Dear girls who do not perfectly fit into society’s definition of beauty; girls who have belly rolls, thick thighs, and jiggly chins; girls with stretch marks and cellulite; girls who don’t like their hair, or their skin, or the amount of hair they have on their skin:
You. Are. Beautiful.
Yes, you are—and you might not think you are, but that’s only because we as a society have a very confusing idea of what beauty is.
According to society, beauty is very limiting. It is one thing; it is a certain face, a certain body, a certain hairstyle. It is black or white—you are either beautiful or you aren’t, end of story.
Except, by the very nature of being limiting, it sort of winds up excluding everybody. To be beautiful, you must have Marilyn Monroe’s face, Pamela Anderson’s breasts, Jennifer Lopez’s abs, Nicki Minaj’s butt, and Miranda Kerr’s legs. This is not one woman; this is a Frankenstein amalgamation created through plastic surgery and Photoshop (either that, or by winning the genetic lottery).
And while there’s nothing wrong with matching society’s definition of beauty, it is important that we recognize that society’s definition of beauty is really difficult, if not impossible, to match up to for most of us.
And you are a real woman. Regardless of who you are or how you look, you are a flesh and blood human being—and that means that you’re going to have some flaws, but that doesn’t mean that you are not beautiful. It doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve love.
I have seen so many articles and online posts praising a man (usually) because he dared to love a woman who wasn’t traditionally pretty, saying things like, “What a great guy, he loved her despite the fact that she’s fat,” or “How sweet, he still loves her even though she has wrinkles.”
But to this, I say two things:
>> Yes, of course he loves her—long before he met her and decided that she was “good enough” for him, she was already a beautiful human being who deserves to be loved, as we all do.
>> Why does her physical appearance dictate whether or not her husband/lover/partner deserves praise for “putting up with her”?
It should not be surprising to us when a man declares his love for someone who doesn’t perfectly match the description of beauty that society puts out for us. We should not be awed and inspired by his bravery. Because regardless of the way that that woman looks, she deserves love.
If she is kind, caring, and intelligent, then does the relationship really merit congratulations on his part because he managed to look past the fact that she also has a little extra body fat or cellulite? Because the way I see it, love is about so much more than physical bodies. It is about trust, happiness, and support; her dress size doesn’t have anything to do with it. It is not an obstacle in their relationship, and she is not “lucky” to have found a guy who is capable of seeing her value beyond her body fat.
And she is not beautiful only because he has decided that she is. Her beauty was there long before he declared it; all you had to do was open your eyes to it.
Because beauty isn’t about a dress size, or smooth skin, or body proportions. It isn’t about looking better than someone else or about being a “real woman,” as opposed to a fake one. It isn’t about a single, limited definition, and it most certainly is not something that someone else gets to decide for you: if you have it or you don’t. Beauty is subjective, and while society most certainly influences the way that we see beauty, you also have the power to change what you think is beautiful.
You can broaden your definition of beauty to include your flaws. You can decide that it doesn’t matter what society says, all that matters is what you say.
And if someone else doesn’t see how beautiful you are, then let them get a good look of your great ass as you walk away.
The Beauty of Imperfection.
The Real Unphotoshopped Me.
Embracing our Messy, Imperfect & Deliciously Flawed Selves.
Author: Ciara Hall
Image: Flickr/Ariel Quiroz; Pixabay
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Taia Butler
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