Why is it so much easier to celebrate the beauty of others than it is to recognize our own unique traits? And when we do notice something different about ourselves, it’s sometimes met with a critical eye or an inability to see its wonder.
It may take time and experience to accept just how great you are — flaws and all. However, understanding this is an important step toward connecting with your strength and beauty.
Life coach Summer Engman penned a HuffPost blog entitled, “It’s Time To Acknowledge That We Are Enough, ” in which she discusses seeming within for self-worth instead of seeking validation from others. She wrote, “Admitting we already are enough and have enough is to make an acknowledgement that God, or the universe, or whatever you want to call it, has already given us everything we need in order to have a meaningful experience in this life. It’s to acknowledge that, in fact, we are perfect already.”
So, for a lesson in self-love we asked HuffPost staffers to show us a physical trait that was once an insecurity or specific features they never deemed beautiful, but now they altogether dig.
Check out the photos below, read about their self-love journeys and don’t forget to embrace your uniquely beautiful features.
Growing up I was always self-conscious about my birthmark. Even though my mommy constantly reminded me how unique and special it was, I always felt like it stuck out like a sore thumb on my face. It didn’t assist that ‘Austin Power In Goldmember’ and that famous ‘mole’ scene came out when I was in middle school — probably the most awkward period of my life and when kids are at their peak meanness. I thought often about having it removed. Fortunately when I went to have it checked out by a dermatologist she told me not only is it safe to keep but would actually be dangerous to remove considers that it is proximity to my eye. Much to my mom’s — and eventually my — relief, the birthmark bided and now it’s one of the favorite things about myself.” Jamie
I’ve had quite the love-hate relationship with my small breasts. When all my childhood friends were blossoming into their lace, white educate bras, I huddled in shame over the fact that I was still sporting cotton camis. Once it was finally hour for me to get a ‘real bra, ‘ I still felt under-developed and unattractive. However, my dislike subsided once I enrolled in college and began to hear horrific stories about endless back ache and not-so-sexy lingerie. My cup may not runneth over, but I’m proud of my God-given cleavage! “ Dana
Growing up, I watched my thick, coarse and curly hair as a curse. No matter what style I attempted to achieve, it would always end up as the same unruly mess that my classmates deemed a Brillo pad or a bad take on a Ronald McDonald coiff. Trying to manage it in the mornings or in the hands of an inexperienced barber was a challenging — and painful — experience, too. For years, I supposed I’d solved this problem by buzzing it off right down to the scalp, but ultimately this was not a flattering or unique looking either. These days, I feel inspired by starrings like Darren Criss and Adrian Grenier in having learned to embrace my curls. A good conditioner is necessary and I certainly don’t wake up like this, but I take great pride in knowing I’ll never run bald.” Curtis
I loathed my height more than anything when I was growing up. I was the tallest daughter in my class, picked on endlessly, hopelessly terrible at athletics and would hit my head on prom decorations if I even thought about wearing shoes other than flats. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC two years ago when I genuinely started to appreciate my long legs. I noticed that other tall ladies not only owned their height, but they enhanced it by sporting stilettos. Not merely that, I work for a publication that promotes body positivity in all forms — an attitude I fully stand behind. Now I can confidently say that I espouse all 6 feet of me. And, yes, I perfectly wear heels.” Lindsay
I call the goofy white bump on my tongue a birthmark, even though I’m confident that’s not the technological word. When I was born, my mommy thought it was a tooth. I named it Juan in 5th grade because naming birthmarks is perfectly normal behavior for 11 -year-olds, I guess. It’s been tested about 17 periods — always benign — but my oral surgeon once suggested he remove it for ‘aesthetic’ reasons. Ever since then, I’ve been fully committed to keeping it around. Largely because I’m enormously stubborn, but also because It’s part of what builds me awesome.” Julia
I grew to love my hands as I get older. A few compliments here and there stimulated me realize that my crooked fingers were perfectly imperfect. And that made them beautiful.” Alanna
I wouldn’t say I’ve ever disliked my gap, but as small children I definitely thought it wasn’t ‘right.’ When I was little I used to tell people that I’d lost a little tooth, and that it should grow back any time now. Of course, that wasn’t true. I constantly mentioned bracings to my mommy, but the high cost and the dentist saying I didn’t truly needed here maintain my gap here for good. I love it though. It’s my trademark and I feel like it situates me apart from all of the other babes in the world.” Chanel
When I was five years old I was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer principally affecting children in central Africa. After undergoing two surgeries, chemotherapy and radioactivity, the tumor in my abdomen disappeared and though I was pronounced cancer-free, I was left with two significant scars operating across my stomach. There was a hour when I disliked my scars, largely because they constructed me feel even more different from other kids than I already did as a very obviously queer child. But it wasn’t long before I realized that my scars were tangible proof of the trauma I’d experienced — and my survival. Today I love my scars. They are — like my tattoos — intimately connected to who I am and what I’ve lived through and exist as a reminder of both my vulnerability and my strength.” Noah
It’s hard to remember ever find a reflection of myself without three brown circles looking back at me. My two dark brown eyes have, for as long as I can recollect, always been accompanied by my uninvited eye mole. I disliked it for a long time — it was a source of incessant taunt in elementary school and more than one first kiss has been awkwardly delayed with, ‘Oh, wait, is there something on your eye? ‘ There was no resounding ‘ah-ha! ‘ moment that stimulated me love my eye mole, instead it was a gradual acceptance of the composite that constructs up my face, and how very vacant that composite would be without it.” -Jenavieve
When I was younger, I was very self-conscious of my size 11 feet. I had a really hard time receiving shoes that fit and was oftens teased by my friends. Thankfully, as I have gotten older, I have learned some tips and tricks for discovering shoes in my sizing and I have found a few brands I can always count on to go up to my sizing. I’ve come a long way since my teen years and have grown to love my feet — after all, they help support my 5’11” frame.” Michelle
If the sides of our faces are sisters, mine were Marcia and Jan. Marcia is the left side — somewhat insecure about her snout but still the starring of the present — to the contempt of right-side Jan, are at present Marcia’s shadow. Many women feel like they have a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ side, but for most of my young adulthood I felt like my left side, the good side, was the only side that could be seen. After many years of inducing impolite demands on photographers and risking serious neck injury to avoid presenting my ‘bad side, ‘ I watched a video of my right profile I just happened to like. I realized I was employing my ‘bad side’ as a scapegoat — to be fixated on my ‘bad side’ mean other insecurities would have to wait. I always liked how the right side of my face looked, and I finally realized that’s only pretty much how my whole face seems. I’ve had this face for a long time, I don’t want anyone else’s, so I can’t assist but love it.” Amanda
It’s hard to believe that I used to think my curls were unattractive, unruly and unmanageable. I was on a constant mission to straighten them into submission and attempt to reflect the smooth, shiny tress that rested ever so gently on the shoulders of all my white girlfriends. But thankfully with age comes wisdom and a great deal of self-acceptance. As I grew more confident and comfortable with myself I also learned to love my voluminous, kinky curls. I’m just sad it took me so long. Today my hair is a proud the representatives from my black heritage, my strength and my beauty.” Julee
Over the years, I’ve actually grown to love the two small moles on my back. To be honest, I never really noticed them when I was younger, but the working day I just caught a glimpse of them and realized the latter are kind of awesome. Now, I’m all about wearing backless tops or flowy tanks to show them off.” Julia
I grew up in the 90 s, when plucking and waxing were celebrated and body hair was dishonor. As a hairy daughter in general, my dark, thick eyebrows( and slight unibrow) were prominent enough that my mommy, who also has bold foreheads, allowed me start waxing at 13 — that is, after I desperately and carelessly shaved off half of my left eyebrow in secondary school. From then until I graduated high school, I did my best to tweeze and wax them to be style too thin for my face. When I left home for college, I decided to embrace them, which is now being luckily followed by the rise of eyebrow icons like Lily Collins, Cara Delevingne and Lucy Hale. Now, I scarcely touch them because they have become my favorite facial feature — not only because thicker foreheads are “in” but because I love that I inherited them from the strongest, most wonderful girl I know! “ Jessica
All photos by Damon Dahlen.
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