Let’s Stop Obsessing Over Our Nonexistent Body “Flaws”

The May issue of Allure serves as the magazine’s “naked” issue, which features several female celebrities. Minnie Driver is one of the women participating, and of her photo in the magazine, she said: “I never could have done this when I was 25. No way.  All I saw were the flaws. I still see flaws, but I see what’s great more – and I’ve got a banging body.”

I applaud Minnie’s positivity and the fact that she’s gotten more comfortable with her body as she’s gotten older, but what stuck with me was that she still sees flaws.  She’s an incredibly beautiful woman, and I can’t imagine what she finds flawed about her appearance.  Unfortunately, the Internet can be a cruel place, and after hurtful comments were posted on Twitter about a photo of Minnie in a bikini, I’m sure it was much easier to find things that seemed wrong with her body.

It’s bad enough when people get criticized on Twitter, but it’s worse when we do this to ourselves.  I think the vast majority of us have a tendency to pick apart our appearance, and what’s the point?  It seems like every woman I know, no matter how attractive or athletic or smart or talented they might be, has at least one body part that bugs her.  Is life really meant to be a never ending game of that scene in Mean Girls where they stand in front of the mirror and point out things that are wrong with their bodies?  Not everyone is going to be even physically capable of having a flat stomach or a thigh gap or a round butt or whatever the body trend du jour is, so why do we fixate on what we don’t have?

When you think about it, the idea of body flaws just seems so silly.  The only real “flaw” is the one in our thinking about our appearance.  We’ve got body parts that are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be, but because they don’t look like some unachievable, made up, Photoshopped ideal, we take ourselves to task. For years, I’ve wished my legs looked different.  Despite the fact that they’re perfectly good legs that go all the way down to the floor and have walked me through dozens of cities and carried me through three marathons, I still fixate on the size of my thighs or the shape of my calves.  It’s ridiculous.  There’s no such thing as a perfect body.  Why do we have to obsess that our body parts don’t look like someone else’s, rather than celebrating that they’re our own?

It’s going to be an uphill battle to fight years of conditioning to focus on the negatives about our bodies, so there’s no time like the present to start.  The next time you catch yourself wishing that some body part looked a little different, remember that you have a body that allows you to get up every morning and go about your day and do the things you love to do.  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty flawless.

Featured image via Allure

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