New-Found Imperfection

Sometimes growth goes unnoticed. You aren’t aware of it unless you get a trigger to think about your blooms and strides. My trigger was a quote by Alan Cohen that I heard on a podcast, “Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information, but of unlearning old limits.”

Perfection was the limiting factor in my story of growth. The constant ‘want’; to make every essay, every assignment, every dance, every melody, every meeting, every recipe, every meal, every event, and every day; absolutely perfect is exhausting. The journey from ‘wanting to be a perfectionist’ to ‘glad to be an imperfectionist’ was a tedious one. However, I picked up an interesting lesson along the way.

Perfection is complicated. It paints such a glamorous picture in front of us, that its brightness blinds us. While imperfection is kicked out of the room because it’s no longer considered ‘desirable.’ But, who decides what’s desirable? There is no supernatural power taking these calls for us. It’s the people. It’s us, being quite preposterous, in my opinion.

Dualism tells us that contrary elements are interconnected. Perfection cannot exist without imperfection and vice-a-versa. Many claim that a dimple on a face is a very beautiful feature. Some cultures also believe it’s a good luck charm. But we all know the truth. A dimple, widely known to indicate a perfect smile, arises from an imperfection; that is, a change in regular facial muscles. Apply similar logic in the case of lush green trees with a few dried leaves, water-filled puddles on the road you used to float paper boats, cool ripped jeans. Even ancient artwork advocates for imperfection and asymmetry within perfection. Paintings like Klimt’s portray the asymmetry between life and death.

The point is, by being addicted to the idea of perfection, we unknowingly build stubborn walls around ourselves…Walls that keep imperfection at bay…Walls that indirectly keep reality and creativity at bay. Perfection is awesome; but it’s not complete, it’s not real. Break down the walls, let the imperfection ooze in! Creativity tags along with it. Using our imagination, mixed with the potion of perfection and imperfection, and one may be capable of creating innovative stuff. The beauty is in the beholder’s eye. An eye that sees and believes that imperfection is a natural feature, and not a fault.

But here’s the good news: opinions are changing, they are evolving. You must have noticed several content creators on social media promoting imperfection, natural body shapes and sizes, stretch marks and scars fearlessly. Imperfection is starting to become what people not only accept, but also embrace. Imperfection might be the new ideal, the new perfection.

Pranoti Abhyankar
(Batch 2023)