I love to create, and don’t have much of an outlet to share my creative work currently, so I wanted to share these with you. They are my own photographs with digital manipulation, created in June 2015. Sorry for the watermarks and the very small images, but I have had art stolen and misused in the past, so I feel the need to protect my work whilst I share it with you.
While these images took shape, it made me think about the concept of ‘imperfect beauty’. I have always found beauty in unusual places, in the dark, in the strange, in things that others find ugly or unattractive. Beauty websites focus so much on image and looking good (which makes sense, given the nature of makeup and skincare products), but I thought it may be relevant to instead share my thoughts and encourage you to think about your own attitude to beauty.
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who is self-confident, happy with her body and looks, and comfortable with her flaws. I get dry skin, and eczema. I have a large Cesarean scar which may not heal very well due to having had a large haematoma on it. I have a small dark blemish on my stomach which happened during my first pregnancy – I lost the baby early on, but this little patch of discoloured skin is my permanent connection to our first baby. I have a few little white scars from getting chicken pox at age 22.
I have a large purple scar on my knee from getting stitches – I slipped over on a rainy day while walking on a school trip to a Chinese restaurant and cut my knee deeply. Not only did I miss out on a delicious Chinese meal (love Chinese food!) but people started rumors that my parents ‘forced me to trip’ to get out of going on the excursion, because my “family is racist and I’m not allowed eat Chinese food”. Oh, never mind my family ate at that restaurant almost every week and were good friends with the family that owned it, or the fact I worked there two years later! I have the average amount of body freckles and moles that most Kiwis have.
I’m very skinny, and get a lot of abuse from people about that – its natural and I have even worked with dieticians and drs to try to gain weight and I can’t. I would love to be a few kgs heavier, but that simply can’t happen. My body rejects all piercings, and I have lots of little keloids from trying to have them. I grow too much body hair too quickly. My hair is ridiculously knotty, frizzy, thick and unmanageable.
BUT! I have amazing long, dark eyelashes, which frame my exotic eyes, gifts from my Egyptian/Lebanese ancestors. I don’t get pimples, my skin is never oily (that’s because it’s too dry, but that’s ok). I have unusual taste, and get a lot of attention for my look and my makeup without having to really try. People constantly compliment me on the hair that I hate. I am happy and healthy, and I look it, and feel it.
Noone is “perfect”. Everyone has something they dislike about themselves, but rather than focus on those things, why not focus on the positive. I can’t tell you how to find your own happiness, but I hope when you look at the mirror, you enjoy the positive, and don’t focus on the negative.
Beauty exists where we choose to find it or make it.