Songwriter, author, and soon-to-be-mother Amanda Pamler, made a status update a few months ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. In fact, every time I see a makeup, clothing, or personal hygiene ad, I hear her words in my head. Those words have had a major impact in the way I view myself and the language I now use when talking about myself.
“i’m kind of sick of seeing all these ads fucking everywhere telling women to “embrace our flaws”. whoever said they were “flaws”? what’s a “flaw” anyhow?
let’s look it up.
it’s “a mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object.”
MARRED? dude. i’m FINE, me my personal collection of hard-won scars and hairs and curves and and stretch marks and twinkles and wrinkles and folds and flaps and muscles and and freckles and lashes and nails and veins and stuff.
they’re not “flaws”. fuck that. they are the exactness of me and always will be, nothing to be done about that.”
She’s absolutely right! I’ve been told to embrace my skin imperfections, embrace my curves, embrace my stretch marks, embrace all the things that are “wrong” with me.
Guess What – Nothing is wrong with me.
This ad specifically targeting women with “real curves” is not only insulting to me, it’s insulting to the ladies I know without curves like me. We all have REAL bodies and since when do soap companies need to start separating body types to sell their products?
Beauty product companies are constantly telling us we need to “work with what we’ve got” and “embrace our flaws”. I get that the message can be understood as “we’re all different and our differences make us unique and beautiful,” but using the words “flawed” or “imperfection” is still sending the wrong message. You can love who you are, inside and out, without having to identify the aspects of yourself that need fixing. And if we have to make those identifications, then we’re not truly loving ourselves just the way we are.
I’m certainty no longer listening to any more back-handed insults from female-targeting advertisers trying to tell me who I am and how I should look. Here’s my new outlook on beauty in response to targeted ads that tell me to embrace my flaws:
I have big hips because every woman in my family has big hips. And those hips came in super handy when carrying around my son in the womb. Also, I look smoking in a pin-up pencil skirt and your body wash had nothing to do with it.
And my stretch marks? I’m not embracing them, I am proudly owning them because making a baby was really, really hard. And your uncomfortable skinny jeans can keep on sitting on the shelf because I don’t need them to feel good about myself.
And my skin imperfections? I’m a computer nerd who doesn’t get much sun, and a new mama who doesn’t get much sleep. I’m proud of both of those titles and not about to “erase” either with your make-up.
What I will do is color my hair, not to hide grays, but to express my personality in colors that more accurate reflect me. I wear eye makeup because I have awesome baby blues and eyeliner and mascara really make them pop. And I’ll buy clothes without looking at labels because they fit my shape today and make me feel good. My reflection no longer shows a woman trying to cover-up and reduce, it shows a woman who is happy with herself and dresses how she feels for the day, moment, instant.
So dear, sweet beauty companies, get your shit together and stop trying to tell us how to be. We’re not buying it. Literally.
Tell us how you rock your personal body-positivity…
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