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For about the past six years, I’ve been steadily gaining weight as I stepped out of childhood and into adulthood (currently I’m eighteen years old). As a kid, I was relatively skinny. I didn’t know that–I was generally bigger than the other kids; I compared myself to them.

I wanted to look like them. I wanted to be skinnier. Then I became frustrated with having no hips–I wanted curves like other, older black women! As I grew older and gained more weight, I wasn’t happy with my new curves. No matter how my body looked, I was not satisfied.

Currently, I am somewhat indifferent towards my body. I would like to lose weight, but I’m okay with my curves. I tried so hard to be a part of those online communities that preach body positivity and loving your body in whatever form it comes in.. I tried so hard to praise my stretch marks and my plump stomach. I just couldn’t do it! I still can’t do it. But I don’t hate my body, and that’s a good thing, right?

I have a similar attitude toward my face. Recently, I have acquired freckles where there were none before. I grew up having no pimples or acne, and now I get to see what the struggle is like.

Now, I don’t really wear makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching makeup tutorials since middle school (Michelle Phan, anyone?), but I personally don’t like wearing makeup often. Before, I bought concealer to combat my new freckles, pimples, and under eye circles. I had never bought concealer before. When I put it on, I liked how it looked, but I also didn’t recognize myself. That weirded me out. I’ve decided that while I don’t love my freckles, pimples, or undereye circles, I don’t hate them.

It may sound weird, but my weight and skin imperfections are what make me, me! Is that a bad thing? I don’t see it that way.

It’s common for flaws to be seen as an inherently bad thing. But are they really?

This month, I’d like to challenge you to expand that idea. Do you detest your flaws? If so, do you plan on trying to change them, to love them? Why is that? Do you find yourself engaging in criticism towards others flaws? Why do you do that? Are you coming around to loving the flaws you have, whether external or internal?  

Over the past years, you’ve probably been a major asshole at some point. I have, too! Also: literally everyone else has as well.

After realizing I was kind of an asshole, I detested myself. But I eventually realized that wasn’t helping myself or anyone around me. So I decided to think deeply about my actions and change. As a result, I like myself better, and people like me better. It all worked out well in the end.

So, we have external flaws (physical) and internal flaws (mental, spiritual, whatever you want to call them). But there’s so much to the world “flaw,” isn’t there?

Flaw is a all-encompassing word. I can saw that there are flaws within myself. I can also say that there are flaws within the judicial system, flaws in the mental health community, and flaws within my family. I can say that there are flaws within the McDonald’s menu, flaws with Donald Trump running for president, and flaws within the top advocates for feminism today.

Flaws are everywhere, affecting our everyday lives. Where do you see them? Go to our submit page to tell us your story! Or, what do you think could be better in our society? What do you want to see more loved?

Also, as always, have a great month!
-Nicole