I have felt that the colour of my skin, my features and my body were not the standards of “beauty” anyone would find attractive being born into western society.
For these same reasons, growing into womanhood, I became an “exotic” variable in and amongst these pre-existing beauty standards. Intriguing, unusual, unique. To be gazed upon but never to be touched.
With the explosion of social media, I faced yet another beauty standard to conform to; tight bodies, flat stomachs, small waists, big lips, incredible bone structure, clear skin, no scars, the holy grail that is the thigh gap, perfect perky 32DD breasts. The list could certainly go on.
To conform to these would be to diminish any love for myself. Attempting to achieve these standards would rip away my heritage and my DNA. It would erase the history of each scar, tattoo and stretch mark laid upon my skin. Any attempt to be as perfect as the rest will bury my self-esteem 6ft under, never to resurrect.
So, I choose to love what is mine, for it is only mine. My flawless imperfections are my identity, my personality, my very being. They are mine to celebrate for myself and with others. They demonstrate that beauty is not standardised. It’s in everyone when you love you and not that post on your Instagram feed.