Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

How to Be Confident With Your Perceived Flaws

It might seem like your perceived flaws are a bad thing, the truth is they aren’t. It paves the way to one’s distinction of how different one’s beauty can be! Because as you look around, everyone is different and flawed. Even the world itself has its cracks and dents and oftentimes, these are considered natural wonders.

The term “flaw” can be quite misleading and subjective because it makes you consider your uniqueness as an imperfection yet some might believe it’s perfect and it creates confusion as to how we should present ourselves. For example, now that more people are frequently using social media, the information presented there can sometimes affect how we see ourselves in the mirror. You don’t think your eyebrows are too thin until you see a video on how to apply makeup to have fuller brows. You don’t think your hair is too curly until an advertisement tells you that you need their product to have long shiny straight hair like their model. 

These companies attempt to sell us products by portraying their models as so-called beauty standards. We should not rely on them to describe what beauty is, because one person’s interpretation of beauty is different from another… but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just that one size doesn’t fit all.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

–Thích Nhất Hạnh

As we try to evolve to a better version of ourselves, sometimes in our desire to be perfect, we forget that everyone and everything is imperfect. The truth is, perfection is impossible because we’re all human and we all have different imperfections, characteristics, capabilities, and skills that make up who we are. To accept these perceived flaws is a great way to boost confidence and flaunt those flaws (sparingly) to show the world that we are who we are… and that’s ok!

Table of Contents

As an artist, I have seen a lot of great artwork. I spent most of my time looking at different photos and pieces created by people with different backgrounds, places, races, and age groups. Like abstract art, which if you look at its composition individually, some parts are asymmetrical or looks sloppy but as a whole, it is a masterpiece. This made me realize that there is no one specific description to describe what beauty is. 

If you think that you have a lot of imperfections, maybe you are just unique from the rest of us which makes you a masterpiece and to be a masterpiece is something that you should be proud of and confident with!

It might not be easy to immediately know the answer to the question “how do you embrace your flaws?”, as it is a process. But later in this article, we’ll cover the importance of being yourself and help you to answer the question: “how do I accept my imperfections?”

Tyra Banks, a world-renowned supermodel coined the term flawsome, which is described by being awesome because of your flaws. A powerful sentiment that we can use to stop idolizing a particular body image, build our confidence, and alter the concept of perfectionism. This campaign continuously helps and inspires a lot of people who are lacking self-esteem and are being bullied because of their perceived flawed features. 

How do you appreciate your flaws you may ask? Be flawsome and wear them like it is your best accessory. 

Embrace who you are

When having a job interview, we often get the question “Can you describe yourself?” which simply translates to what is it about you that makes you stand out from everyone else and we should think of the best, most specific and concise phrase to describe who we are. However, we usually refer to the things that we have done that received a lot of compliments and the achievements we accumulated in the past. But the truth is, there is a lot more than the version of ourselves than what meets the eye.

To embrace who we are is to first know our genuine self. This includes our values, interest, temperament, around-the-clock activities, life mission, and strengths (or VITALS for short). If you think having a different set of VITALS that separates you from the norm is an imperfection, then change that thought. Embrace your differences, be confident with them, because you should feel secure by knowing who you are instead of who you think you’re supposed to be!

Change your perspective

Pointing out our flaws can do two things: either damage our self-esteem or increase our motivation for self-improvement. Unfortunately, it is common especially during childhood when people experience bullying because of their features that this is damaging to our self-esteem because of the recurrent negative judgments by other people and sometimes even from ourselves towards ourselves. However, if we can change our perspective and use this as motivation to change because we are not happy with these flaws, it can be a source of confidence.

I, personally, was bullied back when I was in high school. I received mean comments because of my huge forehead and because I was fat. Because I could not make my forehead smaller, I focused on what I could control which was to lose weight. During that process of eating healthily, going to the gym, and taking care of myself, people started complimenting me and asking me for advice on how to lose weight. Although I have not got to my goal weight yet, I already feel much more confident because I am becoming more outgoing and less insecure about my body and that is leading me to the acceptance of myself much more.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

–Reinhold Niebuhr

If we know what is changeable and we are trying to improve it, we consider ourselves a work in progress and by the time we have completely arrive at where we want to be in life, we become less susceptible to others’ judgment to the flaws that we can’t change. To accept our flaws and to be confident with it is to be happy with who you are and although it is a process, it’s really a great feeling to be comfortable in your own skin.

Stop striving for perfection

There’s a technique in Japanese pottery called Kintsukuroi (or Kintsugi) which means “to repair with gold”. A craftsman would put together the pieces of a broken ceramic pot or bowl using a lacquer mixed with gold or silver pigments to repair the pottery. As a result, the piece becomes stronger, completely unique, and more beautiful than it was before and I think the value of this concept is more than just the art of pottery.

To some, what they consider as flaws are any imperfections or battle scars they have picked up throughout life, and not how they were when they were born. Stretch marks, acne, scars, mistakes, bad life decisions & experiences, and regrets are a few examples of these imperfections that can happen some time in the past. Just like the broken pieces used in Kintsukuroi, a broken piece of us should not be hidden because sometimes those are the most valuable part of us. A crack or dent is not the entirety of us, it is only a part of us that we try to hide or forget in order to portray ourselves as a perfect human being. 

Striving for perfection is a frustrating process as we will never be perfect. But if we apply the same self-care for ourselves, as those Japanese artists care for their pottery, all those experiences create our distinct identity and uniqueness especially the flaws. Knowing this, we can then use these artists’ technique as an inspiration to express the best and unique version of ourselves through our chosen field.

Final thoughts

Two years ago, I attended the annual Pride March in our city. Everything was so colorful and everyone was happily expressing their individuality. As I was roaming around, I saw this sign that said “You are enough.” and that changed me because for the long time that I have been asking myself how can I be confident with flaws that I have, maybe that is the answer. To know we don’t need to compare ourselves to others and compete to develop more worth, to hide our imperfections, because no matter what we have been through and how many flaws we have–we are enough.

Tommy P.
Tommy P.

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