Embracing your imperfections

Yasmin Hailes talks about how we should move away from beauty standards surrounding imperfections...

Yasmin Hailes
3rd December 2018

Each and every one of us has imperfections, things we don’t like about ourselves, things we would change in a heartbeat if we could. It’s only normal to feel this way.

I know this all too well, I’d never feel comfortable enough to post a picture showing my stretchmarks or cellulite, or any other part of me society has deemed as ugly. Our Instagram feeds are always plastered with picture-perfect people, airbrushed, and imperfections hidden by a filter. So is it really any wonder that we all avoid posting pictures that expose the insecure aspects of our bodies? When you dig a little deeper though, you’ll find things are more optimistic than they seem, things are changing, slowly but surely.

One of the most empowering moments in recent times has to be at the wedding of Princess Eugenie, where the bride decided she wanted her dress to showcase her scoliosis scars. Now had we not been told by the media, and Eugenie herself, would any of us have realised she had a scar? Probably not. The things we are so caught up over on ourselves, are never that noticeable to other people. Not even Princesses are exempt from imperfections, we all have them, and so instead of hiding ourselves away, we should be fighting for a society where it is perfectly normal to be a little bit different.

[pullquote]We are seeing an abundance of beauty campaigns that are encouraging body confidence.[/pullquote]We are seeing an abundance of beauty campaigns that are encouraging body confidence. Last year major clothes supplier, ASOS, stopped airbrushing their models, and rather than being met with comments of outrage or disgust, the brand was smothered with love and support. I think this is a really vital step in changing beauty standards, big companies normalising flaws that we all share. It really is within the past few years that we are seeing these changes, it was actually only this year that the makeup brand CoverGirl published an advert with Amy Deanna, their first model with vitiligo. In the ad she says "why try to blend in when you can choose to stand out?". This is the exact question we should be asking ourselves; what makes us unique is what makes us beautiful, and that should be celebrated. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all looked the same.

There is no doubt in the fact that people big on social media are very influential, take Selena Gomez for example. The actress/singer had surgery for a kidney transplant, as a result of her battle with lupus, which left her with scarring. Gomez publicly showed off her scar when she wore a bikini on holiday fully knowing she would be photographed, I think that is such a positive message to send to her young followers, be proud of what you have been through. Why should scars come with negative connotations, when they show the sheer courage of someone. Women who have had C-sections when in labour is a similar story, or people who have had battles with cancer, which has left their bodies wounded. Be proud of your scars, they show the world just what a badass you really are.

More brands and more influential stars should be following suit. This is a movement that needs power from everyone, to normalise the norm, and to inspire an entire generation. When we are born we start as blank canvases, and every scar, every blemish, tells a story, so why should we cover ourselves up. Instead we should just be loving the skin that we are in.

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