Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Embracing Our Imperfections

I have a fat forehead. I didn’t realize it until I was 14 and like so many other teen girls, I wanted to be a model. My mother & I sat across a wooden desk from a lanky blond woman at a local Barbizon when I was first informed that I had a rather large cranial area.

I’m proud to say I wasn’t too upset by the discovery. I figured if it impeded me in any real life situations, I could always grow bangs.

But what about girls (and guys, for that matter) who are distraught over a body part or facial feature that they consider less than perfect? I’m not talking the normal, “Does this dress make my butt look big?” After all, you could simply choose to wear a different dress. But when it’s your forehead, or lips or legs that are the “problem,” then what?

So much of our perception of beauty is mass-produced. It’s cookie cutter. And sometimes completely unreal.

Obviously, I'm big into makeup. Fashion is a passion, as well. And I’m not at all against small cosmetic changes. But, I’m grieved when I hear of women doing extreme things to change their looks. The end results are never as unique (or organic) as the original God-given features. And many times the altered look has the appearance of a mannequin or a cyborg.

I love stories of women whose unconventional looks and perceived flaws have become their trademark.

Padma Lakshmi, the beautiful Indian model and cooking show host, has her seven inch scar. Lauren Hutton has her tooth gap. And Cindy Crawford has her mole. Each of these women were told they’d not reach their goals because of their “imperfections.” Cindy Crawford admits seeking medical advice for removing her beauty mark.

And Padma Lakshmi underwent a painful chemical dermabrasion on her arm in hopes of making her scar less noticeable. But as is sometimes the case (I wish it was always the case) someone thought Padma with her scarred arm was beautiful.

The legendary photographer, Helmut Newton was the one who “got it". Newton shot Padma for a fashion calendar with her scar in its full glory! Padma’s career was launched from one man’s unconventional views on beauty.

And then there’s Jennifer Grey’s story. You may remember her from Dirty Dancing. She was the cute girl with the big nose and a sweet face who danced her way to fame opposite Patrick Swayze.

In an attempt to be a Hollywood beauty, Jennifer went under the knife. She came up “pretty” in a girl-next-door sort of way, but no one recognized her. Even her closest friends are said to have been confused when she walked up and knew their names. Who was this new, “improved” Jennifer?

That’s a good question. Since she looked nothing like the girl who won the admiration of American teens in the summer’s hottest flick, she was now essentially an “unknown.” Her career tanked.

As sad as this story is for Jennifer, it should serve as a lesson to young women. It may seem that life rewards only the perfect girls, but sometimes being a Padma or a Cindy or a Lauren, or even a cute girl with a big nose, is exactly who you’re supposed to be.

What do you think?

The above shot is a self portrait of my fat forehead. I now celebrate it as my "signature look".