Effortless Perfection

www.photography.nationalgeographic.com
In high school while flipping through fashion magazines I made a comment to my dad about how beautiful this one particular model was... I think it was Nikki Taylor. My dad agreed but said "Always remember that no one is perfect. Everyone has a flaw somewhere you just have to find it".



Afterwards, I wondered, was someone supposed to look for a flaw in each person they met or knew? Or was looking for a flaw in a person only to be used as a defense mechanism when you thought or ever began to believe someone was perfect? Years later, when I looked back, I realized he wanted to make sure that I didn't place anyone on a pedestal. Or place anyone on a pedestal for the wrong reasons a.k.a. superficial materialistic reasons.



In the book 'GuyLand: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men' Michael Kimmel talks about how women today have a pressure to be 'Effortlessly Perfect' and that it's just the beginning.

What did Michael Kimmel mean by that statement? What does it mean to be perfect' I believe to define it one has to look at it as a comparison to the ballerinas who dance in a ballet.



According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary the definition of ballet is 1 a : a theatrical art form using dancing, music, and scenery to convey a story, theme, or atmosphere b : dancing in which conventional poses and steps are combined with light flowing figures (as leaps and turns). Whether you ever attempted, wanted to attempt, or ever did dance ballet, you realize it is hard... extremely difficult is the term I've heard most often when it is described.
If ever you go to see a ballet one of the main reasons would be the escape from reality. The question is, have you ever seen or really would want to see a ballerina look exhausted or as if they are in pain? No.


Ballet is like living life. Everything worth accomplishing is hard. Life is even harder when you seek to accomplish and make it look easy or 'Effortless'. The book The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck starts out 'Life is hard...' and without reading the book or having further evidence provided we all already know that life is hard and why from first hand experiences.

But what about those people who seem to have it all, can do it all, and look like there is nothing out of place or that they aren't even worried? They can almost be compared to a ballerina dancing on a stage balancing, showing the strength of her legs on turns, jumps, and even the simplest act of being able to place all of her weight on her toes without look of pain or effort. But, in reality do they REALLY know something that the rest of us don't? And if so, what is their secret?

'Effortless Perfection' is a term that has recently started being used in everyday language yet, there is no official definition. It is becoming a new adjective but yet it can only be described as those who are able have a perfect and flawless appearence, act with the best manners, have the perfect figure. 

In a nutshell it means someone being successful at their accomplishments and who make living life SEEM easy.

For me, the term 'Effortless Perfection' does not describe a person but what a person can TRY to accomplish or the ability of someone to make others BELIEVE in their manufactured image of the personification of what might be deemed in society as 'Perfect'. 'Effortless Perfection' is not a comparison of one person to another but rather a perception, a mirage, an illusion that one creates for others to believe.



In the movie based on the novel 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden, the main character talks about being a Geisha "She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret."

According to tradition, a Geisha cannot reveal her true feelings. Everything about her appearance is manufactured to perfection. Again, her appearance and who she becomes while she entertains is merely just that... an appearance of a manufactured illusion for enjoyment.

If women have the pressure to be 'Effortlessly Perfect then has the traditional geisha culture not merely died out but rather been shifted so that women today are now to become modern Geisha?

I believe, most people want to believe that there are people who have it all, that there are people who have everything in their life under control, that someone has figured it out, and made all of their success look easy. 

As we respond to those 'Effortlessly Perfect' people we are either disdainful, jealous, or in awe of those who can seemingly accomplish that ideal of perfection. We make excuses or rationalize how everything was able to get accomplished.

Like the woman that wears the avocado mask and curlers in her hair before she walks outside with flawless skin and gorgeous curls, no one thinks about the ugliness, the consequences, the possible drawbacks to achieving that perfection. No one understands the pain and heartache and the level of effort that is made 'behind close doors' because it is precisely that expressed 'behind closed doors.' The question is, does anyone want to think about that?! Or is it too hard for people to admit that 'Perfection' and a step beyond that 'Effortless Perfection' doesn't exist. Is the disappoint that someone is not perfect akin to the disillusionment we had when we realized that Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny doesn't exist and that life, unlike fairy tales, does not have a happy ending.

At the same time the importance of Self Awareness and the acknowledgement of faults in order to grow has become an important element for success. 

How does this idea of being 'Effortlessly Perfect' coincide with the importance of Self Awareness and our personal growth as individuals?

Is being 'Sophisticated' in the early and late 21st Century dependent on being 'Effortless Perfect'? Or is it our recognized flaws from our self awareness that makes a person 'Sophisticated'?



In the end, I believe 'Effortless Perfection' is merely an 'Effortless Perception' since it is our flaws and our inability to be perfect that makes us perfect. It is our flaws, our mistakes, and our failures that make us more beautiful and sophisticated because we are true to our imperfect human nature therefore ourselves. It allows us to become less fake to others, more confident, relaxed, and less afraid of anything in our lives including the ability to be happy. As someone once said "A beautiful thing is not perfect"