By Emma Hart
#DrawYourFlaws is an idea I came up with to engage with body positivity. Every summer, I have felt very insecure about my body. I was never that skinny girl back in school. I had a lot of stretch-marks whilst growing up. I have a condition called Keratosis which make my arms look bruised and spotty. I would choose to ditch my shorts and dresses entirely because I was embarrassed of the marks only body. This got worse once I joined Instagram and other social media, where I scrolled through photos of many women, who had such picture perfect bodies. They were thin, tanned, and flawless. They didn’t have any mark on their body. This made me wonder if I was deformed.
It wasn’t until very recently that I twigged that they were also editing their bodies into this “perfection” and that they had created this toxic standard of beauty – most likely trapped in their own loops of likes and validation and never been able to accept themselves fully either. So I started to draw my body in my personal sketchbooks at home. It was a way to be familiar with my own body – turning it into art. It helped me accept my body little by little. I would draw some of the girls in the pictures with stretch marks and imperfections too to remind myself that they’re also human. I don’t have these books anymore, but part of me wishes I had kept them.
I have also read articles, in the past years, of young girls and boys committing suicide because they can’t achieve this surreal perfection that is out there. I have had male friends tear their muscles over working themselves to be this “muscled beef cake” and I’ve witnessed girls throwing up in bathrooms trying to stay thin. It’s so depressing and dehumanising. When it comes to promoting body positivity, thin girls have been praised for it but on the flip side, larger women are accused of being a “feminist” (as though that was a bad thing) because they promote being big. There is this strange imbalance of whats considered okay and I have inferred that there’s also a misunderstanding of what body positivity is.
Many assume that it is weight based, but honestly, body positivity is accepting the body you have been given – all of its little flaws and marks like stretch-marks, birth marks and freckles, how tall you are, whether or not you need glasses, or you hate your hairline. It’s about loving the whole body, not just the stomach area.
#DrawYourFlaws can unite all men and women of various sizes and races to come forward and highlight the things that they hate about themselves in order to accept those parts of themselves. By getting intimate with their body through art and influencing others to also do so, they’ll realise how common their flaws are and start to feel more human because of it.
I hope that people get on board with this movement to help everyone learn to accept themselves for who they are – to give up this perceived perfection and love their imperfections.
Emma is a 20 year old artist and graphic designer from Chester, England. She is currently advocating the #DrawYourFlaws movement to increase #BodyPositivity.
Join the #DrawYourFlaws movement on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag and tagging @atribeofwomen to share your creations to the Tribe!
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