5 Flawed Women On Loving Their Imperfections
There is something about chipped nails, stretch marks, cellulite drawing patterns on legs, and scars scattered across the body like stars in a night sky, which speak to my soul. To me, this is the closest it comes to being real and pure. That ‘something’ that we feel deep inside looking at these imperfections, or perhaps wearing them is, in fact, everything that connects us to one another, and yet makes us unique.
Perfection is fabricated; a lie that is vehemently promoted. Just like the fairy tales, or stories about the big-bearded Santa that are sold to us as hope and faith, but what is that positivity if we start pauperising our own selves in comparison?
I was three years old when I got my first scar. My mother was coddling me in her arms and while trying to calm me down, her nail hit my cheek. From my tender baby skin, blood started gushing out. As a result, till date my mother has short nails, and I have a tiny freckle just above a mole on my left cheek, one that looks rather cute, and always reminds me of my mom.
Today, I wear that mark like a story and not a scar. And while not all stories stem from something pink and rosy, doesn’t imply that they are not worth telling. Our self worth doesn’t arise out of hiding them behind a cloak of shame, but from letting them shine like badges of honour and acceptance.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” I’d rather be imperfect, mad and absolutely ridiculous than to go about life feeling inadequate and mundane. And so would these women, who opened up to us when we asked them what their favourite imperfection was:
My favourite imperfection would be the scars and cigarette burns I have on my back, from when I was 16. I am a sexual assault survivor now, but for the longest time I had just been a victim. For the longest time, after that incident, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without seeing only my scars. I couldn’t wear clothes that would make them visible, I could not bathe without cringing at the sight of them, and I couldn’t breathe without being reminded they existed on my body. But gradually, as I learned to accept what happened to me, I also learned to accept what was left behind in its wake. I learned to see the scars as souvenirs of a battle that I fought, and emerged victorious from. But more than that, I realised that sometimes in life, one needn’t be perfect, just brave.
For me, my favourite imperfection is my figure. I always thought that being skinny was a flaw, especially in India where curves are largely appreciated. But not anymore. Sooner or later, I realised that reality is nothing but your perspective and I changed mine, to finally begin to see the beauty in being skinny and in being who I am, unapologetically.
It has to be my height. I am not even 5 feet tall, and while I have my moments where I feel super self-conscious because of this, I mostly love being pocket-sized. One of my exes, in fact, wrote a song for me, which he sang to ask me out. I don’t remember most of it, since this was more than 10 years ago. But, there was one phrase in it that I can’t forget ever! “She’s five foot nothing.” All these years later, it still melts my heart.
I always thought that I had ‘thunder thighs.’ But, as I grew up, so did my insecurities, because having the perfect figure or toned legs seemed like a pressure after a point of time. But I think, with age comes wisdom, and slowly I grew indifferent to what my thighs looked like. As long as I loved myself and every part there was to me, there was no reason to harbour any more insecurities. So I am cool with it now.
I started having sebaceous glands very early in life. They started when I was only 13 or 14 years old and over time having gone through consultations with doctors, I figured that this is not a lifestyle problem but a gland problem and it can be removed, but it would be a tricky operation. I used to be very uncomfortable with having that near my eyes, so much so I would wear glasses on purpose because it would hide those flaws around my eyes. But now I feel it was very silly of me to do that. Because I like my eyes, I find my eyes beautiful and just because there is an flaw beneath them, it doesn’t make them inadequate. So yeah, I think my favourite imperfection would be my eyes, even if just in my own head. Over time, I’ve come around to accepting a lot of myself, and I’ve realised that people around are not as judgmental as I would assume, and even if they are, that is their problem. Not mine.