Monday, May 27, 2013

Manifesto for Imperfection

As hard as I try - admittedly not that hard - I will never be the put-together girl. At any given moment, you can find something I've completely lost track of: eyebrows, manicure, blowout, emergency stapled hem, this blog (ahem).  I've always been a big believer in the whole look, not the microdetails.  Attempts at perfection are completely limiting and paralyzing to me. If I had to be perfect before I left the house...I'd never leave the house.  In the interest of getting to work, getting to dinner, I think it's better to focus on the whole look or for one huge, distracting detail.  An amazing pair of shoes, electric pink lipstick, or a 40s Benin hat, whatever will keep anyone from noticing that I forgot to bring my shampoo to the gym.  Additionally, I'm extremely cheap and loyal. If I discover my favorite strapless column dress has a hole minutes before I'm leaving for a gala, I just create some interesting draping with four safety pins and think about how much more dramatic and flattering it looks this way (less sucking in). While I spend a good portion of my day styling dream outfits and makeup looks in my head, I truly believe that fashion should not be so difficult or frightening.  

Looking perfect is actually quite easy: book your next maintenance appointment at your current appointment. Never lapse with your pedicure, highlighting, waxing, Dry Bar appointments.  Buy full outfits, including accessories, from a single store (whatever suits your personality and wallet).  Just buy what's on the mannequin or in the ad.  Find a neutral palette that suits your coloring and makes you feel pretty and never deviate from that makeup.  There is almost no thinking required, only planning.  For me, though, this sounds like pure hell. As a result, I find myself making things imperfect on purpose.  I would never want you to know what I'm wearing, where or when I purchased it, or even to guess what lipstick shade I'll be wearing when I see you next.  Of course this means I occasionally look like an insane bag lady or perhaps am wearing something I cant quite pull off, but tomorrow is another day. I dont require that you find me pretty, I just require that you never find me boring.  

I feel that if you're waiting until your weight reaches ideal or your skin is perfectly clear or your hair is perfectly straight to change your look, a new lipstick, a new style of dress, a bikini, then what are you telegraphing about yourself in the meantime? A girl with a belly cannot be fashionable? Imperfect skin means you should downplay your face? Nora Ephron once said, “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're thirty-four.” The same can be said for anything you overstress about - looking back at old pictures, things are never as bad as you are currently imagining.  Maybe you're thinking about a certain look that you'd like to erase all photographic evidence of, though, perhaps all of seventh grade?  That's part of my plan too - I never want to look the same way two days in a row. I'm not asking you to risk that fedora for all of Spring, but how about Sunday brunch?  If it doesnt feel right, maybe try it again in a few weeks with a completely different style.  I just want to give you permission to not be perfect, to not be pretty, to not play it safe every once in a while. I'll let you work up to daily.

I feel like a failure if I let too many days go by without feeling a little uncomfortable. Meaning, I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to feel pretty, to feel fashionable. It's ok to worry that your eye makeup is a little much, because you never know what you might discover about yourself or how others might perceive you with a dramatic cat eye and teal eyeshadow. I'm certain it wont include the word "boring".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad that you are writing again! I think this was a good first post - I appreciate the topic (I do tend to get stuck in a rut....) and just the fact that you are weighing in again.

Keep it up!
-- tc