The beauty of imperfection. The commercial, and historical, to be fair, view of beauty revolves around perfection: symmetry, smoothness, balance and in the case of humans, youth. We’re drawn to it, it seems genetic. We swoon at the beauty of Michelangelo’s David, the opening chords of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the perfection of Einstein’s e=mc2 .
“I cling to my imperfection as the very essence of my being.”
Beauty is found in imperfection as well, and I see it more as I grow older. I appreciate the beauty of what the Japanese call wabi-sabi: (via Wikipedia) “a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is ‘imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete'”. It’s the wonderful gray in an old dog’s muzzle, the fading of antique fabrics, the small scuffs in a wedding ring.
The Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius remarked on imperfection as beauty (and edible). He wrote in The Meditations, “When bread is baked, some parts are split at the surface, and these… have a certain fashion contrary to the purpose of the baker’s art, are beautiful… and in a peculiar way excite a desire for eating.“
Check out Lauren Hutton and Georgia O’Keefe for deeply beautiful, deeply lined faces. And this brave woman, sharing the beauty of her after-cancer body. This picture was difficult at first to take in. But the subject, Beth Whaanga, wanted it seen, and calls herself a “breast cancer preventer.”
Here’s a whole Pinterest board encouraging us to “be the beautiful messes that we are.”
And if you enjoy an artist’s point of view, take time for Sally Nixon‘s delightful collection of “what women really look like” when no one’s looking: “Not counting the calories of our food, and with impudence, we choose to make life easier by staying at home and just enjoying a little privacy. For even in our worst moments, even when no one sees us, we still are beautifully imperfect.” – Sally Nixon
“I wear a pair of wings
Full of flaws and imperfections
But they are still beautiful enough to spread them and fly
Feeling so perfectly unflawed …”
― Samiha Totanji
What do you think about beauty and imperfection ? As always, no wrong answers. Stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash, xo
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