THE BLOG
20/02/2015 10:59 GMT | Updated 21/04/2015 06:59 BST

Why Do We Find It So Difficult to Be Happy With the Skin We're In?

It would be easy for me to say that I wish I had a smaller nose, no lines on my face, and a thinner torso. But if I had all those things, would my life be suddenly improved? No. Because those things don't define me. They don't affect the way I live.

Generally speaking, these days it seems almost impossible for people to be satisfied with what they have. Instead, the focus is on what they don't have. But why? When did women become unhappy about having curves? When did cosmetic surgery become the answer to all our problems? When did the pursuit of perfection take over?

In the past, I've been guilty of looking in the mirror and wanting to see something better. Am I naturally wired to do this, or is it because of society's influence on me? I'd be minded to say it's the latter. The streets, the shops, the internet, they're all lined with the perceived 'ideal'. Celebrities look a certain way, so therefore we think we should look that way, too. We forget about the hours of make-up and the photo-shopping. We forget they have copious amounts of money and people hired to make them look the way they do. We forget that perfection is not normal. And that's disappointing.

Recently, I saw a story about a woman who hadn't smiled or laughed for over 40 years because she wanted to keep her youthful looks. It was one of the most ridiculous things I had ever read. To value your looks over laughter is preposterous. Because what is a life without laughter?

It would be easy for me to say that I wish I had a smaller nose, no lines on my face, and a thinner torso. But if I had all those things, would my life be suddenly improved? No. Because those things don't define me. They don't affect the way I live. A smaller nose wouldn't make my partner love me any more than he already does. If I had no lines on my face it would mean I don't laugh enough. And as long as my lifestyle isn't unhealthy, being slimmer really doesn't matter.

I'll always be more critical of myself than anyone else is, but my imperfections are a part of me, so why should I try and get rid of them? Emma Watson said,

"There's nothing interesting about being perfect."

She's right.

John Legend sings,

"All of me loves all of you... all your perfect imperfections."

He's right, too.

Remember that saying, beauty is only skin deep? Obsessing over a shallow desire to look better on the outside is unlikely to make you more satisfied on the inside. The way I - we - look is far from the be all and end all. I'm grateful for my health, my family, and my job. Those are the things that really matter. So, I'm learning to be more accepting of the skin I'm in; I'm understanding that my 'flaws' aren't really flaws at all. Realising that allows me to be more comfortable. More relaxed. Happier.

And even more so than before, my aspirations will revolve around what I want my life to look like, not my body.

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