Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
– MARILYN MONROE –
According to the dictionary, the word “perfection” has the following definitions: the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. A person or thing perceived as the embodiment of perfection. The action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible.
Oh, Fuck That!
During my career as a designer for the “big brands”, among my duties was to select models for fashion shows and look books. On the casting day, hundreds of young girls and boys would line up at our office door, presenting themselves in the hope to be selected for the runway. The process was pretty much the same all the time: one by one the models would walk in, get undressed, have their measurements taken, try some samples from the collection on and walk back and forth in the room so we could evaluate their posture and presence. In my eyes, each one of them was unique and beautiful but of course, I had to choose the models that would match the creative director’s vision as much as possible.
One day I was in the room with the head designer and this beautiful girl walks in. She was 17, I thought she was gorgeous and very Unique. She had a tall and skinny body, long red hair, blue eyes and some lovely freckles on her cheeks. When she smiled she looked pure and innocent, yet mysterious. I thought she was perfect. I was about to put her name on the list when the head designer stopped me and without caring about the girl’s presence said out loud “No, she’s not good, she’s too fat”. I froze. Of course she was far away from being fat, actually, the opposite was true. The girl was standing there right before us and I could clearly see that she was on the edge of tears. When I walked her out she couldn’t keep them anymore and started crying. I took her on the side and before she’d leave I told her “Don’t believe what he said. It’s not true. You are incredibly beautiful and your body is beautiful. In this world, you’ll often find people that will project on you their own frustrations only because they feel they have the power to do so. Don’t give them that power. They’re not worth it ”. I hugged her, she thanked me and walked away.
A couple of years later I met her again in the backstage of a show. She was all bones and she had lost all the sparkle that I had seen in her eyes the first time I saw her. She looked sad and angry. We connected for a moment and she confessed me “I hate this world. I hate myself. I can’t take it anymore”. So I said “Then stop giving to it so much power. True beauty is not out there, it’s within you. that’s where you have to find it” She stared at me thoughtfully and her body language was telling me that something had clicked in her mind. I’ve never seen her again after that show, nor know what path she decided to take but that episode really affected me and triggered the desire to be different.
Sadly the media have hypnotized us with ideas of perfection and if you choose to engage in this idea it will literally drive you crazy. Perfectionists never feel complete or satisfied because everything they do is never enough, there’s always something better out there. They constantly compare themselves to other people, they are obsessed by the judgment, criticism or blame of others. They take personally almost anything you tell them. They’re obsessed with their features they spend incredible amounts of time money trying to improve or change them. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), in the US only over $13.5 billions were spent in 2015 in plastic surgery and the number keeps growing.
Salvador Dalì once said “Have no fear or perfection, you’ll never reach it” and I agree with that. Sitting for hours trying to perfect things will only lead to frustration. Perfectionism is all about external validation and my question is: who has any right to decide what is perfect and what is not? Society? The media? Other people?
A formula for perfection doesn’t exist, it’s a made up story and if it did exist, the world would be so annoying and stereotyped that we wouldn’t be interested in anything anymore. We would just be all the same like billions of robots. I say, let’s celebrate our imperfections instead of hiding them. The real perfection is imperfection. I know it might sound like a contradiction but it’s not. Imperfections are attractive and interesting because they are human, they have character and they are real. They give you something special and unique that differentiate you from the rest of the world.
We don’t remember human beings because of their perfection, we remember them because they have stories that inspire us and when people have a beautiful story to share, their presence and energy is so magnetic that we are attracted to them and we consider them beautiful. Humanity is made of endless shades of unique features, all imperfectly perfect.
I love to be imperfect and I choose the imperfect people: the rebels, the crazy ones, the outsiders, the weirdos, the ones who dare to be different because they know that their difference is what makes them special and because thinking different can change the world.
‘Til the next one!