Growing up, I thought my nose was too big.  I thought my eyes were too close together and I had (and still have) bucked teeth. I was also self conscious of my stalky legs, my big lips, my big feet and my big chest (something I was teased about as a teen).

While I’ve always known that being smart and capable far outweigh being beautiful, I didn’t like that my appearance had this ‘minimizing’ effect on me. I also didn’t like that I allowed myself to be defined by what others thought of me.
I’ve grown a lot. I’m trying things I’ve never done before, I’m pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and in doing so have tried to stop being ashamed of my ‘flaws’. Perceived, superficial and otherwise. I’ve also started caring less and less about what others think. In fact, a younger me would never feel comfortable with someone seeing me (and my ‘flaws’) this. close. and personal.

It only took me 35 years but embracing my flaws and loving myself are some of the smartest and most empowering things I’ve ever done.

And, for the record, having a husband that tells you you’re a babe every day kinda helps too 😍.

What flaws have you learned to embrace?  (Originally shared on Instagram)

Photography by Denisse Benitez



  1. Candice
    June 2, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    LOve this post so much!! i have the same insecurities about my teeth, I hate them still but have learned to love myself instead of trying to be perfect.

    • torontoshay
      June 3, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      I am still on the fence about getting adult braces, so I feel you on the teeth thing. But I also feel like imperfections add character to a person and at this point in my life (my mid 30s) who am I fooling. There’s pretty much no way that I’m going to get braces. Thanks for sharing with me 🙂

  2. Toshia
    June 3, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    I was so insecure about my nose as well, but now I could care less about what others think. My friend would tell me to say ” keep your opinions to yourself ” if anyone had something negative to say…but Shay you are Beautiful!

    • torontoshay
      June 3, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you!! It has definitely taken some time. Self love is a process! but I’m so happy with who I am and where I am right now and wouldn’t change it for the world.

  3. September 6, 2017 / 10:58 am

    Nose, Teeth, Size…. Many things to mention not enough time. I was so insecure growing up as a young man because I ate a little too much and it sort of showed lol. I have peculiar lateral incisors that are symmetric yet peculiar. While being a little chunky it had showed in the shape of my nostrils, kids would call me piggy. These were the normal effects that happen in grade school but can affect a child deeply. I since grown and tried to be empathetic to others appearances and embrace their individuality. Things have changed for the better and I’m way more comfortable since my 20s. Kudos to you for sharing your insecurities. We should embrace them to move pass them.

    • torontoshay
      September 6, 2017 / 11:07 am

      Thanks so much for sharing Dennis! You couldn’t be more correct.

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