by SUSAN BOYOUNG BAILEY SCHABACKER
In a celebrity centered culture where nipping and tucking and concealing our so-called “flaws” have become commonplace, and the beauty industry is raking in our hard-earned money, it’s time for a healthier perspective.
How boring would we be if we were just one color, look, shape, size, and gender? Counter adversity with diversity and be grateful for it. From the fairest pale to the darkest dark, egg white to black coffee, and every shade in between, there are no unworthy or ugly shades, shapes, or sizes.
FLAWS THAT CAN BE FEATURES
No need to be browbeat, whether you have bushy brows, a la Brooke Shields and Arizona Muse, sparse hairs penciled in, or none at all.
And, no need to conceal that mole. Instead, regard it respectfully as a signature beauty mark. Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford didn’t turn to concealer or have their moles removed. Instead, they embraced those “flaws” and turned them into iconic features of classic beauty.
No need to hide your smile with perfectly evenly spaced teeth. Mind the gap between your teeth (known as diastema) by embracing it with confidence. You may have been called “Bucky the Beaver,” at one time, but don’t let the bullies get you down. What do celebrities Arnold Schwarzenegger, Madonna, and David Letterman have in common? A notable feature is the gap between their front teeth in their toothy smiles. Lauren Hutton didn’t let this stop her from gracing multiple magazine covers.
And, for those tall and lanky ladies, made fun of as being awkward and unwieldy with the longest of limbs, from basketball court to catwalk, stand proud of being tall – while for the tiny and short, be proud of being petite. No need to look down on Thumbelina or Tinkerbell.
FINDING FACE WITH FAV FEATURES
Here are some tips on fully accepting and appreciating who you are naturally and turning flaws into features.
Make a list of what you or others may perceive as flaws. Sometimes these authentic attributes can be our best features. Then look in the mirror or snap a selfie and verbally accept, affirm, and appreciate your whole self, including the flaws you’ve listed. Focus on one at a time and go through your list starting with the flaws you feel most self-conscious and insecure about. Instead of hiding, concealing, and fixing with a forensic nip and tuck, shift how you think and feel instead. You are more capable and empowered than you may realize.
See yourself as a unique work of art that doesn’t need to look like every other piece of art. Art appreciation can open important windows and doors in your mind and spirit. Remind yourself there’s only one version of you, with no carbon copy, and go forth with confidence.
Instead of covering up freckles, embrace them as being beautiful angel or sun kisses. Learn to love the skin you’re in and be proud of your natural beauty in its purest form. Go au naturel and focus on a skincare routine which can be simple as cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize. Tweeze only the stray hairs of your brows or let them grow.
Whatever your hair color, type and texture, let those locks be just the way they are. Also, forgo the heat styling, and let your hair air dry naturally. Keep your tresses healthy, clean, and conditioned. Instead of hair products laden with chemicals that can be endocrine-disruptors and harmful to your health, smooth some coconut, argan, or olive oil, and pamper yourself with a scalp massage. Add essential oils to the carrier oils for a luxuriating aromatherapy experience and breathe in deeply. Try whipping together some natural DIY hair treatments like masks, conditioners, and rinses that bring out the vibrance and shine.
Avoid analysis paralysis and judging yourself. Affirm your appearance in positive ways so you don’t see your self-proclaimed “flaws” as embarrassing, negative, or shameful.
Just think of all the time, money and energy you’ll conserve and gain back when you no longer try to “fix” them! Your thoughts are powerful, and it’s up to you to love and accept yourself.