How imperfect are you?

This morning, as soon as I turned on my phone, I received a message from a beauty center: “Get ready for an unforgettable summer, flaunt a body that makes others envious. Five treatments are enough to get you beach-ready. The sixth is on us.”

Leaving aside the reasons why I should get a sixth free treatment if five are enough, this message reminded me of how much pressure we are under to compare ourselves with others, especially with the beauty standards imposed by society. The risk of feeling crushed by comparisons to figures that silently tell us, “How imperfect are you?”

A few years ago, this sense of inadequacy mainly emerged in the summer, when our more exposed bodies made “imperfections” visible. The fear of being judged and criticized by every glance echoed with each uncertain step on the beach. To make matters worse, the “perfect” woman passing by attracted everyone’s attention, including the lifeguard, making everyone else invisible.

Social media has leveled the seasons, and now, even in the depths of winter, it’s possible to lose confidence when faced with photos and videos of statuesque bodies—not just those of celebrities, but also of ordinary people engaged in diets and hours of gym workouts.

It’s disheartening to deal with the guilt of lacking the discipline to “flaunt a body that makes others envious,” but even harder to pretend not to know that even hard training won’t satisfy us because we are competing with perfection. It’s a losing battle. But what is this perfection, and what purpose does it serve?

Let’s start reflecting: who decided, and on what basis, that to be beautiful we must have identical characteristics to those imposed by society? Can we really think we won’t be liked and won’t like ourselves if we don’t resemble those figures? And again, on what basis can we define who is beautiful and who isn’t, if there is no standard measure to quantify it? A beauty queen, even after being crowned, may not appeal to many people, but her height is indisputable, no matter who measures it.

Think about art and the world of luxury: isn’t it true that the more unique a piece of art or an item is, the more valuable it is? So why have we turned the distinctive traits of individuals into flaws just because they don’t match stereotyped beauty?

The need to be liked is widespread and pervasive. I fully agree on the importance of proper nutrition, a battle I’ve always supported. Just as it’s right to point out that being overweight is unhealthy, we cannot ignore the damage caused by the pursuit of extreme thinness, often even more severe. Physical activity is also essential for maintaining a healthy body, but it should be done to feel good about ourselves, not to gain external approval.

If we want to feel better about ourselves and others, we shouldn’t seek external validation but learn to appreciate what makes us unique. Our uniqueness is what makes us special and precious.

In conclusion, it’s important to recognize that authentic beauty lies in our uniqueness. Society imposes unattainable models on us, making us believe that only by conforming to these can we be accepted and appreciated. However, it is our differences that make us special.

Don’t be fooled by the illusory perfection promoted by the media and societal pressures. Instead, invest in self-care to feel good, not to adhere to an external standard. Learn to celebrate your distinctive traits, valuing what sets you apart from others.

True beauty is not about perfect measurements or conformity to an unrealistic ideal, but it is the sincere expression of our personality and unique qualities. Let’s look in the mirror with kind eyes, recognizing the intrinsic value that each of us possesses.

Rediscovering authentic beauty means accepting and loving ourselves for who we are, with all our imperfections. Only then can we truly feel free, confident, and fulfilled.

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