What’s So Perfect About Perfection?

Several years ago, I met a man. A perfect man. A gorgeous, tall, smart, funny, world class kisser of a man. He’s perfect. Except for a big hole in his heart that keeps him from falling in love. And for me, that’s a deal breaker. Perfection isn’t as perfect as it looks.

Last night, a single male friend posted on Facebook, asking how he should respond to (reject) women who aren’t his preferred body type, who approach him on a dating website. The majority of responses from his friends, including me, suggested he just say, “I don’t think we’re a match.” Fair enough; they’ll get the message without him calling them fat. I also suggested that if a woman has other qualities he likes, maybe he should give her a chance and perhaps expand his idea of the perfect woman.

I said that because when I met Mr. Perfect, I wasn’t his preferred body type either. I had told him that before we met, and a level of disappointment registered on his face when he saw me. But because he really is kind of perfect, he gave me a chance. Eight hours later, he said, “I think I’ve changed my mind about what matters most about a woman.” See? Perfect.

As a society, we revere physical beauty above almost everything else. A woman can be mean as a honey badger, but if she’s thin, busty, and pretty, her bad attitude doesn’t matter. A handsome man is more likely to be promoted in business, and will have women swooning over him. So what if he’s stupid or abusive. Look at his handsome face.

A sometime friend took a shot at me, and said, “So you think you’ll be perfect once you lose weight?” Uh, no. That never crossed my mind. I’m not perfect, except for that pesky fat ass, now, so why would I think losing weight will make me perfect? I’ll still be snarky, intolerant of stupidity, and in danger of taking myself more seriously than I should. I’ll just be doing it in a smaller body. People will still call me a bitch. I’ll also still have my good qualities, and the people who genuinely love me now will still love the new, smaller me.

We all have likes and dislikes. There’s no shame in that. But so-called physical perfection is fleeting, and the idea that only the physically perfect are worthy of our attention is foolish. That person who is perfect in every other way may be your perfect match if given a chance. We all have faults; we’re human. We can’t be perfect, but we can be the best person we can be today. That’s good enough for me.

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2 thoughts on “What’s So Perfect About Perfection?

  1. Leigh Ann says:

    In my experience, physical “perfection” is to inner beauty as heat is to cold. An extreme in the former wards off any semblance of the latter—especially when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. 😉 A bit unfairly extreme on my part? Perhaps. But it just gets my goat that we’re taught to swoon and drool over physically “perfect” people so much that they don’t even have to be good people—or even have any other redeeming qualities—to get that worship. And the reverse is true. It’s too often acceptable to mock and revile the least physically perfect among us. All the while, these ideas of perfection are just cultural anyway. Good post.

  2. Marian Thier says:

    Much of the plastic surgery industry exists because of what you write about perfection–thanks

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