Monday, 18 February 2019

Let's Talk About Physical 'Flaws'

Recently, I've found myself having various conversations about the 'flaws' that we all think we have, and why so many of us fantasise about, *and potentially follow through with*, changing certain aspects of our bodies. 
I sometimes find myself having conflicted emotions when I see quotes that talk about loving our bodies, 'flaws and all'. On the one hand, I love seeing people encouraging self-love, and I completely agree that we should celebrate every aspect of our bodies, including all of the parts we may have struggled to accept in the past. On the other hand, a part of me wants to challenge these quotes because I don't think it goes deep enough. The only reason why so many parts of us are considered a 'flaw' is because we've grown up in a society that tells us that's what they are. How many adverts have you seen that tell us to get rid of our cellulite, lessen the appearance of our scars, or cover up our freckles? How many times has another human being made you feel insecure about the parts of your body that don't conform to society's definition of beauty?
As positive as it can be to tell ourselves to love all of the 'negative' parts of ourselves, shouldn't we be telling ourselves that these negatives aren't actually negatives at all?


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF, OR REASON FOR, THESE 'FLAWS'?


I've always struggled with accepting the way my nose looks. 

It's pretty big, it has a bump in the bridge *a witches crook, as it's so positively been named*, and it's pretty much always been the first point of call for someone looking to insult my appearance. I was bullied and teased for it as a kid, and it's the part of my face that I'm definitely the most self-conscious about. So, whenever I find myself looking at my appearance and hating the nose that I've been given, I try my best to take myself back to basics. What's the purpose for my nose? Well, it's there so that I can breathe and so that I can smell. That's it. It doesn't have to be a certain shape, it doesn't have to be a certain size, it just has to let me breathe, and smell. 
The eyes that I've always wished were bigger allow me to see the world around me; the stretch marks that I've tried so desperately to hide show how much I've grown; the freckles that I was teased for as a kid *yet are now acceptable because of a trend* are a sign of sun-kissed skin. All of the things we struggle to accept about our bodies are there for a purpose, or a reason, and reminding yourself of that can bring you one step closer to accepting, and then loving, everything about them. 

WHY DOES CHANGING, OR HIDING, OUR 'FLAWS' MAKE US FEEL BETTER?

As passionate as I am about truly loving every part of our bodies, it can bring up some sensitive topics and I really want to make sure I do them justice. 
In a recent conversation with one of my friends, we spoke about the number of people that actually do make the decision to change their appearance through plastic surgery, and why they so strongly feel the need to do so. As I've mentioned, we usually develop most of our insecurities as we grow up within this society, and it's truly an immense challenge to completely change our mindset and the mindsets of those around us. It's understandable why someone may choose to change their appearance in order to live a happier life within this society. We don't know how long it will take to change its many issues, and if someone is unhappy then it's their right to do what they want to change that, without judgement from others. In a society that paints a particular image of beauty, it's easy to understand why a person might want to look more like its definition. 
However, I do think it's important to consider what I've already touched upon in that a primary reason we are so unhappy is because we believe the lie we've been told that certain things are wrong with our appearance. If we weren't force-fed this lie, would as many people change the way they look?


START WITH KINDNESS, PROGRESS TO LOVE

I'm incredibly aware that challenging the definition of beauty that is engrained so deeply in our society is an incredibly difficult task to do, for many reasons that I've already touched upon. 
Everywhere we look we're being conditioned to think a certain way and force-fed other peoples opinions, not only in the real world but all over the internet as well. We're told what's considered pretty and what's considered ugly, what's acceptable and what's not, what's normal and what's weird, and I think it takes an incredible journey of self-love and acceptance to genuinely fight against that. I have so many days in which I look at my appearance and struggle to accept what I see. Sometimes, I find it relatively easy to fight against; on another day it might completely consume me and I'm unable to shake the negativity away.
But, I do believe we can all start somewhere. If the idea of really loving your body sounds too far out of reach, start with kindness. Attempt to simply accept your body before you progress onto loving it. Stop talking to yourself negatively, speak to yourself as if you were speaking to someone you love, and always come back to what your body is there for. It may take years, but eventually, your mindset will change!


CREATE NEW BELIEFS

Wouldn't a world in which we didn't grow up with these negative beliefs be such a wonderful thing? 
It will be a mammoth task, but I'm a huge believer in small changes equal big differences, and I do believe we can progress to something better.
Start with yourself. Work hard to change your own belief and your own mindset to a more positive one and then eventually you can share with friends and family, who might have been working hard on themselves alongside! If everyone believed that simply changing themselves would make a difference, I think we'd be living in a different world. 
All of these 'flaws' we've been told we have are beautiful, unique, and natural
"Just because you don't look like somebody who you think is attractive, doesn't mean you aren't attractive. Flowers are pretty but so are christmas lights, and they look nothing alike".

I always find myself nervous when I discuss topics like this one because I have so many thoughts floating around in my mind and I want to do the topic justice. I will always aim to make my posts as positive and accepting as possible, and I hope I've managed to express myself properly. I genuinely do believe that we can change the way we look at our bodies, and hopefully, by continuing to promote self-acceptance and self-love we can lead ourselves into a future where our natural bodies are viewed with far more love in our eyes!
x

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8 comments

  1. Such a beautifully written post sweetie and it is such an important subject!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  2. Love this. Wonderfully written post! Its awful to think that we're, essentially, raised to pick out our flaws. I know for a fact I wouldn't have so many insecurities about myself if it weren't for certain family members constantly pointing them out to me growing up. Its sad really. Beautiful post. It really is an important topic to discuss <3

    Renee | Maritime Mama

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I know - it's such a shame we've had to grow up in a society that does this, but hopefully we can change it for the future <3 x

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  3. the fact is that what we find flaws may be the greatest characteristic for another people. it sounds cheesy but we should be less negative about ourselves. lovely post(:

    Cate ღ 35mm in Style

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  4. This is such a thoughtful post with a lot of truths. I think we shouldn't even use the word flaws, because as we are all different individuals, so our noses are different, and the shape of our eyes, and of our bodies. Reflecting on our own insecurities and putting them back in context with expectations of society (like that silly trend of drawing freckles with makeup) can make us realise how none of this should dictate how we feel about ourselves. Thank you for sharing! :)

    Julia x
    Last Post: How To Read More in 2019 | https://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.com/2019/02/how-to-read-more-in-2019.html

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post <3 x

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