I spend a lot of my day working with fashion and beauty clients, and therefore am immersed in society’s view of perfection on a daily basis. Eyebrows just so, blusher to give a rosy sheen, eyeliner to create a different shape to the eye….. The list goes on. And the things you can buy to achieve your ideal of the right coloured hair, the softest skin and the most kissable lips could turn a millionaire bankrupt.
But what is perfection? I listened to myself yesterday talking about buying a house, and I said “I don’t think I could commit to something unless it was perfect. And perfection doesn’t exist”. Am I right, or have I the sort of personality that finds fault in everything, to keep my ivory tower around me and prevent myself from letting my guard down?
It got me thinking. What is perfection? And, as with beauty, is it in the eye of the beholder?
To me, beauty can be found in the craziest of places. It’s a measure that is as high as the sky or as deep as the hole that Alice fell down, but ultimately, she found herself in Wonderland, right? What I deem to be beautiful could be seen to someone else as entirely plain. I rarely leave the house without makeup, feeling exposed without a dash of liquid liner and a dusting of bronzer, but is beauty on the surface, or does it shine through from your personality – is it the sparkle in your eyes or the light dancing off your skin? My sister, to me, is beautiful. She has the creamiest complexion and the biggest, almond shaped eyes that show the depth of her personality. She sees eyes that need a sweep of mascara and spots. Perfection is, indeed, perception.
So is the crux of it that beauty, or perfection, is happiness? The happier you are on the inside, the more you radiate it on the outside. The more people warm to you and the more you exude a sense of calm, a feeling of balance and equilibrium and the capacity to be able to take things on the chin and ride with the waves when the going gets tough. And so surely the ideal is to work on being happy, taking each day as it comes and surrounding yourself with people who build your foundations and help you stand tall and face the world. It’s about cutting the negativity from your life and realising that you can only change your feelings and actions, and not the way people around you will react. So if society spent more time encouraging impressionable teenagers to love themselves and the rest will follow, rather than discouraging them from being comfortable in their own skin, then we might have a better time of it. I know I was the kid in the corner at school who never really felt like this was the place for her. Fifteen years on and I know who I am, who I strive to be and what I want from life. I surround myself with people who encourage me to be slightly different, a bit quirky, sometimes selfish, often thoughtful, and above everything, human. Who wants to be an identikit airbrushed model who can’t eat food on a weekday anyway?
As Marilyn Monroe once said “I’m selfish. Impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times I am hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, you sure don’t deserve me.”
What do you think?