(im)perfection

July 30, 2010

I was recently thinking about a beautiful hand-embroidered rug that has a specific pattern throughout except for one corner. This “flaw” is deliberately introduced because nothing made by human hands should be perfect – that should be left to God. Perfectly imperfect and precisely imprecise is the goal and the result is often more beautiful than if it was perfect.

Humans, though different than rugs, are also beautiful due to their imperfections. Sure the top models (and others we hold as the epitome of beauty) have fewer imperfections than most, but part of their beauty is some unusual feature like wider-than-normal eye spacing or unsymmetrical eye shape. So why are we always chasing that unattainable perfection? Why do we always hate something about ourselves that most people don’t even notice? I think the answer has more to do with advertising than any genetic program to attain beauty.

The full assault of advertising is difficult to withstand – most women’s self image and ideas about beauty comes from advertising. Is it possible to measure up to some touched-up and tricked-up image? So we flounder and berate ourselves, wonder if that new product can really reverse time, hold ourselves to unfair standards, and spend lots of money to the beauty industry’s delight. The cure? Embrace some of those imperfections – it’s what makes you so beautiful.

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brand names

July 29, 2010

The so called “understated elegance” of rich people’s fashion was all about the fabric, the cut and the tailor – most outsiders didn’t know a suit was made from fine imported silk or that the designer was none other than that famous Italian. The luxury was the feel of the fabric against your skin or the cut that made the suit fall so elegantly on your body or the quality of the garment. I’m sure some of the luxury also came from knowing that most ordinary people didn’t understand that the clothes you wore were expensive or made by a famous designer or exclusively made for you; ordinary people only knew that they themselves couldn’t find clothes that looked or felt like that.

This is in striking contrast to today’s fashion where the brand name of the designer being emblazoned across clothes becomes the fashion itself. We are moving away from quality and towards Read the rest of this entry »