Yesterday I was sitting at the hairdressers and on the wall next to me was a large advertising poster. It was of a beautiful young woman with gorgeous hair and with her arms up, exposing her underarms. But what extraordinarily perfect underarms! I couldn’t stop looking at them. Not a bump or a lump or a hair follicle in sight and looking as soft and smooth as silk. No-one has underarms like that! They exist courtesy of make-up artists and airbrushing and digital retouching.
This week there is Jane Fonda once again looking perfect in a cosmetic ad on TV. Jane Fonda is 82 for heaven’s sake. All the plastic surgery and cosmetic serums in the world could not result in an octogenarian with a flawless glowing skin and not a wrinkle on her neck.
I want to celebrate imperfection. Real people who fail, pick themselves up and start again. Faces with wrinkles carved in them from laughter and tears. Oven trays that are stained with the cakes and the cookies and the bread I have baked. Leather couches marked by years of my sitting there with my book. Books with spines that have cracked from having been read so often. My cuddly jersey all bobbly from wearing it over so many winter evenings.
Perfect is boring. Perfect is an illusion. We need more imperfection.