No, You're Not Ugly
One of my eyes is a little bigger than the other, I'm always sprinkled with acne on my chin, I have stretch marks on my boobs, and I’m not skinny.
Now, I never said these were bad qualities.
I just gave you a brief introduction to my physical appearance, but you probably read that with a negative connotation.
Because I didn't say that I was skinny, have almond eyes, and clear skin. Because I didn't say I look like what women are “supposed” to look like, you most likely assumed I was unhappy.
This to me, is a problem.
For hundreds of years, the bodies of women have been policed by men which as Rachel Greene said it best- “No uterus, no opinion.” But interestingly enough thousands of years ago, most of the things we find embarrassing, or have been branded as ugly, were once an aesthetic only fit for royalty. I'm talking to you stretch marks, stomach rolls, and armpit hair. So here are eight things you should never feel embarrassed about, no matter how you decide to deal with them, or even if you decide to deal with them at all.
Women didn't start shaving until WWII. Razor companies took a dip in sales after all the men had gone overseas, so what was their first tactic to boost the company's economic status? Target insecure women. They started creating ads respectfully telling women that their body hair was no longer in style and that women who shave, were far more desirable. So they picked up a razor, and things haven't changed much since.
Oof girl, I get it. Questioning your sexuality is a never-ending cycle of “You know what I think I’m ready to test the waters.” and “Fuck, please, please, just let me be straight.” At least for me, it was. I wasn’t brave enough to accept a huge part of who I was until very recently, even though I’ve known since I was 10. The good news is that the gay community will accept you no matter where you fall on the spectrum so long as you're happy there. So go as fast or slow as you need to, just make sure you're always comfortable and remember that what you're going through, is something almost all women go through.
Nose surgery is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the world. Of the top ten countries surveyed by the ISAPS, rhinoplasty is known to be one of the most popular and routine procedures in Mexico, Germany, The United States, Columbia, Italy, Argentina, and Iran. A study found that 72.1% of women surveyed want a nose job. That just goes to show how fucked the current beauty standards in the world are today. If almost an entire gender wants to permanently alter the way they look, maybe the problem isn't women. It's the way people think women should look.
Today if you google stretch marks the first thing shoved in your face is a never-ending list of miracle creams ranging from 15-250 dollars guaranteeing the banishment of your stretch marks. Interesting how before even showing you what you're looking for the google algorithm shows you a way to fix it. Studies estimate that up to 90 percent of pregnant women, 70 percent of adolescent girls, and 40 percent of adolescent males will develop the marks. You're more likely to run into someone who has stretch marks than someone who drinks coffee, so why are we still ashamed of a few cute stripes on our thighs today?
If your 5’4 your too short if your 5’9 your too tall. So you're telling me to be desirable I have to magically stop growing right in that sweet spot of a 5-inch grace height? Hell no. I will wear 4-inch heels and surpass 6 feet if they go with my outfit, and I will wear sneakers when I want to as well. Do not let your height stop you from wearing what you want and from feeling confident. Some of the most admired women in the world such as Maria Sharapova, Brooke Shields, and Kimora Lee Simons are all six feet or taller, so don't ever let height get in the way of your well-deserved confidence.
Acne is not ugly. Why is it that you could wake up feeling confident in yourself, ready to tackle the day, but see a little red spot and instantly deflate? I don't care if you have one pimple once a month or have been battling cystic acne your whole life, it does not define how gorgeous you are. Research suggests acne might have even existed in biblical times, and approximately 85% of people between the ages of 14-24 experience at least minor acne. So I’ll ask again. If nearly all women have it. Why is it a problem?
No Boobs or Butt
Though celebrities like the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, and Christina Hendricks may have you thinking differently, it is perfectly normal to have a straighter body shape. In fact, a natural hourglass figure is extremely rare to be born with. So instead of dwelling on the fact that we might not look just like them, let's celebrate the curves we do or maybe even don't have.
What other insecurity truly deserves the final spot on this list. Something all women have had to face at some point in their life. Whether it was for 20 seconds and you regained your confidence or you’ve been building it back for the last 20 years, having fat is something we can all agree is hard to fall in love with. Even though wider stomached women have an illustrious history of royalty and fat being seen as a sign of wealth, we refuse to acknowledge that, because someone along the monetary beauty standard timeline told us not to. The truth is, the industry is catching up with the modern woman. Though there is a LONG way to go, bigger girls are much more apparent in film, and modeling than 20 even 10 years ago, and there is something to be said for that. But it isn't enough. We need to see girls who are the average American body size (10-16) as the main character, and not have the entire story centered on their size. We need girls to watch shows and see someone who looks like them not be the sidekick, and we need to see that kind of support in one another as well.
From the beginning of the modern world, large companies discovered a foolproof way to sell their products. It was no longer enough to target women and tell them they need their products, but that if they lived without them, they were undesirable. I’ll give you one guess as to who was in those advertising offices making these marketing decisions. Men. The entire facade of what a woman should and should not be is based on a few rich men's fantasies from the 1940s.
After all, the only thing most men have to offer is 7-year-old basketball shorts and a bed without fitted sheets so why the hell are we trying to impress them?
In conclusion, wear your heels. Put on all your makeup or none at all. Eat the pasta, wear your favorite mini dress, and don't bother shaving. Get plastic surgery. Don't get the plastic surgery, just let yourself breathe. It's not fair that we have to self criticize everything we do in hopes of appearing more attractive. It’s a long journey. Truthfully it's not a journey I have been able to complete yet, I would change a few things about myself if I could, and that's okay. Just make sure you're doing it for you. You deserve all the love, gorgeous.
Forever in your corner,