â€¦ much a part of the globalising, accelerating, glossy-media-saturated world we live in. We are bombarded with imagesÂ of impossibly flawless faces, bodies, homes, foodâ€¦
CelebrityÂ aside, my Facebook stream is incessantly flooded by perfectly smiling friends, going on perfectly exotic holidays, picking up keys for perfectly designed apartments, holdingÂ perfectly adorable babiesÂ and making perfectly crafted comments.
What does this perpetuation of perfection do?
ItÂ can beÂ paralysing. Obsessing over details, one canÂ indefinitely postponeÂ possible failure by refining ideas in increasingly meaningless increments. It is better to never have failed, than to look like a try-hard. And with so muchÂ perfection shining at us from every possible crevice, it’s impossibleÂ not to feel comparatively try-hardish.
In an ageÂ where theÂ Facebook profileÂ has become a simulacrum of success, it’s hard toÂ invest ones-self inÂ anything that might not be perfectly successful. When confidence matters as much as competence, being uncommitted, uninvested, paralysed can be a self-perpetuating spiral.
But how can one be confident amongst the plethora of perfection? No-one will ever live up to their online profile, but that doesn’t stop me fromÂ feeling any less perfect back in the un-AdobÃ©’d world. Perfect is a moving target: or as Anna Karenina put itÂ â€œIf you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.â€ Perhaps there is no such thing as perfect. It’s an idealÂ hanging just over the next horizon.Â
And when one is constantly focussed on the horizons it’s easy to miss the little things happening here and now. Being able to hop, skip and jump, the sunburnÂ on your lover’s neck, bicycles,Â unexpected tulips, doing handstands on the beach,Â eating anÂ entire packet of timtams and feeling sick for hours. The imperfections in life are what makes it perfect.
According to Marilyn Monroe anyway, ‘Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.’ Perhaps ridiculously, mad imperfectionÂ is where uselessÂ inhibitions can be ditchedÂ and life can be lived at the horizons. WhereÂ we can take wholehearted satisfactionÂ in the accomplishmentsÂ of others. Because I would rather be brilliant than perfect.
Or from the lips of Queen B: