Many women believe that being beautiful means being perfect (or as near to it as humanly possible). They therefore strive for perfection–perfect hair, perfect teeth, a perfect smile, a perfect figure, a perfect manicure–and make every effort to mask their perceived flaws, their “imperfections”. However, I believe that this assumed axiom–perfection equals beauty–is fundamentally wrong.
When considering a hypothesis, it is often useful to look at the extremes, the “edge cases”, to see how the hypothesis reacts when it is pushed to its farthest boundaries. The limits are often where a hypothesis fails, and therefore where it can be most easily proven flawed. Let’s consider the idea perfection = beauty when it is carried to an extreme.
Let’s picture a world where all women are physically perfect. “Perfection”, as defined in the USA in today’s culture (established, of course, by the media and entertainment industry), would likely mean that everyone would have blonde hair, blue eyes, be athletic, 5′ 10″ tall, weigh 130 lbs and have D-cup breasts. So that’s exactly what all women, everywhere, would look like.
Now, let me ask you, in this world that we are imagining, what woman would be beautiful?
The answer, of course, is none. The females in this imaginary world are all the same–none can be differentiated from any other. In this world, no woman would be beautiful. What they would be, from a physical perspective, is monotonous. I submit that at the edge, the perfection = beauty hypothesis fails. Instead, we discover that perfection = uniformity = boredom.
Do you know who would be beautiful, though? A stranger, introduced into this world we picture, who has a “flaw”. Perhaps she would have dark hair, or brown eyes, or a crooked tooth, or a freckle on her cheek. Perhaps her body-type might tend more to 160 lbs than 130, she might be shorter or her breasts might be B-cups, or she might have a bit more softness and a bit less muscle. Perhaps she might have many of these “flaws” rather than just one. It doesn’t matter. Because she would be unique, she would immediately be the most interesting and attractive woman in the world.
It is precisely our imperfections that differentiate us from everyone else in the sea of sameness, that make us stand out, that make us attractive. True beauty, for woman or man, lies in the imperfections.
This is a large part of the reason that I am not, in general, a fan of things like breast enhancements. Cosmetic breast enhancement serves as a way to allow a woman to try to copy what she perceives to be the perfect breast. In other words, it allows her to change the distinctive breasts she has owned from birth to match, as closely as possible, some sort of “perfect” ideal. This is also why I generally prefer the unshaven look to a completely bare pubus–removing all pubic hair also removes the individual variations of pubic triangle that each woman possesses, and replaces them with sameness. For both breast and bush, I suggest that it is usually far wiser to capitalize on the uniqueness that each individual has been given than to try to change to conform to “perfection”.
One of the issues Joy struggles to overcome when we engage in a BDSM adventure is the feeling she sometimes gets that she is on display. She feels that she is part of a “show” that I orchestrate for an audience–in this case, an audience of one…me…but an audience, nonetheless. She is usually naked or semi-clothed, she is bound in a compromising position, and I pay close attention to her every move and reaction. Being on display this way exposes, in her mind, her every flaw. All her imperfections are visible and unmistakeable and on parade, and she becomes very self-conscious.
Sexual excitement can help her overcome this feeling, but even at her most excited, it frequently remains a problem. When Joy reaches orgasm, she worries afterwards about how she looked, and whether she did anything stupid or foolish or ridiculous in the throes of her passion. About the only thing that really eliminates this concern for her is if she feels that I, her “audience”, was so distracted by taking my pleasure in her body that I could not possibly have been “watching” her.
Joy is correct in her belief that I see her imperfections when we are together. Of course I see them, just as she sees mine. What she is wrong about, however, is her belief that I see them as flaws. After these many years of marriage, I know her body, its shape and curves, and I revel in it. The things she believes I see as a shortcomings, I instead regard as endearing and distinctive. They are the small things that, together, add up to define the physical shape of Joy. They are the qualities that make her beautiful. Of course I love them, just as I love her.
Sadly, it is difficult for her to accept this. Sometimes I wish that Joy could see herself through my eyes, the way that I see her…that might truly be the only way for her to understand.