Embrace Your Flaws

I just heard about an Instagram account started by two mothers called “Love Your Lines.” The campaign encourages women to share photos of their stretch marks along with stories explaining why they have embraced the physical “imperfections” in their bodies.

The movement has quickly become a huge sensation.

Love, love this!

“More than 80 percent of Americans have stretch marks, and rather than hide them, or try creams and potions to make them fade, the account’s curators wanted to celebrate the experiences that give our bodies character and strength,” an article on Buzzfeed noted.

Walking the talk with a photo of myself with no make-up in harsh light.

Walking the talk with a photo of myself with no make-up in harsh light.

So here we go. I’m bravely joining the bandwagon with this photo of myself with no make-up in harsh, bright light to show off my crows’ feet and age spots. If I wanted to, I could also take pictures of some pretty hefty stretch marks from the birth of my two sons as well as from all the weight gains and losses over the years. Add to that an expanding middle, cellulite, and sagging body parts that naturally come with getting older.

What I Iove about this “Love Your Lines” campaign is that it inspires us to quit beating ourselves up and stop obsessing about fixing our “flaws.” Instead, the women are promoting the idea of appreciating the beauty of our bodies and the truth about our perceived imperfections.

Here are a few reasons why we should do just that:

Our Bodies Tell a Story

I’m in my 50’s now and my face and body tells the story of having lived life to its fullest. My laugh lines represent days of happiness including marrying the love of my life, giving birth to two children and seeing the birth of my three grandchildren, traveling around the world, and days spent sailing the ocean. My wrinkles reveal struggles overcome, worries about children, the stress of meeting deadlines, and caring for my aging mother. My “flaws” tell the unique story of my life.

Embrace FlawsLearning to Love Ourselves is Beneficial

As I wrote in my blog, “The Importance of Self-Acceptance,” if we want to gain a positive sense of whom we are and find our bliss, then we have to stop judging ourselves so harshly. The relationship we have with ourselves impacts our relationship with others. So be kind to yourself. Learn to love and accept yourself with all your imperfections. Value the idiosyncrasies of your appearance that makes you a one-of-a-kind, unique individual.

Letting Go of Perfection Will Make You Happier

There’s a new saying going around the Internet. “Good enough is the new perfect.” No doubt about it, perfection is overrated and can cause stress and depression. Losing those 10 pounds, removing wrinkles with plastic surgery, or getting rid of that cellulite doesn’t mean life will become perfect and you’ll automatically be happy. In fact, continually striving for those goals can actually make you unhappy.

Cellulite Never Stopped Anyone from Achieving Their Goals

Barbara Streisand embraced her large nose and went on to stardom. On the other hand, Jennifer Grey changed her distinctive nose and lost her fame. Is there a lesson here? I think so. Plenty of people, including famous writers, musicians, scientists, artists, and even actors have gone on to success with their imperfections intact. Look at Jamie Lee Curtis who embraced her naturally gray hair with style. Or Helen Mirren who let her features age naturally and became the poster woman for aging gracefully and confidently. As she recently told TV Times magazine: “I don’t want to be younger,” she said. “I accept the absolute reality of what is happening to me as the years pass.”

Embracing Your Flaws Will Help Keep Things in Perspective

Instead of focusing on physical imperfections, why not concentrate on what’s really important in life. Focus on what really makes you happy including your spirituality, your health, your loved ones, and your passions. As a quote says: “Remember being happy doesn’t mean you have it all – it simply means you’re thankful for what you have.”

So embrace your flaws. Realize how special and unique you are with all your so-called imperfections. Don’t let what you perceive as faults stand in your way of living life to the fullest. Love yourself for exactly who you are right at this moment.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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10 Responses

  1. Thank you, Julie, for such an interesting post. Oh, if only we could all learn how to embrace our flaws.
    Love it, especially your last line, “Love yourself for exactly who you are right at this moment.” I will be sharing.

    All the best,

  2. Marla says:

    “Remember being happy doesn’t mean you have it all – it simply means you’re thankful for what you have.” I’ll be adding this quote to my list, thank you Julie.

    And you are so right. How much time do we waste waiting for perfect? How much do we hold ourselves back from creating memories (or having a photo taken in the moment) because we don’t look the way we would prefer – what will people think/say? How often have we held ourselves back from trying something new or sharing our true voice with the world because we fear failure or criticism or doubt?

    I think some freedom from this comes with age – if we could only convince the younger ones who are hyper-concerned about impressing.

    Another great post Julie, thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • juliegorges says:

      Ummmm…okay, I confess. I’m totally guilty of not taking a photo because I didn’t look the way I wanted. Even at this age when I should be older and wiser. That’s why taking this photo for my blog was so liberating. You made some great points, Marla!

  3. As a recovering perfectionist I love this topic … though I won’t go so far as to say I buy into the “good enough” motto because it sounds a little too much like crossing the line into the land of stagnation. The point about facial lines in particular is interesting because on men those lines are often referred to as adding “character” but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that term when referring to women.

    • juliegorges says:

      I am also a recovering perfectionist. And yes, I agree, it can be tricky to find the balance between striving for your goals and letting go of the relenting pressure of being perfect. Us baby boomers grew up with this idea we must be Super Woman. You know, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man.” That attitude can carry over into wanting our looks to be “perfect” as we age – no wrinkles, no cellulite, no gray hair, etc. Let’s face facts, that just ain’t happening and that’s okay. There is bliss in accepting “good enough” when it comes to our looks and yes, let’s start a movement and start referring to our wrinkles as “character” lines like the guys do!

  4. Sarit says:

    You are a beautiful and brave woman. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. “Remember being happy doesn’t mean you have it all”. Love it.

  5. I am getting better and better at embracing my flaws, my humanness — physical, mental, emotional. Doing so adds lightness to my life, which feels much better than it has ever felt to try to pretend that I am unflawed.

    Thanks for this!

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