That which makes you different makes you special. — Pharrell Williams
We live in a world where conformity rules and our uniqueness is diluted until we fit into the box of "normal." The problem is that normal is boring and ultimately unfulfilling. It actually takes a lot of energy to suppress the things that make us different in the pursuit of normal.
In his book We Are All Weird Seth Godin says, "The one-size-fits-all factory-oriented world is disappearing so fast, we can feel it…You can fight to protect the status quo (and lose) or engage in the most important revolution of our time."
Body image and self-esteem are built on embracing our glorious unique qualities. It takes courage to do this. There are organizations whose mission is to challenge the norms of fat talk, body bashing, pursuit of thinness and all of the other ways we are pressured to conform our appearance.
Art is a fountain jetting from the entire hopes, memories and sensations of the body.
— William Butler Yeates
Expression of self in any form of creativity is our art. This need not be art in the traditional mediums of drawing, painting, sculpting, music and such. Rather, it may be through our appearance, the way we interact with others, how we spend our free time, our career choice, or hobbies. Our art can be integrated into any area of our lives. Art is only interesting when it is unique and authentic. Generic art evokes no emotion and only serves to blend in.
I challenge you to contemplate the thing that you are most self-conscious about. The thing that you have spent the most energy trying to ignore, hide or change and instead embrace it. Flaunt it. Wear it as your own special badge of honor, the thing that makes you you. This will be uncomfortable (even scary) at first. After all, you've been trained your whole life to conform rather than to let yourself stand out. This authentic expression of self will ultimately create a state of congruence that will allow for the cultivation of inner peace.