Why do we feel the need to put on a front? Is it because we are too scared to reveal our real selves, terrified that they won’t like the person behind the mask? I find it hard to be honest with who I am as a person and reinvented myself for university to protect myself from my wounded shell of reality. All the scars had to be hidden, the battle wounds of the past locked up in the safe of my mind and in person I was a hyperactive ball of energy, the life of the party and always the person you could count on ‘for a laugh’. But this wasn’t me I tried to compensate for my imperfections by reinventing a ‘perfect persona’ I could not could not keep up with and it was exhausting. Because if I did not know who I was as a person then how could friends know the real me? It was when I became seriously ill that I reevaluated who I was and despite feeling seriously low I realized that it is ok to be upset, its ok to show emotion and its ok to not be perfect.
I am the definition of imperfection but I have learnt that our imperfections are what makes us beautiful. I spoke to some friends this weekend about the constant strive for perfection and they believe that it is part of my illness. I never had counselling when I was younger and still to this day have never been given proper help. Sure I have been given tablets and been given pep talks by friends and family who told me to think positive but this is part of my problem. For so many years I kept thinking stay positive yet by doing so I was ignoring prevalent issues that were threatening to consume me. The problem is we are constantly told to be someone we are not and that makes us worse. Being a realist will help put things into perspective and show people who you are really are but I am still learning to show my emotions. When I get upset I lock myself away or walk out the house because I cannot bear for people to know that I am upset. I want people to think of me as someone who is a pillar of strength but I know that is near impossible. Growing up I was taught to hide my emotions and stop being ‘so sensitive’ because I was being a ‘crybaby’ and I stuck with that mentality ever since. If I saw someone was upset I would counsel people through it and yet when it came to me I clammed up and would not speak. I couldn’t it was like a mental block that could not be budged and even to this day not much has changed. I have complex trust issues and find it difficult to trust people, even my closest friends. So it might seem ironic that I share my personal life with all my readers but this is my therapy. If I wasn’t for writing I could not live. I live and breathe words, words are at the essence of my core and words are the salve to my blistering wounds.
Writing taught me that imperfection is part of who we are as people. There are many things that I dislike about myself and I find it difficult to love the reflection in the mirror and partially it is my looks that causes my anxiety. The media often perpetuates this ideal of a ‘classic beauty’ and for years I wanted to be busty, blue eyed with blonde hair yet I am the complete opposite. Kids laughed at me and used to call me ‘She He’ or ‘Lesbian’ because I look masculine and never wore make up growing up. It hurt at the time and it poisoned my mind , getting anxious when I saw pictures of myself that looked ‘bad’ and altering my perceptions of what beauty should be. But there is no formula for beauty and the sooner that the media, our peers and friends promote that beauty is not exclusive the better.
When I tried telling some people about my body dysphormia and anxiety about appearence I was laughed at; ‘stop being so shallow’ or your getting upset over a small thing. Noone truly understands how you feel, only you know what is rotting inside and that weed must be plucked before it causes serious damage. I continue to pluck that rotting weed growing inside me and give it a stern talking to everyday because I know the notion of perfection is impossible. In my constant struggle to be ‘perfect’ I make myself more sick, I push myself to limits that noone should ever should attempt and I take on far too many responsibilities because I never feel like there is not enough time in the day to complete daily tasks. So I work into the early morning, take on other peoples responsibilities and it leaves me feeling sick, weary and disorientated. When am I going to learn that it is ok to ask for help, there is no need to pretend to be perfect because I am not.
I am imperfect, I have crooked teeth and edit photos to make them look whiter because I am ashamed of my ‘yellow teeth’. I am imperfect. my hair is frizzy and I spend hours straightening it for shoots because my ‘curly hair’ is too imperfect for photos. I am imperfect, my back is not straight, I have poor posture and pretend to be okay when really I am too sick to travel. I try to keep up with everyone else and act like I am normal and I am not. The only way I can get better is if I practice what I preach and quite often that is a bitter pillow to swallow. How can we dish advice out to other people if we never follow the rules we set? So I will embrace my lions mane, work on completing my physio and take on less work. But one thing I cannot let go of is my teeth and some day I hope I can fix them so that they are dazzling white and straight. For now it is just another a dream I still chase but one thing is for certain, noone is perfect and its okay to be flawed. Embrace your flaws, love that spot, cherish that one bit of difference that seperates you from the rest and be real. Because without reality we would know nothing.
What are your thoughts on embracing your imperfections and showing the real you?
Photography- Jumanna Khanom Shirt & Boots- Primark Trousers- Topship Sunglasses- Market