a word with them. Because all this unnecessary starvation and gym punishment that people go through once they’ve consumed some good old pounded yam, it’s just not right! A perfect world would be boring and predictable. A world full of perfect people would also be full of proud people, with their snotty noses held high and their elegant gaits and postures screaming “I’m better than everybody else”.
In my opinion, our flaws have done us all a huge favour – they have taught us to be humble, even though this humility is often expressed in the privacy of our homes, in front of our mirrors, those goddamn mirrors that aren’t afraid to tell you just how you are. You may step out of your house all made up and looking fine, but you know deep down that you’re worrying about the muffin-top that’s showing through the sides of your shirt and threatening to spill out from the waist of your jeans. You’re worrying about just how many jiggles your butt makes with each step you take, no matter how gingerly you take it. You can’t even wear sleeveless clothes because you hate how the flabs in your Christian mother arms are just happy to lie very relaxed and spread out by your sides. You can’t wear shorts to the beach when others are wearing because your thighs rub together and as a result any shorts would bunch up in the middle of them legs. God forbid that you step out of the house without make-up, because you’re scared of you bare-faced and you think others will be scared too. You have to find the bra with the right amount of padding because when boobs were being distributed, you came to the party late and now you have to watch all those other girls who don’t even understand the pain of having to wear a padded bra go about flaunting their God-given cleavage. Your body is so ‘straight’ that even when you wear a tight dress, you still struggle to find your hips.
And what about you uncle? For some reason, your face hair decided it didn’t want to come into the world when it was supposed to and you had to stop yourself from turning green with envy whenever your friends talked about the trouble of stubble. And then when said face hair showed up, it came in strings and patches and now you have to pretend like you really don’t give a sh*t about the #beardgang movement because, well beards are “overrated” (even though you keep using side eye to hate on them guys who get the girls with their full, nicely-styled beards). You don’t fill out a shirt as well as you’d like to – not enough muscle definition in your opinion, so you stick to clothes that aren’t so slim-fit even when snug shirts are “on-trend”. You’re kind of ‘heavy’ in your middle, so tucking your shirt in isn’t your favourite thing to do and you have to find ways to stand or sit that look “cool” without accentuating your girth. You visit the gym after work some evenings to try to do something about those muscles. And you probably also have those homemade dumbbells, the ones made with concrete circles and an iron bar, which you’re lifting in the dark, early hours of the morning, wondering just how long it takes really to start seeing some results.
Life can’t be easy going around with these worries in our heads. It certainly isn’t easy for me, especially when I look around and see so many “flawless” people around me. And that’s the big problem. We all look at other people and see how beautiful they are, how perfect they are, how they have the things that we want. We look at ourselves and all we see are the flaws, the things we hate and wish were different. How many of us actually look at ourselves and take note of the nice things, the beautiful things? How many can even see the beauty in their so called flaws? It often takes someone else calling it out, and even at that, we still don’t believe them. It doesn’t help that we are so dependent on people’s admiration and approval to feel better about ourselves, but even when these people tell us how unimportant the things we worry about are, we just assume they’re only trying to make us feel better. Shior!
Today, I’m embracing the beauty in my flaws. I’m looking at them with new eyes – they are an important part of what makes me who I am. I am not perfect and in truth, maybe I don’t want to be, because it’s way too much work. It’s just easier to be me, and to love me the way I am. Even Bruno Mars said I’m amazing just the way I am (and he doesn’t even know me). And if he says so, who am I to doubt that? Besides, who wants to be with a flawless someone? Definitely not me. I can’t. It will only serve to make my own seeming imperfections more pronounced, giving birth to the monster called ‘inferiority complex’ and his equally evil twin ‘insecurity’.
My name is MissO. I am ‘flawfully’ and beautifully made. And I pledge never to doubt that again.
If you’ve ever worried about your imperfections, think of something right now that you love about yourself (or that someone loves about you) and say it out loud and proud.
“If you no fit love you, nobody will” – Brymo.