It’s not every day you hear someone refer to themselves as “flawsome,” but you may want to keep an ear out for it. This week, supermodel Tyra Banks opened up to People magazine about her body image issues of years past and present. A seasoned veteran of public scrutiny, Banks claims that she “[knows] the pain of someone who’s too thin – and too big.” At age 11, Banks was teased for being too tall and too thin and was “even misdiagnosed by doctors with gigantism.” If you recall more recently, however, Banks was the subject of intense scrutiny when swimsuit-clad photographs of her surfaced on tabloids that read, “America’s Next Top Waddle.” Rather than letting these challenges destroy her, Ms. Banks fought back against the hate mongers, and continues to do so today.
While her lessons in “smizing” may have helped models in front of the camera, Ms. Banks has since coined a new term aimed at helping young women build self-confidence:”flawsome.”
“Flawsome,” (as the adjective suggests) is used to describe something that is awesome because of its flaws. Aside from its powerful sentiment of self-acceptance, we have more than one reason to add “flawsome” to our vocabulary lists:
It doesn’t idealize one particular body image
It seems as though the perception of a “good” body image swings on a senseless, unforgiving pendulum. We’re constantly inundated with picture-quotes and memes that tell us five different versions of how a “good” body image is defined. How many times have you heard, “Real women have curves,” or “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?” Flawsome is not about pushing you toward being a gym rat, toothpick or “real woman” with curves; it’s about embracing you, as you are, and being okay with it. And while this is certainly easier said than done, giving yourself some much-deserved credit is a start.
It builds confidence from the inside, out.
Your face and body aren’t flawed – it’s your belief system that is. Perhaps it’s time for an ideological overhaul? Despite what commercial beauty products say, true confidence does not always come from what’s on the outside. I know I might sound like an overly enthusiastic motivational speaker, but you have something to offer this world – take pride in it. Recognize your value and your talents and, most importantly, do something about it. “Just be confident,” doesn’t always cut it. Reach your personal goals. Finish a project you started. Do something that brings you happiness. Most importantly, stop shrouding your confidence with garbage bags full of myths you’ve been taught to believe about your body – it doesn’t serve you in any way!
It alters our notions of perfection
Rather than altering yourself to fit the mold of “perfection,” change it. Actually, crush it and be flawsome. Believing in perfection is believing in falsity. One of the reasons why so many people struggle with their body image is because they believe there is a more “perfect” physical version of themselves that must be achieved. Unfortunately, perfection lives somewhere near Deception Island, Antarctica in the form of a small cloud. Even if you find a ladder tall enough to reach it, chances are, you still won’t know when you’ve arrived at your destination. Don’t put yourself through all that trouble when you’ve already got the goods!
By the way, Deception Island is a real place off the Antarctic Peninsula. I thought you should know.
There is one flaw that I cannot stand to love, and that is being your own worst critic. And while that is certainly a tough one to shake, just know you owe it to yourself to be kind. Now, go be flawsome. Let your friends know they’re flawsome, too.
Featured image, via.