On why being flawless is not the same as being beautiful
December 14, 2014, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Susan Sarandon posted her original headshot this week on her Facebook page and my breath caught in my throat when I saw it.

Today, we are going to talk about strange beauty and how by simply being a human, we are beautiful.

Let me tell you, first, about my strange beauty; about what I was tormented for as a child but now prize as an adult.

My eyes are brown and unremarkable. But they are large, almond shaped, and spaced ever-so-slightly  too far apart. You know those 90’s drawings of aliens? That’s what I looked like during my awkward teenage years.

I have a strong, German nose. It’s big. It’s long. I can constantly see it out of the corner of my eye, even though logic tells me I shouldn’t really be seeing it. You could alpine ski down the bridge of my nose. I will never get a cut little stud pierced into it because wow that’s all I would see all day, guys.

My skin is pale. Very pale. I do not bronze in the summer sun. I freckle and burn and then my skin peels off and I am as pale as a mole again. The only way I can hold a tan is by baking myself in a tanning bed and I decided years ago that I am not a piece of toast.

I could keep going–my hair is thin, my teeth are crooked, I am very, very short. My neck is so long that scarves are actually a necessity for me once it drops belong 55 degrees.

These are all the things that I used to confuse with being flaws; you can see how a 13 year old girl would.

But then there are people like Susan Sarandon, who took her strangely beauty–her large eyes, her strong nose, her pale skin–and decided that these were the things that make her beautiful. And she is right.

At the age of thirty, I feel that the word flaw has mostly faded from my vocabulary. This is what my face looks like. This is what my body looks like. My eyes make me look exotic. My skin is healthy. My crooked teeth add character to my face and my long neck makes me feel graceful.

What if we all knew we were already beautiful?

I watched a music video this weekend. It was a new singer who has a prosthetic leg. It was one of the most brilliant displays of brave, strange beauty that I have ever seen. (The video is by a Viktoria Modesta and you should go watch it after reading this)

What was most striking to me was that instead of taking her missing leg and trying to make it look like a regular leg, like what we all expect legs to look like, she had a light up leg, a diamond encrusted leg. Because, why be afraid of the world? Why hide something that you can go ahead and feel strangely beautiful about?

Susan Sarandon took that picture up there and you know what I see as the bravest part? That girl put some damn mascara on her bottom lashes; we all know what that does.

It enlarges your eyes.

She took her strangely large eyes and made them appear larger. She enhanced them. She was not afraid.

Take your flaws, run them through the grinding mill of your own brain, not the brains of the people around you, and strange beauty will trickle out like pixie dust.


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