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Being perfectly imperfect

Publication Date : 16-04-2012


Why being a perfectionist may not be so perfect after all.

Ask any young person to name one thing they don’t like about their looks, and they’ll probably respond without having to think about it for even a nanosecond.

"You see this bump on my nose?” a gorgeous creature might say, pointing to an imperfection the size of a mosquito bite on an otherwise flawless face. “This has been the bane of my life ever since I discovered a mirror. I blame my mother, of course. I think she must have dropped me on my face when I was a baby.”

"You see my height?” a vertically challenged youth might complain, as he indicates his short stature. “People trip over me all the time. They just don’t see me. Girls don’t see me. They’re too busy chasing after the tall guys.”

"You see these breasts?” a slender young woman might say, without actually showing them to you. “They’re the size of mosquito bites inside my padded bra. How can any man possibly find me attractive when I look as if I have two fried eggs stuck to my chest? I blame my great-grandmother, of course. She was a vegetarian.”

Sound familiar? If you’re one of those people who complain about their so-called physical imperfections, I have only one thing to say: You’ve just got to learn to suck it up. Put your best profile forward, be glad you have any breasts at all, and tell yourself that small is also beautiful.

Years from now, when you’ve departed the body you don’t love too much, no one will remember the size of your feet, or the mole on your cheek, or your lumpy thighs. They’ll remember your kindness, your generosity, your happy spirit...Of course, if you were thoroughly miserable about the way you looked, and let everyone know about it, ad nauseam, you might be referred to as that complaining fart with the big ears.

If I could go back in time and speak to the younger me, I would tell her not to be overly concerned with the size of her hips, or her small Barney Rubble feet, or the stubborn set of her jaw line. I would tell her that people don’t usually notice these things, and if someone does judge her harshly because of her physical being, she wouldn’t want them as a friend anyway.

Of course, I know a lot of people won’t be happy with my advice to just suck it up.

"You don’t have to live with my nose every day,” someone might say. "I’ve been teased about it at school. Even complete strangers stare at me on the bus. I’m thinking of getting a nose job.”

It’s alarming the number of young people who are getting cosmetic surgery these days. And once they get on that slippery slope of perfection, there’s no stopping some of them.

At 15, they pin back their ears; at 18, they straighten their nose; at 20, they have a bit of liposuction and stuff the extracted fat into their lips, at 22 they remove their brain and stuff it into their fat-free derrière…there really is no end to it.

Things will get worse with the onset of wrinkles and sagging flesh. Before you hit 60, you will start developing jowls, more creases than a linen suit that’s been slept in, a derrière that begins sliding down the back of your thighs, and a turkey neck. Or at least, so I’ve been told.

So what will the obsessive perfectionists do then, poor things? Suck every last bit of unwanted fat out? Have a body lift? Inject themselves with pulverised goat testicles?

Time factor

I have good news for you. When your body starts going to the dogs, so does your eyesight. These days, when I look at myself in the mirror, I look as young as I did 10 years ago, because I can’t see the wrinkles on my face. So I’ve convinced myself that I look gorgeous.

However, when I’m at my computer, and I have my glasses on, I can’t help but notice what must be the onset of “old lady hands”. Before I know what’s happening, the skin on the back of my hands will become thin and crepe-like and the veins will start looking more prominent.

I guess I could opt for a hand job. And by a hand job, I mean get a hand lift or pump my paws full of fat sucked out of my derrière. But really, what’s the point?

Instead, I will just turn a half-blind eye to it, and continue pretending that I look gorgeous.


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