It is our imperfections that make us beautiful. I firmly believe that, and I say it to those I care about as often as I can.
It is also our imperfections that make us human. I’m quite certain that this is a large part of why I find imperfections beautiful — because they show me the humanity in a person, they reveal someone real and vulnerable and relatable.
The scars and wrinkles and “blemishes” that all-too-often get airbrushed out of images of supposedly beautiful women — the images plastered across magazine covers and advertisements everywhere — taking those away leaves something that feels plastic, unreal, not human. Skin in so many shades and tones, white-washed and bleached and faded in order to look “pretty” — and all I see is “pretty boring.” Bodies in so many sizes, so many shapes, so many types and amounts and conditions of ability — many of them simply not displayed, and those that are get changed to appear taller, thinner, less waist, more hip, never a wrinkle or touch of acne or visible body or facial hair. The result is a nearly uniform display of the same woman, over and over, minor variations on the rubber-stamp design. I hate it.
I remember when I first figured out what “cellulite” is. Wasn’t very long ago, actually — less than 6 months — and suddenly it made so much sense; commercials selling ways to get rid of cellulite-and-wrinkles, almost as if it were a single word, were offering a way to match the impossible plastic look of the “ideal.” My first thought was, “Oh, that! Never knew there was a name for it… I always thought it was beautiful.”
Or the perennial question about pubic hair — almost always phrased as “what’s the best on other people: shaved neatly or completely untouched?” Actually, I don’t have a preference about what other people do with their own bodies. I try to stay out of deciding what anyone else can/can’t, should/shouldn’t, will/won’t do with their bodies — there’s no way I can yell “MY BODY, MY CHOICE!” and mean it if I’m not willing to shout with equal strength, ‘YOUR BODY, YOUR CHOICE!” and act on both with the determination I feel about them. I really don’t care how you keep your hair, pubic or otherwise; all I know is what I like for my own body.
I am not perfect. None of you are perfect. This “perfect” thing is nonsense, anyway — because perfection is so subjective, anyway.
What I am is beautiful. You are all beautiful. We are beautiful, and we are human. And that is a much more important thing to be!