(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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