I’m always surprised to learn that I’m not the only person in the world with insecurities, and I don’t know why. It would only make sense, after all, that as human beings, we’re far more critical of our own imperfections than we would be of others. But you know, at first glance, everyone else seems to confident, so well-adapted, so cool and collected. It’s hard to imagine that perhaps they actually don’t feel comfortable in their own skin.
Ask anyone and they can probably name at least on thing that they’d change about their bodies. I wish I was thinner. I wish my hands were more feminine. I wish I had long, slender legs. I wish I didn’t have chipmunk cheeks when I smile. I wish my neck was more elegant. I wish my body was designed so that I could wear cute, stylish clothes instead of having to dress to flatter my proportions. I wish my hair was straight. I wish my eyes were lighter. I wish my speaking voice made me sound even remotely intelligent. The more I think about it, the longer the list becomes of things that could be improved upon.
As that list grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to be positive about the way I look. I look in the mirror every day and think, “Meh.” I see pictures of myself online and I untag them because my smile is off or because I think my arms look fat. I’m so preoccupied with the way I look that it becomes my first priority. And you know what? That’s kind of messed up.
Yes, presentation is important, especially in the professional world. But I think in a world where we’re bombarded with images of thin, sculpted, beautiful, “perfect” men and women, we’ve become a bit disillusioned about what true physical beauty is. True physical beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. True physical beauty is what’s found in the imperfections, in what makes each of us unique. And yes, I am fully aware I sound like an after-school special and yes, I kind of hate myself for it. But I stand by the idea that it takes all types to make our world beautiful.
I feel like a bit of a hypocrite, suggesting that we should all embrace our own personal beauty, because I know I will continue to critique the way that I look. But maybe, just maybe, I can take a lesson out of this Body Positivity week as well. To learn to be comfortable in my own skin. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn to look in the mirror and see someone beautiful staring back at me.