We all have things on our bodies that we want to hide. Whether it’s a mark on our face, or a body part we’d love to be smaller, it’s difficult to look at ourselves and not find something to judge.
I have something I had always considered a flaw until I was in my 20s. I couldn’t go past a mirror without making sure it wasn’t sticking out too much. I was born with, shall we say, a larger posterior than most and spent the majority of my adolescence trying to hide it. However, no matter what I did, I still fell victim to a sizable amount of prepubescent teasing.
I know, I know, now big butts seem to be all the rage, but you have to remember this was in the ’90s — way before Kim K. and her glorious backside made history. As such, I spent a lot of time sitting or leaning against walls to avoid scrutiny. I bought only dark jeans and skirts that helped diminish the effect of my big booty. Even though I started feeling a bit better about it when I filled out more on top in my late teens, my constant fear of it being called out continued into college.
That was when I fell in love with my now-fiancé, who thinks my butt is my best asset (pun intended). While we were friends in high school, it wasn’t until we officially started dating in college that he revealed his love for my behind. And it wasn’t just something he told me in private. Apparently he brags to his friends on a regular basis about the junk in his lady’s trunk. After a few years of constant reaffirmation, I finally started to see the good in my booty.
Twenty-four-year-old Las Vegas blogger Rachel Anderson went through a similar experience, however her “flaw” was harder to hide, because it’s on her face. She was born with what’s called a “port-wine stain” birthmark on the left side of her face. When she was about 13, she became incredibly self-conscious about it and began concealing it as best she could with makeup before she left the house. This would sometimes take up to an hour, but it was worth it to her because it kept what she saw as an ugly flaw hidden. Needless to say, it made life difficult for the young woman.
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“I would try not to look at myself in the mirror. Sometimes when I looked at my birthmark, it would make me cry,” Anderson told Daily Mail. The only people she’d let see her sans makeup were her family and her best friend, Tessa — that is, until she met Adam in 2010.
After just one date, Anderson said she knew Adam was the one for her. As such, it took her only a couple weeks more before she showed him the birthmark. “I was nervous, but part of me knew that he would be OK with it,” said Anderson.
He was more than “OK” with it. He told her he thought her birthmark was beautiful. Then suddenly, Anderson’s perception of her “flaw” changed.” After 10 years of hating this part of her body, she finally started to make friends with it.
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“I changed my thoughts from ‘everyone is judging me’ to finally figuring out and realizing that they weren’t,” she told Daily Mail.
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It’s incredibly difficult to embrace that aspect of yourself you always thought made you less appealing, especially if it’s staring back at you in the mirror every day. However, the reflection you see in the mirror is not the only one that counts — sometimes it takes another person to see our beauty before we can. Only after Anderson let her new love in and showed him her true self did she realize she had a skewed perception of her “flaw.” It was then that all her fear of judgment melted away. Now she’s married with a 2-year-old son, pregnant with another and no longer wastes her time trying to hide the thing that makes her her.