Hello, Beautiful

A revolution has begun. A new era, a new dawn. It’s the age of the imperfect.

Why should we all be sculpted abs and flawless skin? Why can’t we just be what we are? Why must we run helter-skelter in a bid to fit in with the look of the moment? Why must there always be a “new sexy”? Why can’t we just be who we are and like what we like? Why can’t every look be sexy, all the time?

I’ve spent most of my life hating the way I look. Not my face – I like my face – but my body. My skin is dry and prone to rashes, infections, blemishes and every other flaw you can imagine. I started getting stretch marks at nine because my skin couldn’t keep up with my growth spurt. I was too busy being a kid to worry about my skin, which is exactly as it should be. As I reached that angst-ridden, terrible stage we call adolescence, I transformed from a confident child to one who wanted to hide.

But at 32 I don’t have the energy to give a damn anymore. I’ve realised something I should have realised a long time ago. My body is awesome. I’m awesome, and beautiful, and sexy, and it has nothing to do with how I look. I’m beautiful because…well, just because, really.

I love my body now because I’ve learned over the years all the cool things it’s capable of doing. It has carried me through three decades of life and is still going strong, despite the lousy way I’ve treated it. It deserves my undying loyalty, my respect and my deepest gratitude. It deserves to be serenaded, to have poetry written in its honour, and it definitely deserves to be adored by anyone fortunate enough to get up close and personal with it.

slsmag 022When I think back on all that time I spent hating my body because it didn’t conform to the standard, I could cry. Why in the world would I want to look like anyone else when I have the incredible privilege of looking like me? I get to be unique, one-of-a-kind, special.  I get to be gorgeous, if I may say so.  And I should be allowed to say so. Why should I wait for someone else to approve? When it comes to this body, the only opinion that matters is mine. There will always be people who think I’m ugly. There will be those who think I resemble a reptilian alien with my scaly psoriasis and frequent uticaria attacks. As a sci-fi buff, I’d actually take that as a compliment. There will be those who announce, in pompous voices, that they don’t do girls with stretch marks, or glasses, or short hair, or juicy thighs, or IQs higher than their own. It goes without saying that such people are clearly not awesome enough to hang with me, but that’s OK. They’ll get there eventually. I’ll send them good karma.

In the meantime I’ll continue being spectacular, and so should you. The naysayers don’t really think you’re ugly. They’re projecting their insecurities onto you. Or they’re just jackasses. Either way, what they think doesn’t matter. Their opinions can’t affect your job, your studies, your fun-time, your relationships or your health. Nothing said by some random person can change a single facet of your life. In a decade you won’t even remember their names, so stop it. Right now.  Stop treating yourself the same way bullies treat you. Stop validating their ignorant opinions. Stop comparing yourself to everyone and her mother. All those celebrities/classmates/colleagues you think are so much better-looking than you have insecurities of their own. That’s why pretty women will go and ruin their faces with plastic surgery, leaving everyone wondering what the hell happened.

You’re beautiful. Not because you have a perfectly-shaped (insert body part), but simply because you are. Because you have a body that functions, that keeps you alive. Because you were born and are here and exist in this time, in this space, with everyone else. You’re beautiful, and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply WRONG.

You have to love what belongs to you. Your body is full of stories. Every mark tells the tale of some incident that occurred; every spot, every dent is a chapter all its own. Do you have any idea how amazing it is that you have what you have, that it can do what it does, that it moves the way it moves? You are dips and curves and planes and contours, light and shadow, nicks and bruises, scars and freckles. You are soft and hard and rough and smooth, lines and spots and creases, arms that do THIS and legs that do THAT.

LOOK at yourself. Not in the critical, cruel, unjust way you usually do, but with fresh eyes, as though you are a stranger, a tourist discovering unchartered territory.  Take your time. Take care. Observe what happens when you move a certain way. Pay attention to how it feels when you breathe. And then come to the astounding realisation that THIS wonderful instrument, this landscape, this work of art, IS YOURS. How can you not love it? After everything it does every single day; the intricate processes, the silent, steady work? How can you not be speechless with awe?

The time for pointing fingers is over. No more calling out so-and-so for being too skinny, as if we can’t all identify with the pressure so-and-so is under. No more snide remarks about X’s cellulite or Y’s love handles. No more looking in the mirror and wanting to cry. It’s time to meet your soulmate, the one person who has stood by you throughout your life and will be there till the end. It’s time to fall in love with yourself. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you don’t see it that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Open your eyes, Gorgeous. You don’t know what you’re missing.

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5 thoughts on “Hello, Beautiful

  1. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Your work must reach everyone. You NAIL it! You have an extraordinary gift as a writer. NOT the usual . FAR better.

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