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Skin Deep

By Erica Colbenson
On October 13, 2011

  • Erica Colbenson. Angela Hern├índez


They say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Well, I'm not a fan of what my eye is beholding.

     I've struggled with my physical image for years. I had every eating disorder under the sun, I never went anywhere without makeup on, and looking in the mirror was a difficult and emotional task. Probably for the same reason most people go through similar events, I wanted to be beautiful.

     As a child, I would dream about waking up as someone else, someone beautiful. My life would start all over and everything would be perfect. Now, I dream someone will give me a few thousand dollars for plastic surgery. Any sugar mamas in the house?

     I realize most women are in my boat; even the "perfect" women that I envy have their ugly days. More importantly, everyone has flaws. No one is perfect, and if they claim to be, I'm sure their personality is what makes them ugly.  But why can't I be happy in my own skin, flaws and all? Why can't I be seen as the person that I am, instead of the size of my hips?

     I'm tempted to blame men or the media for the harsh way I look at myself; most men have this illusion of what women should look like, while the media pressures women to be perfect. Sure, we can blame them for all of our problems, but we should be looking at ourselves, too. We might be impressionable, some more than others, but I'll give the finger to any magazine or man who thinks they can try and change me.

     I'm not saying wanting to look your best is a bad thing. And looking your best will mean different things to different people. I personally want a boob job. The difference is, I'm doing it for myself. Not for a boyfriend. Not to impress others. Me. Because if I'm going to have these hips, I want boobs to balance them out. But I digress.

     It doesn't matter what you want to do, as long as you do it for the right reason. The old expression, "you must love yourself before you can love others" is quite accurate. People and their relationships (love, friendship or otherwise) can be destroyed because of a beauty complex. Don't ever expect the person you love to fill whatever void you had beforehand.  That'll never happen and it's not fair to either of you. You're a person, not a charity case.

     Love yourself first, and then you can love others. And if that means dyeing your hair purple and getting a spray tan, more power to you.

     Perfection is a pipe dream that people have been chasing for years. It has no true definition when it comes to humans, and honestly, has no place in my world. If everyone looked the same, the world would be incredibly dull, and who would want that?

     Take a moment and look at yourself, look at your flaws and embrace them. Those are the things that make us human. We can complain about them, embrace them or fix them, as long as we recognize that no matter what, we are beautiful where it counts.

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