April 26, 2012

You are beautiful in every single way

The older I get, the more I've come to see that there is almost no one amongst us who completely loves every last element of their body. Whether justified or not, most people have a laundry list of faults that they instantly hone in on when thinking or talking about their appearance. If I had a magic wand, I would wave it and free all of us from the silly, trivial, totally unfounded hang-ups that we have about our bodies.

We only get only body, you know. Perhaps in some distant sci-fi like future we'll have the ability to regenerate our own bodies or to transfer our brains from one body to another, but right there and now, for better or worse, we're each assigned one frame, one face, and one pair of arms and legs with which to transport us through every moment of every day we will ever have the profound honour of living.

Like many, I have struggled with my appearance my whole life. Cruelly put down by some of my own relatives as a child, teased mercilessly in school, and often my own harshest critic, it's taken me the better part of three decades to come to even a minor degree of peace with how I look. But I finally have, and to my mind that is a rather profound victory.

I realized at some point that I wasn't getting any younger, by which I mean that while I still have some vestiges of youth left (I'm 27, soon to be 28 in July), I should try and put aside as many of my woes with my body as I can (there are a couple of biggies that I may never truly reach that point with, but I'm elated that some are starting to slip away) and just love myself from here on out.

It's a ridiculously simple concept...loving one's own appearance, I mean, but darned if it isn’t staggeringly hard for many of us. I've always loved certain elements of who I was, but what the mirror cast back at me when I gazed into its shiny surface was rarely one of them.

I'm not perfect (laughably far from it actually), and neither are you. None of us are, and that is so immensely beautiful. Perfection is overrated. It is our uniqueness, our quirks and differences that set us apart and yet also unite us.

Life is filled with an endless sea of imperfect that combines to make the world a truly captivating and fantastically exciting place. Be it ancient architecture, the patina on a vintage piece of jewelry, or a delicious cake that rose a little more on one side than the other, we accept and embrace the signs of age, wear, or imperfection that is all around us on a daily basis, yet are the first to criticize even the tiniest of (perceived) faults that we see in ourselves.

Enough! We're beautiful, as Christina Aguilera once sang, in every single way. Really. Believe me, whatever you think is wrong or unattractive about yourself, I promise you there is someone out their who would sell their soul to look like you.

It's not easy, but we need to stop thinking that there is some unattainable standard of universal beauty that we need to reach. You are already universally beautiful simply because you are you.

Mirror photograph April 2012

{An image of me snapped on the fly recently my by husband, who has always had the kindest things imaginable about to say about how I look, as I was getting ready for a day of thrift store shopping with my mother.}

It may have taken 27 years, but I can say without feeling the need to prefix it with a bunch of "except fors", that I love the person I see when I look in the mirror. This body, with it's various scars and shortcomings, is also the house where my soul and mind dwell, and that trumps - by a long shot - any flaw that might exist.

Love yourself, respect yourself, and try to make peace with those things that you wish you could change. When all is said and done, it won't matter if you'd been two inches taller, had a larger chest, been born with one eye colour instead of another, had a longer neck, fewer wrinkles, curlier hair, lankier legs or anything else.

What will have mattered is the life you lived while inhabiting your own skin and the joy, comfort, companionship and love you brought into the lives of those that you encountered along the journey. Being, I assure you, beautiful the whole time.


  1. You are absolutely right about us all finding fault with various aspects of out bodies - it took me a long time to realise that it's how you are not how you look that matters. I'm certainly not anywhere near youth any more - at 65 I do the best I can with what I've got which these days includes a wrinkly neck unfortunately:) On the other hand I have smooth skin on my face and very little grey hair. Swings and roundabouts:) The key thing as far as I'm concerned these days is that my body carries on working OK - enough of my friends have serious issues that I appreciate the fact that I'm still fit and active.

  2. Hello, beautiful girl ... That your text is very beautiful, like you, in fact, is so complicated for us to love ourselves as we are ... I am LOVING YOUR BLOG ... kisses, Penelope ...


  3. A beautifully written post, thank you.

  4. wow i really enjoyed that post a lot it is very inspiring, you made me smile reading that :) i know how it feels to not like things about yourself, being teased for years and all tons of stuff i used to gob myself up with make up and i would dye my hair all the damn colors in the rainbow and i still felt ugly, but as i started to get older i stopped trying to impress everyone else and i did what made me happy, so i stopped wearing makeup, and i started dressing how i wanted to dress and now i can proudly so i am 100% happy with the way i look, i just wish i could have realized what i know now back when i was a fragile pre-teen, i would have made junior high and high school so much easier haha if there is any advice i can give to someone with self-esteem issues it is really don't try to impress anyone but yourself, even though you don't look like those models you see on TV spreading their legs for a burger in a convertible....... be happy you don't look like that, because if everyone tried to look like the stereotype of beauty, or sexy there would be no verity. So be proud of everything that makes you who you are, like my mom always said to me when i was growing up "appreciate the looks you have now, because someday you will be older like me and wish you appreciated how you looked when you were young, when you get older like me you would do anything to look how you used to."
    and thank you so much for you absolutely sweet comment of my dinner recipes post you are the sweetest :)

    *biiiggg huggs* and wishing you a happy and fun-filled thursday :),
    TheRitzyFlapper (Alicia)

  5. Hello, wonderful Jessica .. I fell in love with your blog, very cute, very good text ... I hope you join and follow me on my blog, I will always be visiting her, and always hope your visit, use Google translator also, I also I'm using ... kisses with love, ... and my new friend. follow, please ... have a beautiful night, Penelope(Brazil)...

  6. Such a profound post. I think this is beautiful. It is one of the hardest things for people to accept their bodies, at least I know I've struggled with it most my life. I remember being blissfully unaware that my hips were wide, legs short, and torso narrow until I too had relatives point it out. I've spent several years learning to love my body, I still fall short a lot of the time, but I feel, as you do, that imperfections are part of what make us perfect. I love that people look so different from one another, I mean how boring would it be if we were all the same. You are beautiful inside and out, and I really appreciate your posts.


  7. What an honest and truth-filled post. xoxo

  8. What a wonderfully written post. I myself have problems with this issue, and really appreciate your thoughts on the subject. I've always found it troubling how behavioral differences are much more acceptable than physical differences. I am sorry you have suffered such treatment in your life. Your many followers adore. I'm glad you have found peace with yourself and I find your words personally inspiring.

    Best Wishes,

  9. What a great post. I have to say having put on a fair few pounds lately (that I would dearly like to lose again!) I look back at myself in my 20's and think 'damn I wish I had made the most of the amazing figure I had then' instead I was horribly insecure.

  10. You are so right about everything you wrote, and I am happy that you are at peace with yourself. I have been taking ballet lessons for a very long time and have struggled with insecurities throughout the entire 8 years. Slowly but steadily, over the past three years or so, I have finally come to accept myself for who I am and overcome things that I can't change - except for my hair color... I like to change that one! Haha. :) And that picture of you is beautiful!

  11. What a lovely, well-written post!! I'll probably be revisiting it on future "ugly days". Messages like these are always so welcome and inspiring. I've had always had a very bad knack for self-loathing and very little self-esteem, but I have found dressing in vintage styles, and disregarding the modern beauty standards I'll never be able to live up to, has just improved my confidence so so much.

    PS: Thanks for the comment on my last post... sometimes I worry my love of exploring cemeteries will come off as morbid or disrespectful; I'm always so happy when people understand their beauty :)

  12. It is strange how harsh we are on ourselves. At 49, I often wonder what the heck happened when I look in the mirror! However, not long ago I was reading up on wrinkles, and it seems mine have come from laughing and smiling too much, well that can't be bad!

  13. This was so inspiring. Thank you! Because you're completely right, and fretting isn't going to do anything about these 'faults'; accepting them and even coming to love them, on the other hand, does a great deal.