I have seen a lot of stuff lately on the Internet about embracing our own quirks. I have a lot of quirks to embrace, so my arms might get tired. That's a joke.
There's the Colbie Caillat video "Try" where she is tired of being photoshopped. Go Colbie! I love it. Deconstructing all the fake hair, eyelashes, gloss and softening to show her no makeup, but still beautiful, self. Mostly, I love that video for the little girls in there with their makeup and their flat irons being ditched for the natural curls, young complexions and innocent faces that are more their age. Stop trying so hard! Right?
Far be it from me to tell you to abandon your makeup or anything that makes you look different than you actually do. I like to think makeup enhances my features. When you're blonde and fair like me, you can't see my eyes well without some liner and mascara. And I will be the first to admit, I love makeup. I love looking airbrushed and "perfect." Whatever that is. I like "blurring" my wrinkles, without telling someone to just squint when they look at me. I cover the redness from the Rosacea I have. I give myself a smokey eye to be alluring and so you can see me across the room, or at least that's what I'm trying to do. I use thickening products in my hair to make it have volume, I'm constantly battling wrinkles. I'm trying pretty hard I guess.
Watching the teen girls in the Colbie Caillat video made me think of my 14-year-old daughter. She's beautiful, with milky peachy skin. Gorgeous blue eyes. And a smattering of freckles across her face.
She hates her freckles.
She spends many minutes in front of her mirror covering those freckles with BB cream and concealer. To her credit, she has lots of "no makeup" days too. But she's always hated her freckles. So when she was allowed to wear makeup, the first thing she did was cover her spots. Her freckles ruin the "perfect" look. They take away the "airbrush" quality she envisions for herself. I think they make her look fresh and young. She thinks she looks "dirty."
She's not the first girl to not like her freckles. I didn't like my freckles growing up either. I especially didn't like the ones on my upper lip that made me look like I had a mustache. Now my freckles are more like age spots, so I don't really like them still.
I tell her that I love her freckles. She rolls her eyes at me.
Then there's my son. My son is skinny. He hates being so skinny sometimes. I love that he's skinny. He's just like his dad. I tell him he can run fast and he doesn't have to worry about his clothes getting snug on him. But kids make fun of him for being so skinny. I guess kids find anything to tease about another kid.
So what do I not like about me that other people like about me?
It's weird to think of. My stretch marks? Hmm, I don't think other people love those. My poochy tummy? Yeah, still haven't heard much love for that.
I've always not liked my lips and my mouth. I have big lips and a big mouth. The years before "trout mouth" and Real Housewives got lip implants, my lips seemed to be my downfall. I felt like they were misplaced and didn't belong. Why couldn't I have a sweet, delicate pucker? Why did I have to have this horse mouth?
Once I was old enough to kiss a guy with those lips, I started getting compliments on them. Huh. Apparently full lips are desirable. The teen me didn't know this. It was surprising to be admired for them later in my twenties. Beauty consultants behind the counter at department stores always compliment my lips when I try on lipstick, telling me I have the perfect shape. Really? I started to accept that they were part of me and I just had to make the best of them.
What made me most self conscious was starting to become my best asset.
So eventually, I started to appreciate my pout. I wear lipstick in any shade I want. Once I read that full lips shouldn't wear dark lipstick as to not bring too much attention to the mouth. Pfft to that. I will wear whatever goddamn color I feel like! Yeah, I laugh loud, and I smile big, but now I'm pretty much proud of this giant gob. Or cake hole as my dad would call it. I can fit a lot of cake in my cake hole.
What is it about yourself you don't like? Is it your curly hair? Is it your gangly long legs? I bet if you asked someone else, they would say you have a beautiful head of thick hair, and they wish they had long legs like you.
Because the grass is always greener, right?
I hope more young girls start liking their freckles, their curly hair, their moles and skinny legs their big lips. Like Colbie says, you don't have to try so hard.
Start liking you. You might be surprised.