Flaws and All
By Jalena Francis
What part of yourself are you most insecure about? For me, it’s always been my arms. For years I felt like they were too long too skinny, and worst of all too hairy. My earliest memory of felling self-conscious about my arms was in 1st grade. I was turned around on the bus chatting with the older girls behind me when I decided to drape my arms over the seat to speak more comfortably. Immediately they commented on how hair my arms were, compared mine to their own smoother arms, and petted my limbs while noting how soft the hair was. I was mortified. I didn’t know I was different and now I was ashamed of something I had my whole life. Went I went home and told my mother, she consoled me and showed me how her arms had hair too. Still, mine were notably thicker and I remained self-conscious.
My mom let me start shaving in middle school and the first hairs to meet my razor were those pesky arm hairs. For a while I was really happy with how I looked, I thought I was mature and my arms were beautiful if not a bit skinny. One day I woke up and I felt dissatisfied with my smooth arms. They were smooth, but not as soft as they used to be, they were prickly all the time, and I didn’t feel like me. I’d gotten what I wanted, but realized I missed what I had.
Body hair is not considered traditionally beautiful or feminine, but mine was familiar made me feel comfortable. I decided to stop shaving my arms and chose to redefine what me beautiful by embracing a feature that made me unique. My arm hair is soft and curly. It feels comfortable to rest my head on them. I love watching them rise when I hear music that inspires me. I’ve chosen not to be ashamed of something that comes naturally. Love yourself for who you are, no matter how flawed others perceive you to be.