Be you

By: Sneha

Summer is finally here and we all are thinking it: beach, pool and the dreaded swimsuit.  Sadly, it’s not only a marketing gimmick for anything from diet plans to spray tans to gym discounts, but what gets me is how discouraging it all can be.  Yes, most of us can stand to lose some weight and tone our bodies but what about the other stuff?

We all have at least one, don’t deny it!  Frizzy/unmanageable hair, blemishes, acne, stretch marks, cellulite, scars, bald spots, chicken legs, too tall/too short, I could go on…

Then comes the label: women shouldn’t have that or do that.  Or men are expected to be this or that.  Says who?  Men can be poor and unstable and women can be hairy!  Now, I’m not advocating this, but when did we allow society to create a set image?

When are we going to allow ourselves to just be?
Be who we are; how we feel; what seems natural and comfortable?  I mean I still support and expect proper hygiene: bathing/showering, brushing your teeth, moisturizing, you know the basics.  Then I thought of all the people who either had it easy or just truly (unfairly) blessed and I saw this.

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Simple but so true.  So why do we still strive to do it?  I know what yall are thinking:

TO IMPRESS duh!

But my question is why?
Why put in that effort when it’s for a complete stranger?

To make an impression?
To get a job?
To obtain validation?
To be loved?
To receive acceptance?
To fit in?

It’s nothing new.  Women, hell even men, have been doing it since the beginning of time.  Whether it’s choice of attire, hair up or down, makeup, to every appearance related decision, we all put in some thought however small before we leave our house.

So, you must be asking: what have you done?  Well, I have bravely ventured out without makeup, I mean eyeliner, mascara, NOTHING!  Yes, it may sound stupid but it’s a big step for me.  Without it, I look different, I feel bland, naked, plain.  But it’s natural and at first it was just to the grocery store, then the mall and now its everywhere…but I did it. So, I say own it!  Each “flaw” holds a story, a pain, a triumph and deserves to be celebrated, not covered.  Scars, marks, even blemishes show that we are human and unique.  Be you.  Be “your” beautiful!

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