A lot of well meaning self help, self development and self love literature, techniques and practices talk about looking in the mirror and loving our flaws, overlooking our flaws and embracing our flaws in order to see ourselves as beautiful and worthy of our own love but all beg the question: Why are we seeing flaws and what is meant by beauty?
Did we know we were flawed until we were old enough to judge ourselves against society’s unrealistic and ever changing beauty standards? Did we ever consider ourselves physically imperfect before we were told we were? As children we kissed our reflections in mirrors and dedicated sweet soliloquies to our favourite features because we knew that we were beautiful.
Who told us that there was only one way for a nose to be beautiful or for a mouth to be attractive or for ears to look best? Why do we allow ourselves to be measured by someone else’s ideas about what flaws we need to overlook or accept to feel good? Isn’t it time we stop seeing flaws completely, stop believing in imperfection, start loving ourselves as we are in all our glory and redefine what beauty means to us?
There is no lasting standard of beauty and no absolute consensus on what constitutes it. Logically this should be enough for us to see how flawed it is to try to live up to beauty ideals, particularly when it comes to overlooking or embracing our supposed shortfalls in order to practise and relearn self love.
Surely it’s time we see that beauty standards are the only things flawed and imperfect in this narrative and that we never need embrace or learn to love something that is not wrong or deficient or inadequate or unattractive in the first place.
Self love includes having compassion for ourselves; for the suffering we have innocently caused ourselves by worrying about what is apparently wrong with the way we look, for the abuse we have piled upon ourselves and for the habit of finding flaws and believing we need to embrace the idea of them in order to celebrate who we are physically.
We must also forgive ourselves for the judgement and criticism we have heaped upon others in response to our own insecurities: Who are they to feel so good about how they look when we feel so bad? Why should they be celebrated when we feel we are not? We have been brainwashed by a system that leaves everyone failing, everyone striving and everyone bound by flawed ideals of perfection that are not fact but fiction, opinion and not truth and once we realise this we can move on from it, freeing ourselves of the burden of judgement towards our physical selves and those of others.
So next time we hear or read about looking past our flaws, let’s remind ourselves there are no flaws! In fact, let’s strike the word from our vocabulary when it comes to self love, self acceptance and self empowerment.
The concept that we are imperfect is the flaw here. We are manifestations of divine consciousness who deep down do not believe in the useless and unhelpful ideas we have gathered about beauty and self love and are ready at any moment to bring to light a deep and innate reverence for ourselves that has been hidden from view by illusory concepts of physical imperfection and the shame and misery that they have created.