By Casey Ludick
Society has created this taboo around the concept of imperfection, and we praise the idea of perfection itself. Someone who fits society’s perception of perfection is usually someone who is either skinny with clear skin, beautiful hair and no visible scarring or someone who is curvy but not fat, with clear skin, great hair and no scars.
Perfection does not exist. It is nothing more than a social construct to further progress the idea of conformity as normality.
There is no such thing as the perfect woman or the perfect man. Every single person has some or other flaw. And everyone has an opinion that is different to someone else’s.
In recent years, many people have clapped back at body-shamers over weight and race. Body shaming can manifest in many ways; not just in the self, but can be projected onto others as hate. Thus, the concepts of body positivity, self-love, self-acceptance and representation were born.
While people consider the state and size of your body, or the colour and shade of your skin, or what kinds of “flaws” your skin plays host to, little discussion is being held around how these “flaws” of our skin are natural; beautiful in their own right; biological; not factors of our imperfections, but of our existence.
Stretch marks are scars on the body that occur naturally and do not disappear over time. A common misconception about stretch marks is that someone only gets stretch marks because they were smaller and gained weight. Or because they were bigger and lost weight. The misconception within this misconception is that the loss of weight clears stretch marks.
Stretch marks do not make someone less beautiful, or less attractive to the opposite sex. It is okay to completely embrace your stretch marks, and it is also okay to want them to fade and to want to prevent them because of personal preference. However, it will never be okay to make a person feel less than they are for what they cannot control about their body; for a natural, ultimately beautiful occurrence.
Stretch marks are not ugly and do not mean that someone is unattractive or overweight. They add a little bit of character to the body’s natural design and can have beautiful connotations to them.
A tattoo is a mark or design that is created by inserting ink into punctures in the skin, which makes them scars too. And people who have them, are not often catered to in the body positivity movement.
People with tattoos are often labelled irresponsible and reckless, or scary depending on the number of tattoos they have and where.
Tattoos can be beautiful and meaningful, despite the negative connotations to them. As someone on the outside looking in, we may not understand the meaning behind them and see it as a cliché means of expression. And worse yet, a mistake. Tattoos have nothing to do with who you are as a person; people remain human despite the ink.People don’t change just because they got some ink done over the weekend.
Tattoos do not necessarily mean there is a lack of self-love, or, alternatively that there is an overbearing amount of confidence either. Tattoos are a form of art and deserve just as much praise as the pieces you see in an art gallery. Tattoos do not have to mean anything to anybody other than the person they exist on.
Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when the oil-secreting glands in the skin and along hair shafts become clogged, inflamed, and infected by bacteria. Acne has caused a lot of teenagers to feel insecure about their looks and their skin.
Acne is something that most teenagers suffer from through puberty, and many people tend to focus on women’s struggle with acne more than men. Acne is not sexist. Men suffer from acne, and while both genders feel the same level of insecurity, the only difference is that in the past women have been the ones to cover it up. As the use of make-up becomes more androgynous, men are now encouraged to feel comfortable covering up their acne as they see fit.
However, acne does not need to be hidden. You do not need to cover it up to feel beautiful. Own your flaws and embrace the little things that make you, you. Your acne is something unique to you. Only you have your skin and only you have your body. And only you have a claim to it.
Taking care of your skin may be important, but it is equally important to love the skin you’re in. Avoid using beauty treatments to subdue or punish your skin. Do what makes you happy and makes your skin feel good.
Your quirks don’t make you less beautiful.