Negative body image is a mental and emotional plague on society. Our self view frequently needs revision. Our perception of flaws also need reprogramming. Flaws are imperfections, defects, things that are faulty. Our bodies do not possess flaws; they posses details. These details articulate the journey of someone’s life story. Scar tissue, stretch marks, freckles, moles, birthmarks, spots, hyper-pigmentation as well as many other that are too numerous to name here. We all have any number of these. I have stretch marks. Almost every woman on the planet gets stretch marks but yet in media, you will never see these on women because they photo-shop them out. Stretch marks come from a variety of different places and women are certainly not the only ones that sport them. Growth spurts, pregnancy & body building all typically leave stretch marks behind and none of those things are anything to be ashamed of. We should not seek to hide them. I have had them since I was an energetically growing adolescent. I also gave birth to two children via C-section so I have that scar to accompany the stretch marks. Scars tell people about surgeries they’ve had, battles they’ve fought, challenges that they’ve undergone, but clearly overcome because they are still here and have the scars to prove their survival.

          What we see in media is not the authentic version of anyone. Very few celebrities are seen as their genuine physical self. There is either Photoshop or serious makeup being used to erase the things we all have; for no other reason and purpose but to uphold a ridiculous and impossible beauty standard that no one can live up to. As a result of this, you have thriving markets of companies that want to sell you a new face. They convince women and now men, that they need all this layering and highlighting makeup so that your skin looks like a flawless canvas devoid of what they call blemishes. But your face also looks devoid of pores, which all humans have, giving some a slightly alien feel. We all know they’re under there, so why cover them up? This isn’t fooling anyone but the self when we look in the mirror and we see what the industry wants us to see. All this putting on of the face business can take upwards of 20-30 minutes and for what? To look NOT like ourselves. To line the pockets of businessmen that are profiteering off of our insecurities and battered self esteem.

          Many of us know what is going on with media and industry and how they both push these insane standards of beauty. It’s up to us, the consumer and citizen to speak up and buck back on the tyrannical reign of the Regina-George-High-School doctrine of beauty. We can wear what we want and sit where we want. We can also spend our money on what we want. Instead of make-up, plastic surgery, or other methods of covering up, why not instead spend that money on revealing more of ourselves rather than hiding our details. They make us our unique selves. Details can reveal how the paths of identical twins diverged in their lives. Our details are evidence of our living and being of who we are and when we seek to cover those details up, what else will we choose to hide about ourselves? If you feel good about yourself from the inside, you will feel good about the outside without having to alter or hide any of it. Learn to love yourself and all your details.

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