Sometimes it can be difficult determining what qualities we count as features and which count as flaws. Oftentimes, I find myself being consistently complimented on the parts of myself that I’m most self-conscious about. It’s interesting how others perceive us and how those perceptions don’t always match up with our reality. The truth is, sometimes our flaws are our most beautiful features. But how can we find beauty in the parts of us that make us turn our heads in dissatisfaction? How can we improve the parts of us that seem to difficult to love as is?

I think a part of this process is being honest with ourselves about how and why we categorize some characteristics as features and some as flaws.

Is it because of what we see on social media and television? Is it because of the way we look doesn’t adhere to traditional beauty standards? Would we feel differently if our flaw suddenly became the new trend? We have to stop looking for approval for being the way we are and start embodying acceptance for all parts of ourselves- good, bad, and ugly! We would find a lot of self-love and appreciation inside ourselves if we cut the voices out in our head and really looked at ourselves in the mirror for who we are. I know it can be difficult to believe but the freckles on your face could really draw attention to your beautiful, big, bright eyes. The gap in between your teeth could really be an outward display of your whimsical character and your deep-rooted culture. Constantly viewing ourselves in lenses of inadequacy and society's unrealistic standards of the haves and the have-nots, puts us on a never-ending spiral toward self-loathing and dissatisfaction. Our own judgment of ourselves is the only judgment that really matters because we are the ones stuck looking at our faces every day. As my mom always says, "if you don’t love yourself, then who else will?"

BUT, let’s not get it twisted.

Even after some introspection, there are still some qualities that we’ll see in ourselves that will have us saying “this just won’t work”. For example, my little food baby is cute and all, but I don’t think a little exercise would kill me. This is a flaw that can be changed into a feature (it may be difficult and take a lot of self-control and less of my beloved burgers and fries but you get the point). A general rule of thumb I would use is if it can’t be changed without causing major health hazards or bodily harm then it isn’t a flaw, it’s one of your features. If it is something that could be improved with a little work on your part when they’re really not flaws at all, more so they are “loading features”, waiting to make their debut.

We all have some God-given traits that are unique to us. Some that we love and some that we sometimes hate, but finding the good in all that makes you, you is what will take all your flaws and features into the realm of beauty and self-love. It’s okay, to be honest with yourself. It’s okay to want to be better. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be you!