You’re not the one with flaws, society is.

Aug 24, 2020
Written by
Jessica Lakritz
Photographed by
Jessica Lakritz
I

think one of the most important things I’ve learned from @skinonsundays is that people have body issues even when you think they don’t. I could be working with someone who I see as being super in shape and they tell me to be careful which angles I’m taking their picture. They don’t want to look fat. They don’t want to look ugly. They don’t want others to see what they consider to be their flaws. They ask me to take out stretch marks and cellulite. They want their waist to look thinner. They want a million things, and I’m there thinking, wow, are you kidding? You think you need that???? I know it comes from the photoshopping/airbrushing culture where we hold ourselves to these standards that don’t even exist in reality. Uff.

Anyway, I made this with an amazing and thoughtful and daring photographer @el.magiciann a couple weeks ago because I wanted to comment on this situation. Maybe we look in the mirror and think we are ugly. Maybe we don’t but still, there’s something, always something. Maybe we think certain angles of ourselves are ugly. Or we hate the way the stretch marks on our thighs look (I’ve dealt with this a lot myself). No matter who I’ve worked with writing on them and taking their pictures, it’s clear that the majority of not all people have trouble with their appearance in one way or another. Little do we know that beating ourselves up over it actually makes it worse and does nothing to change how we look. In fact, the biggest way to change how we look is accepting who we are, that this is how we look, and loving ourselves regardless of anything. Our confidence has a huge influence in how we appear to others. Actual, bonafide confidence.

I know that if you’re fat you can lose weight to change your appearance, or if you have a crooked nose or small boobs, you can get plastic surgery to change these things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do what you do and do it for the right reasons (because it is important to you for something real, not something fleeting). Honestly though, nothing you do on the outside matters if you keep telling yourself you are ugly. Believing you are beautiful is really important. It makes the world better, you know?

I’m pretty sure every woman, and maybe even every person, who looks at their body finds “flaws.” That includes the people who many of us think are perfect. They find things they don’t like too. And it’s because we are all trained by society to think this way.

Consumerism benefits from us finding “ugly” things in ourselves. But we can re-train our brains to fight this. Every time I get the urge to criticize what I see when I look in the mirror, I push those thoughts out and replace them with a compliment instead. If my brain tries to tell me my nose is crooked and ugly, I tell myself that my crooked nose is unique and striking instead. My crooked nose is part of what makes me beautiful, just as all of your so-called flaws are part of what make you beautiful too.

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