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It Doesn't Have to be Perfect

Updated on July 21, 2011

Under the knife

Life is not about perfection. It's not about being better than your neighbor or having smarter kids or being the only one on the block with the perfectly manicured landscape. Life, in all it's unpredictable glory, is about finding perfection in all our glorious imperfections.

Women all over this country pay billions of dollars for the 'perfect' body. They undergo horrendous surgeries and suffer excruciating pain recovering, all in the name of perfection. If only my breasts looked like Angelina's. If only my nose were as perky as Jennifer's. If only my skin were just a little tighter. If only....

An epidemic?

The epidemic of this insanity can be seen on faces like Joan Rivers and Priscilla Presley or the late Michael Jackson, to name just a few. They look like something out of a horror film. Their faces are so distorted from nips and tucks and Botox and god-knows-what, that even when they try to smile, they're completely unable. It's the stuff nightmares are made of. Terrifying.

I have known women who do this. One such woman once had liposuction, cheek implants, lip plumping and a face lift all in one surgery. The day after her surgery, I took the second shift, staying with her for the ensuing 24 hours and watching as she tried to outlast the pain. It was painful to watch. All the while, the only thing I could think was, 'my God! All this to look like Cameron Diaz?' What is wrong with this picture? Prior to her surgery, she'd hesitated telling me she was going in. She'd already had implants done that were, in my opinion, way too big for her lean body. They looked like cantaloupes. They didn't move when she did. It was just plain weird. So, when she finally did tell me about this impending 'next' surgery, it was only because she was going to need some support in the aftermath, and I was fit for the job. I didn't try to talk her out of it. I did, however, offer one little piece of my heartfelt concern. I told her that I thought she was perfect just the way she was and that no amount of surgery was going to make her feel any better unless she let go of her self-loathing and began to see her beauty from inside. She ignored my offerings. I did what any friend would do....I was there to help after the fact.

Perfect imperfections

Now, several years later, she's still in that dreadful place she was in before her surgeries. She strives for outer perfection and ignores the beautiful spirit that is who she really is. She hates her body, her face, her life. And, because she is so full of self-hatred, she often takes it out on those who love her most. It's a very sad situation. She's searching for perfection that's right in front of her (or rather, right INSIDE her). So, how do we reverse this twisted pursuit of perfection? How do we teach our children to love themselves, just as they are? How do we stop the madness?

I think we all need to take a hike in the mountains or a stroll through a desert in bloom. Go sit on the jetty and watch the waves roll in. You want perfection, that's where you'll find it. WE are not perfect, nor will we ever be. But that's not something we ought to be fretting over. The great perfection of Life is that it is utterly and intrinsically imperfect. And that, my friend, is just as it should be.


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    • profile image

      Carole 6 years ago

      Thoughts are things aren't they?! This piece was heartfelt and I could feel it. Thanks for writing our beauty out. Such thoughts keep our world pregnant with possibility.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Yep, perfectionists often spend too much time on trying to get things perfect. I appreciate your hub was more about the human imperfections rather than perfectionists, but both need to be better grounded.

    • danfresnourban profile image

      danfresnourban 6 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great hub, we all need to remind ourselves of this from time to time. Thanks for sharing this sentiment.