The Imperfection of Perfection

Or why Heidi Klum is ruining our lives!

By Shantini Suntharajah

Perfection is an illusion.

Heidi Klum is 41 this year and is a mother to four children. She’s razzle-dazzle rich, super successful and has Project Runway-ed herself into the hearts of millions. Oh yes — and she’s supposedly one of the most beautiful people in the world.

Heidi has also strutted down the Victoria’s Secret lingerie catwalk six weeks after having a child. Six weeks!

What’s up with Heidi, anyway?

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum

If you’re a fan, hear me out. The woman is perfect but all she’s doing is setting impossible standards for mere mortals. Standards that are unattainable. How do you bounce back from a pregnant belly and walk down a Victoria’s Secret runway within weeks? Most of us probably can’t walk down a Victoria’s Secret runway unless we die and come back as Heidi Klum!

The problem with people like Heidi is that they make perfection seem possible. With every step she takes, she makes the rest of us feel dumpier, dowdier and a little less divine.

There’s a little voice (for me it’s usually my own voice but with an evil undertone) telling us that if we worked out a little harder, spent a little more on cosmetics, were just a little bit more disciplined, we’d get there too.

But perfection is an illusion.

I can’t speak for Heidi (although I do believe she’s subject to bad hair days and nose zits like the rest of humankind) but not everything is as it seems.

As I’m part of the magazine industry, I’m privy to what the model looks like in the ‘before stage’ and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty! She has gaping pores, zits, straggly hair and stumpy eyelashes just like everyone else. Once they’re done with the makeup, lighting and digital imaging (known as DI among insiders), she looks plastic perfect — not a flaw, not a pore to be seen.

Meanwhile, the thousands upon thousands of real women — beautiful, real women — who flip through the magazine set themselves a standard that is literally impossible to achieve…poreless, flawless, plastic perfection.

In the quest for excellence, we literally lose ourselves.
This affliction isn’t confined to looks either. We spend our lives striving to have faultless spouses, children, homes, pets, colleagues and jobs. You name it, it has to be perfect.

The few who seem to have reached the pinnacle of flawlessness aren’t our best friends either. Like my ‘What’s Up With Heidi’ attitude, we’re all either openly or secretly harbouring some kind of negative feeling toward Perfect Princesses.

My dislike for someone whom I don’t even know made me stop and think. Why do we even want poreless perfection anyway? When we get lost in our zealous focus on faultlessness, we forget that what’s real and imperfect is precious and unique. Factory-line uniformity, on the other hand, is dull, dreary and false. It’s mistakes, mess-ups and flaws that make each one of us so different, so interesting and so uniquely perfect.

So, let’s forget the Heidi Klums of the world and revel in who we are — straggly hair and all. 
After all, celebrities are like the contestants on Project Runway: one day they’re in and the next day, they’re out. So, here’s to casting aside the ones who make us feel less than perfect.

Auf Wiedersehen, Heidi!

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