The Oppression of Perfection

Our society celebrates perfection in all things. It does not look kindly on difference and unconformity. That body is too fat, that breast too small: people begin to hate their bodies which are, after all, only functioning to serve us the best they can. Yet some people compulsively punish their very beings into submission in an attempt to conform to some idealised version of a human. As a 21st century consumer, we are in a siege situation: surrounded by shiny things, packaged things, glossy promises. Everywhere we turn we are being sold an image that is removed from our reality.

Does elusive perfection enrich our souls? Or does it only make us hungry for the next thing? What is more interesting: a rose in full scent and bloom in high summer, or a rose bud at the wrong time of year, blackened by frost that will never properly flower. To me, the latter without a doubt.

Take babies. The truth of the matter is that many babies are scary-looking, wizened things that look at you like they know the secrets of the universe. It’s that last part that especially freaks me out. Many appear squashed, crumpled and are in fact *whispers* strange. Yet they are still perfect, even if they are not, because they are.

Just as babies forget all they know when they are born, we quickly forget that perfection is to be found in simply being. We are humans being in an imperfect, sometimes ugly, and fairly unsatisfactory state.

The perfection we seek is simply to be found in our own existence, but we get utterly distracted seeking to cloak our lives in borrowed trappings.

What an incredible waste of time.

Here endeth the sermon…

Posted on November 21, 2010, in Consumerism, Photography, Words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder…we just need to stop making comparisons with the idealised, glossy media world that is after all false and designed to make us inedequate so ‘they’ can make money from us!

  2. So is it alright to say to someone you’re fat but I fancy you? You look terrible this morning but I don’t care? This is an incredibly thought provoking post. I won’t be able to sleep tonight.

    • I think it’s probably ok to think it. If your partner’s self-image is fragile you might want to be sensitive…

      No-one is perfect after all, so why would we demand it of others…

  3. Hear hear. Thought the same thing when I was reading House & Garden and feeling aesthetically inadequate. Full of stories about their shiny Christmases, drinking champagne, opening stockings in bed en famille. What a lot of arse. Xmas morning I still look like a washed-out old dishrag in a manky dressing gown with a morning full of bad temper

  4. We are all sucked in at one time or another innit.

    I should relate the christmas tree flying off the back of the beemer incident as an an antidote to such nonsense!

  5. That would be a quality post. I once shot three sheets of MDF into Park Lane off the top of a VW Passat.

  6. *an an antidote* I think I was on the slide by that point…

    I can’t believe I haven’t written the christmas tree post. It was classic Beryl.

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