Insert Flaw Here

imageToday, I learned that it’s okay to admit you got a bad perm.

I had been hiding this dirty little secret as much as I could for the past few weeks, save for the scathing Yelp review I wrote about my insanely, awful experience. (Which you can read here: http://m.yelp.com/biz/tgf-hair-salon-austin-16?skip_bridge=true )

I have put my hair up into a tight, twisted bun so many times in the past month, I thought my hair would never stay down. This morning while getting ready, I couldn’t fathom another day up in a top bun, but as I began to gather the mass of frizz atop my head, it hit me: in my shame, I had chosen to hide myself away from the world, rather than embrace every part of who I am, hair included.

Most of you who know me know I’ve spent the better part of two years actively working on learning how to love myself, and up until just recently, I felt I had become fairly successful at it. I feel like a better, more confident version of myself, and I am even an extremely proud owner of the bikini I’ve tried to spend all summer in.

However, it became very real to me today that even with the motivating self-talks, the bikinis, and the new-found freedom, when push came to shove, I unconsciously had shifted back into the comfortable, reclusive place I have spent so much of my life. I was undoubtedly disgusted with myself, not only for the fro that I had sitting on top of my head, but for the way I had treated myself. Instead of embracing who I am, I had opted for picking and choosing what I thought people would like about me, and in my opinion, it certainly wasn’t going to be my hair.

It took 6 people (seriously!) telling me that they liked my hair today before I realized I had grossly overreacted to the unfortunate perm incident. In my mind, I believed strongly that no one, not even my own mother, would like what I looked like, and if they said they did, they were lying. I quickly realized that I had done this to myself time and time again while growing up, and not just with my hair. It hit me that I had inspected myself in extreme detail and found every singular flaw about myself and hated myself for them, because I felt other people would do it.

I’m sure you could look in the mirror and find many things you don’t love about yourself, and if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you already have. What makes those things particularly unappealing?

Because everyone else has perfect (insert flaw here)?

Maybe because the girl/guy on the cover of the magazine doesn’t have that flaw?

What about that you read in an article that the only way to find a girlfriend/boyfriend is by fixing it or covering it up in 3 easy steps?

That’s insane, right? We’ve taken the beautifully unique things about ourselves and forced ourselves into thinking they’re flaws, not characterizations. If everyone in the world had a perfect nose, evenly spaced eyes, a perfectly shaped jaw, and full lips, do you think we’d really be able to tell the difference between one another? Absolutely not.

Today, I’m celebrating my chemically-induced curls, along with my thin lips, bad skin, and misaligned jaws. What are you celebrating about yourself?

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