None of us is perfect. Or are we all?
I work in fashion and my job does include meeting a lot of models. I remember the last shoot I was at: this tall, gorgeous girl was the first one to arrive at the studio. She smiled to say “hello” and I had an immediate crush. Not only was she stunning, but she also had such a beautiful smile. Though the most attractive feature she had were those tiny wrinkles around her smile, a little detail making all the difference.
You know what I found out later on?
Those tiny wrinkles are what she hates about herself the most.
I told this story to my friend and as we were chatting I said that what I liked about her looks the most was her hair. She’s got really beautiful hair: dark, curly, voluminous. Her reaction went something like this: “MY HAIR?!?!?! Are you insane?! But they are horrible! Your hair is the most beautiful thing in the world!”
Maybe, I get that comment every now and then. It doesn’t change anything though. I can spend hours fantasising about my dream hair or researching the perfect cuts on Pinterest and the only type of hair I will not be dreaming of is actually the type that I’ve got right now: straight and blond.
As a woman, as a media consumer, as a key target of multi-billion worth beauty and fashion industries I am forced to fight a gazillion of insecurities every day. Normally, I like to think of myself as a “liker”: more or less, I like everything.
But here’s the catch: I like things as long as they have very little to do with me. In that case, I hate everything: I cannot look at my thighs and I cannot look at any of the work that I have done. That’s just to begin with! After all this is not a diary, nor you are my best friends on a Friday night in, the perfect time to dig deep and dirty into everything that’s wrong about us.
I know where is nothing wrong with me, yet I can’t help it, continuously peeling one layer of imperfections after another. I want to have everything that others have and while observing, step by step, I start to label everything in my world as imperfections. “Oh if only this would be a little shorter/longer/more symmetrical/darker/curlier/better written/more though-out…”, I keep quietly beating myself. But if a Jeanie would roll out from her bottle and suddenly work her magic around all my imperfections, I bet I wouldn’t have a problem finding even more work for her.
I am wondering if we can ever be happy? Setting ourselves standards of perfection that are impossible to achieve? Living in a society where everyone is in a constant search of perfection, yet it still feels rude and indecent to tell someone that… actually, you’re pretty happy with things just the way they are. So when a colleague shared with me her new philosophy about focusing on being “good enough” rather than being “perfect”, I found it so refreshing.
After all, wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same? I like to think that it’s the quirky little details that make each of us special. It’s also our self-imposed “imperfections” that make us unique and beautiful.
It’s a funny thing: the world has never been so liberal and yet our personal beauty standards have never been so conservative. We find it rather easy to accept other people just as they are, but accepting ourselves is a learning process. And it’s a pretty slow one.
Going back to where we started, do you remember that model from the beginning of my story? On that same day the story repeated itself eleven more times. The result is below. Do you also think there is something wrong with them?