When you’re constantly being told what to wear, how much makeup to apply and what mold you should fit, the rules of beauty can be complicated. Even if the magazines aren’t telling you how good looking you are, there are so many women who embrace their stretch marks, stomach rolls, acne scars and birthmarks that let you know you can be your own kind of beauty. Simply put: ‘imperfections’ are a thing of the past.
1. Ciera Swaringen
Once teased by a classmate who called her “spotty dog,” Ciera used to be ashamed of the birthmarks that covered her body. But this 20-year-old has grown up to be proud of her birthmarks. You’re nothing without your support system and Ciera relies on her mother.
“I remember when I started school my mom told me that my birthmarks were angel kisses—and that really stuck with me,” Ciera told Mirror.
Ciera also turns to Instagram to motivate herself and others to love themselves!
2. Marissa Lace
She’s sassy, she’s confident and she’s one of YouTube’s favorite beauty gurus with more than 230,000 subscribers. Marissa Lace may enjoy putting on makeup in front of a camera (it’s her job, after all!), but that doesn’t mean she’s afraid to be seen without her favorite foundation. No, in fact, Marissa has been helping girls feel more comfortable with their acne and acne scars in her make-up free videos. Marissa’s channel has a whole playlist of videos that documents her acne and skincare adventures. Subscribe to her for inspiration or to laugh at her vlogs. Your choice!
3. Conner Rensch
Stretch marks can happen for a number of different reasons: losing and gaining weight, puberty, childbirth and muscle gain and loss.
In reality, no matter what size you are, you’re probably going to earn a stretch mark or two in your life. With every mark, incredibly, there is a story. This is true for Conner Rensch who graced People’s “Half Their Size” issue after she lost 150 pounds. Besides the tabloids, Conner has been posting inspiring pictures on her Instagram to document her weight loss and inspire others to do the same.
4. Chantelle Winnie
Ever since she was discovered by a Toronto journalist and asked by Tyra Banks personally to be on “America’s Next Top Model,” Chantelle Winnie has been taking the fashion world by storm. Not only does her bone structure and model bod make her look like she was born for the spotlight, Winnie’s ‘no fear’ confidence level when it comes to her vitiligo has broken many beauty barriers. It hasn’t stopped her from being in the front of the camera, appearing in Vogue Australia or slaying every photo shoot, showing that nothing should hold you back from posing for pics.
5. Shalom Blac
When Shalom Blac was a young girl in Nigeria, she was burned by frying oil in her family’s store, and was left with scars on her face and upper body. As she got older, she turned to makeup to cover up her scars. Rather than using the makeup to hide, she used it to feel more confident in herself.
Shalom told Glamour, “There are no rules to makeup. And as a burn survivor, it gives me a chance to share my passion with others that may be going through similar things—or better yet, inspire someone to love who they see in the mirror."
Take a note from Shalom’s book and use makeup to boost your self-esteem, highlight your natural beauty and express who you are!
6. Andreja Pejic
If you want some Instagram, fashion and life inspiration, Andreja is your girl. Not only is this supermodel constantly decked out in the coolest clothes, she's pals with Caitlyn Jenner and uses her stardom to fight for the transgender community. Click the follow button for this chick—she's definitely someone to look up to.
7. Melanie Gaydos
Melanie is only 27 years old and she's already the talk of the fashion crowd because of her unique looks. She was born with a condition called ectodermal dsyplasia, which hinders the growth of pores, small bones, teeth and cartilage. Instead of adhereing to everyone else's beauty standards, Gaydos refuses to wear a fake set of teeth or a wig. She documents her killer photo sessions on Instagram, so take a look (oh, and swoon over her two cute kittens).
With so many different definitions of beauty throughout the world, in the magazines and on social media, it can be easy to question your own beauty. But no matter what your skin looks like, how your body is shaped or what marks you may have, it all tells a story. Give yourself more credit when you look in the mirror and know that no one else looks exactly like you.