There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in

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!

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