Women are constantly told they need to be perfect and strive to achieve impossible 'beauty standards.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 15, 2022. It has since been updated.
There's immense pressure on everyone to look "perfect," feel perfect and live perfect lives. Conditioning by society and pop culture always leaves us feeling a little less confident when we measure ourselves against perceived ideal beauty standards. But the truth is that we are all different. We're often filled with self-doubt and worry about our looks and it's by no means healthy. There's no question that women bear the brunt and pressure of living up to impossible "beauty" standards more than men, and there's no denying that pop culture is tailored to cater to men. While we may be aware of it, it's not easy to undo the conditioning of numerous years.
It's important to appreciate and celebrate people's uniqueness as opposed to their homogeneity to a perceived beauty standard, and there's a Reddit post dedicated to just that. One person asked the Reddit community, "What’s something girls shouldn’t be insecure about?" Men also opened up on some of the things that they found attractive and hot despite pop culture projecting them as undesirable.
Here are some of the top replies that encourage women to celebrate their uniqueness and perceived "imperfections":
Ovulation/periods. It’s completely natural, and only weirdos and teen boys get grossed out by you talking about it. u/Representative-Fig96
A lot of those beauty trends. Thigh gaps, that weird bikini gap thing, stretch marks, etc, I genuinely don't care. Also apparently some are self-conscious about freckles, I think they look stunning. u/SecretSummermidnight
I personally want to find the person that told women freckles should be covered up and… I don’t want to hurt anyone so I’ll just have a strongly worded conversation with them.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a serious weakness for freckles. From a dusting across the bridge of a woman’s nose to head-to-toe ginger freckles. I think they’re gorgeous. u/Sloowhand
Frizzy hair! It’s really fun to look at. Some women seem to try to straighten/curl but I think going with what your hair wants is best. Your hair refuses to be anything other than an afro? Rock it, sister! I know there are always those shampoo commercials with impossibly silky hair, and that looks nice, but there are so many different ways to have beautiful hair. I think genuine hair is often beautiful hair! u/MQ116
Cellulite, stretch marks, self-harm scars, anything that might be seen as a “blemish”. My girlfriend has all of the above and I never noticed any of it until she said something about them. u/CilliamBlinton. I have a huge scar on my chest from several open-heart surgeries. Sometimes it bothers me but my husband thinks it’s cool. u/TheRavengirl13
Breast size. A good portion of us doesn't give a shit about that. u/TheBigPasta.
Small breasts, contrary to what most would have you girls think, there are plenty of guys out there that love, if not even prefer, smaller breasts over larger breasts. u/Frankieo1920
That little belly bump seriously doesn’t make you look fat it makes you look human. u/Buffkirby
Grey hair on a woman is kinda hot. u/Reddit
Brains. Being nerd. For me, nerd is the new sexy. u/Reddit
I asked my husband this question, so here's his answer:
Weight gain. Not seriously obese or lack of caring for your health, but don't worry about a little extra fluff. So go ahead, eat that pizza slice(s) you're secretly eyeing! This one is a big one for me because I gained weight due to birth control and a couple of years of poor eating when we went through money struggles. Now we're having our second and final child, so I've been extra insecure with all these body changes and gaining weight. Of course, he's on board with me wanting to lose weight and get back to where I was, but he always tells me I'm beautiful and he loves every bit of me. He has never made me feel bad for my body. u/magicrowantree
Wearing the same dress again. Nobody cares except other insecure women. u/rubenespanyol
Wrinkles. Every wrinkle is a scar of a thousand smiles. u/chucklesbtoken
I like girls who can be real around me. When they feel comfortable and say whatever dumb shit is on their mind, I feel like I’m actually connecting with someone. Cliche, but I think being yourself and losing the insecurity, in general, is the most attractive thing someone can do. u/jrugz320
Lack of long eyelashes. Literally, no dude ever has cared about eyelashes. u/Frankwhite97
Not a man, but a lesbian, so I think I can provide some input here. Anything genital-related - pubic hair grooming standards, labia size, shape, color, etc. Everyone is a little different, and I, nor any woman I've ever slept with, or any man in any of the guy talk I've been privy to as a lesbian (always a little weird to be a part of), has ever cared about any of it. Whatever you were born with is completely natural and beautiful. And if you want to rock a full bush, or go completely bald, or do a landing strip, or whatever your little heart desires, you do you, and anyone in a position to see it is just going to be glad they're in that position. u/sabrinavt
Being bad at sex. If a guy says you’re bad at sex, he’s a piece of sh*t. Real good sex comes from an emotional connection. It’s not you, it’s them. They suck. u/Master-frosting-201
Not wanting to be a mom. u/Zealousideal-Way3105
Being afraid to make the first move. I can't tell you how fantastically guys would respond if women just dropped this "men have to make the first move" mentality. If they just walked over and said "hey, you're cute and I like your personality, wanna go out sometime?" Men would go nuts. A lot of women, not all, act like this is an insane idea, but tbh it's very refreshing and really attractive quality. u/AustinFest
Reading these comments as a girl for a confidence boost lol. u/spaceykaciii
Their credit card numbers. It's okay girls, you can tell me. u/Reddit