How to embrace your physical flawsI have a birthmark on the middle of my forehead that I covered up with bangs for most of my life.

And my ears, well, I joke that they can hear signals from Mars because they stick out so far -- so I keep them firmly hidden under mounds of hair. 

It only took me until mid-adulthood to realize that I was being completely ridiculous. Don't let it take that long for you.

I'm not sure what happened during my junior year in college, but it was around then that I realized I was foolish to cover up my forehead and my ears.

Maybe it was a hot guy who liked me. Or a trendy hairstyle I just had to try.

But I'm pretty sure there was something external that motivated me to get over my insecurities.

Amazingly, I was never made fun of or bullied for either of my physical imperfections, unless you count all my own negative self-talk that was probably meaner than anything anyone else would have said to me.

We're always our own worst critics, aren't we?

I suppose, like many people, I had the notion that beauty was equivalent to perfection (hey, thanks a lot, mainstream media!), and so I felt that any sort of flaw meant that I was unworthy. Tarnished. Tainted.

Now that I write it down, I know it sounds utterly crazy. Because it is.

These days, I'm much older and, thankfully, wiser. I've also had four kids -- which means I've got a few more physical flaws to worry about. And it's not worth the energy to obsess about such silly little things.

But I've also learned that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It's the uniqueness in people that makes them gorgeous, not that they look like perfectly proportioned mannequins in stores or airbrushed supermodels in magazines.

I know now that all my beliefs about beauty were completely manufactured by completely unrealistic images.

I still wear bangs, actually, but because I like the style, not because I'm trying to hide something. I put my hair up in a ponytail or back in a headband, even if my ears still stick out.

I do it because I know I'm beautiful no matter how I look. And because I want my children to get that message now. But not in mid-adulthood like me.

Do you have physical flaws you've always wanted to change?

 

Image via byJoeLodge/Flickr