The idea that someone can be flawless. Immaculately desirable. Completely impeccable. All of the attributes of a Beyoncé music video, or maybe just Beyoncé. What is it about perfection that makes a woman feel more of her sense of worth? Is it that we’re told having it all results in higher levels of satisfaction?
Is it the way in which we can erase our blemishes on Instagram. Reshape our faces to perfect proportions on Snapchat, or highlight our lives in a reel of only our finest moments in “stories.”
What about flawlessness breathes confidence? Is it in the ways in which you’d never have to pose for a picture to look exquisite? Is it waking up with hair voluminous enough for a Garnier commercial without it being comprised primarily of dry shampoo? Is it knowing that your perfectly lustrous smile captures his attention from all the way across the room?
When I think of perfection, I do think of poise. I think of class, of style, of zen. When I think of perfection in a woman, I do think of a radiant smile, confident posture and her ability to be playful and mysterious all at once. When I think of perfection I do sometimes picture a 5’9 model with glossy hair and perfect, almond eyes which sparkle above her perfect pink lips.
Perfection carries this idea of perfect balance in my mind. The woman who can keep a home and run a fortune 500 without a hair out of place. The girl who’s never too available, but also accessible enough to always have someone hanging on her every word.
Yet when I think of the ‘perfect girls’, I don’t think of the woman I strive to be.
Because perfect girls don’t let their mascara run. They don’t get lazy with their Sunday morning outfits or accidentally spill coffee on their shirts. They don’t cover their blemishes with explicit sarcasm or curse because something’s too funny.
Perfect girls don’t fall apart in the open. They don’t dry their hair watching shows like “Insecure.” Or eat too much ice cream when they already claimed to be full. They don’t get worked up over errors at work, or overly invested in films they’re watching. They don’t stay at dead-end jobs for far too long or chase after men who don’t deserve them. Perfect girls make you feel like they got it right the first time.
And yet somehow all of those faulty moments that make me so much less than perfect hold a special place in my heart.
They were the moments I learned of my strength. The moments my heart shattered only to create room for all the love the future wanted it to receive. They were the moments that brought me to my lowest lows only so I’d learn to appreciate my highest of highs.
Perfect was never for me anyway.
Because Pinterest ready messy buns never look really great on my head. Because sometimes I don’t want my makeup to look impeccable, I just want to feel approachable enough to go to the mall. Because I’ve always had a desire to be smooth and charming, to be the most intimidating person in the room. To be the woman who walks in alone, in her black leather jacket, and never says too much, just to keep everyone guessing. And yet I’ve always managed to be the loudest, most approachable person in any space I’m in.
Maybe the lavishness of perfection is just as incomplete as the unseen 362 photos before the one that was posted. Maybe it isn’t even all it’s cut out to be. Maybe perfection is just the part before we realize Angelina Jolie has to leave the once love of her life. Maybe perfection is the prequel to Beyonce’s album Lemonade, and the realization that even a woman who’s got it all, could be left in the dark.
Either way, I’ve never been great at candid photos or being reserved.
But even so, through all my ulterior imperfections, I’ve come to find solace in my voice even when it’s shaking, patience in my heart even when it’s been torn apart and love for even the things I once thought I’d grow to despise.
Perfect girls may have it all together, but I think I rather enjoyed coming apart with all my flaws.