I recently read an article in a women’s magazine that gave me serious pause. It highlighted several fashion bloggers/stylists and how each of them was able to conceal their flaws. I couldn’t even get halfway through the article before I gave up entirely. These women all looked beautifully pulled together and seeing them share how they make themselves presentable by hiding or distracting from their physical shortcomings was too much.
Each of these ladies had a story about their appearance, and each of these stories began with the premise that they did not meet some generally accepted standard for appearance. There was one who had no curves, another had too many curves. One was too short, another one was pear-shaped and on and on and on.
I wonder if we could somehow change these stories about ourselves. What if we could make the stories positive instead? What if the things you dislike about your appearance are actually a blessing in disguise? For instance, I was never known for filling out a bikini in an acceptable way, but when I did get noticed, it was because the person noticing me wanted to hear what I had to say. And, maybe my stomach could be flatter, but I did have two children so what if I focused on how this ‘imperfection’ is a reminder that I brought life into the world. I also have an odd birthmark on my arm, but it connects me to my Mom. When she was living, she would tell the story about how it first appeared after I was born. It started out strawberry-shaped near my elbow. After a few days, it changed, faded and came back to settle on my forearm. She always loved my birthmark because it reminded her of the day I was born. I loved that she loved that day. And me.
We can make our story anything we choose.
Why not choose to make it beautiful one?
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent