My belly is a little bit pudgy. I have stretch marks on my hips and thighs. My eyelids are wrinkly. When I’m bored or nervous, I chew my lips and leave them raw. The skin around my fingers is ripped with hangnails. My hair gets frizzy.
I spent years of my life going to war with myself, staring into a mirror and wondering why I wasn’t born like the girls plastered between those slick, retail catalog pages. I didn’t realize the true beauty behind those so-called flaws.
That slightly-pudgy belly holds the meals I eat in good company. My stretch marks bear the stories of pounds gained during depression and the treatment thereof. Those wrinkly eyelids have opened and closed upon the most marvelous of sunsets and the most intricate of dreams. Those raw lips have sung the songs of human joy and struggle. Those fingers have held the pencils that wrote years of journal entries. That hair has blown in the winds of warm Bermuda evenings, now faded into the memory of childhood days gone by.
I am not beautiful despite my flaws; I am beautiful because of them.