Content warning for mild body image talk.
I was fortunate enough to be raised by wonderful, loving, hippy-dippy parents, including a feminist mother who didn't shave her legs and never owned makeup. Probably as a result of not having a tv growing up, and never hearing my mum talk down her body, I've grown up to have a fairly healthy body image. In fact, the vast majority of the time, I really like my body, despite recognizing its "imperfections".
As an adult, I've tried to surround myself with only positive body image stuff— I avoid talking about my physical "flaws", I don't weigh myself, I never diet. But it's impossible to shelter yourself completely from a world that really, really wants you to feel consistently inferior.
Recently, I attended a family wedding, and had a wonderful time with my fabulous, funny, gorgeous cousins. At one point, a group of us girls bundled into a car to drive to the ceremony. We were dressed to the nines, and looking pretty damn good. Then one cousin started talking about how much she hated her deepset eyes. Another sympathized "I worry the wind will catch the flaps of skin above my eyes and I'll just go sailing away!". A third chimed in "I could carry groceries in the bags under my eyes!"
I just sat there, dumbfounded. I didn't even know that these parts of my body existed, let alone that I should be concerned about their imperfection. Seriously, the flaps of skin between your eyebrow and your eye? Who the fuck knew that that was a 'problem area'? And the casual, joking, conspiratorial way they shared their 'flaws', as though it was some rite of passage, some bonding ritual....
I laughed, at first, because it seems so silly. But since coming back home, I've found myself standing in front of a mirror, poking at my eyes.