I am going to tell you a secret that you don’t know yet, but that will reveal itself in time: You Are Perfect. Even though you haven’t learned this yet, my word is golden, and my promise is doubly eternal. Here, I’ll say it again, just to be clear: You Are Perfect.
I know you don’t know this yet because I know what you see when you look in the mirror. I know the imperfections you create and they don’t matter; they’re vampires in your bloody massacre, and the mirror doesn’t see them at all. The mirror sees a supple flesh clinging to bones, each of you unique (one has a bit more around the knees; this one is covered in a translucent, gossamer skin; that one has three more folds at the elbow), the puckering behind your thighs and the downy smattering of hair on your upper lip like a pattern on butterfly wings, entirely yours.
The mirror sees that your cuticles peel back easily, that your tummy is bloated and your bottom undulates when you walk. The mirror sees the ingrown hairs around your groin, the weird mole on your neck just below your ear, your snaggle teeth. The mirror sees that your clavicles jut out obtusely, that your split ends are dividing dangerously up their shafts, that one eye is slightly lazier than the other. The mirror sees how very perfect you are.
You Are Perfect, and it will take time for you to see. Your skin, if you’re reading this, is probably young, maybe blemished, maybe black or brown or tan or olive or peach or powder white or maybe it’s blue or green or pink. It might be freckled or scarred, and maybe the laugh lines around your mouth are beginning to deepen. Maybe you can even see crows’ feet, beginning to reach out from the corners of your eyes and grope for your hairline; one day they’ll meet in a passionate embrace to tell magical stories of whatever life you’ve lived.
Maybe you don’t eat properly all the time (damn that drunken 3 a.m. McDonald’s binge. Come to think of it, damn the drunken!), and you could probably do with a little more exercise, but that’s just to make the insides prettier — your outsides are already perfect. Sure, maybe you could do some maintenance, have your hair cut more often or do that silly facemask that goes so hard you can’t smile, but none of it would make a difference because you’re already perfect.
The key to the secret is this: Nothing And Nobody Is Ugly. And if one is, then we all are. We are the Musketeers. We stand together in perfection. If one turns against the rest to deem that outfit hideous, or that hairstyle naff, or that gorgeous body fat, then we all become hideous and naff and fat. And not one hideous, naff, fat thing about us will have changed; we will own the hideous and the naff and the fat, because our hideous, naff, fat bits: They Are Perfect too.