Beauty in imperfection

“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection” said Conrad Hall and this concept is explored in this post.

Seeing beauty in the imperfection of all things is natural. Flowers are never really perfect, but they are still gorgeous and up lifting to ones spirits. Animals, plants and people are all imperfect in some way, yet still beautiful. However, in terms of people this idea goes against what the media industry defines as ‘beauty’. By that I mean photoshopped models, whose pore-less skin and tweaked figures are put forward as today’s ideal beauty. While women have always in some way tried to improve their alignment with social norms of beauty, from bodices to bound feet, the pervasiveness of media today highlights this obsession with unreal perfection. The following is a refreshing look at the notion of beauty:

As a woman, I have tried to live up to this ridiculous image and it doesn’t work because no matter how hard we try, beauty has nothing to do with perfection or even looking a certain way.  In fact, the true definition of beauty is an experience often involving an interpretation being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Beauty, in this case has nothing to do with perfection.

The truth is, we are all flawed. Our imperfections are what make us human.  Some may interpret my life and think I have it easy because of the way I look or the life I’ve created for myself. On the outside it may appear to be “ideal.”  But on the inside I am no different from any one else and the struggles and challenges we all feel to be seen and heard.

It’s taken me a long time to know and believe that beauty often lies in the broken places that we don’t want the world to see. It’s in those moments of raw vulnerability.  I had a friend tell me, that during a time that I was breaking down about some doubts and fears I was having around my value as a yoga teacher she thought I was more beautiful than ever. via: The Beauty of Imperfection. | elephant journal

There has been something of a backlash against over the top and unrealistic photoshopping, with some catalogs and magazines using real people, imperfections and all. The Japanese have traditionally had a very deep appreciation of the beauty of imperfection. While not a direct translation, they have a term for it. The term and concept are discussed in the excerpt below.
Whether or not you are familiar with Wabi-Sabi, it is a difficult concept to fully understand. Ingrained in Japanese design and influenced by Buddhism, the viewpoint is simply defined as the beauty of imperfect, impermanent and incomplete things, which many of us associate with the cliché “perfect imperfection.” To some degree, this paradoxical assumption is correct as the loose translation of the word “Wabi” refers to the type of beauty underpinned by imperfection, while “Sabi” refers to the beauty of the inevitable aging process. Upon delving deeper into the subject area it is clear that its significance is greater than superficial factors as it is underpinned by spiritual meaning. Using the perception of sight, sound and smell, Wabi-Sabi encourages people to appreciate the surrounding environment by stripping down and experiencing everything in its basic form. This perspective enables people to find interest for simple objects and in turn, lead a more fulfilling life. via: Kyoto: Discovering the Beauty in Imperfection – Wabi-Sabi – Hypebeast
It might be noted that the beauty of women is not the focus of Wabi-Sabi, as youth chasing beauty fads are as rampant in Japan as elsewhere, if not more so.