When Did “Perfect” Become Desirable?

By | September 13, 2012

ValentinaHere’s a thing that’s been bugging me.

There are a number of products on the market for women that are starting to grind my gears. They even have an acronym. BB – blemish balm.

The BBs are the manifestation of much that is wrong with the perception of beauty in media and society because they make desirable something that is not natural – a “perfect” and totally flat complexion.

Creating the impression that it’s normal to have a certain size of breast, hips, lips or waist is bad enough because it suggests and encourages the notion that body shape is universal across the 3 billion females on the planet. How many women’s have the same chiselled nose that owes most of its unusual shape to a cosmetic surgeon’s chisel rather than genetics? But at least that sort of corrosive and erroneous stereotyping allows a little wiggle room for each individual.

I think the thing that gets to me about blemish balms and similar products is that they have enabled an apparently increasing number of women to create a look like the airbrushed monstrousness created for the covers of beauty magazines and the posters on cosmetic counters.

It makes me so sad to see young women, pretty young women with skin that is flat, monochrome and so featureless they may as well be wearing Kabuki makeup – the effect is that unnatural. The colour of their skin is that of the preparations which they choose to layer on it; The subtle, natural variations in skin texture and colour submerged beneath a layer of these hideous preparations in the same way that their beautiful and singular individuality is subsumed into the mass acceptance of an unreal and fundamentally unattainable goal of “flawless” skin.

It’s difficult perhaps for anyone reading this and knowing how much time I spend in the company of people from the adult industry to accept I think like this but I do.

The end product of any entertainment business, and by entertainment I mean everything from TV and magazines to porn sites and movies, is a product. We create a look and feel that is appealing and very often an escape from reality.  I’ve see everything in the industry from the bleary eyed performers dragging themselves into makeup in the morning to the finished DVD as it hits my mat and I can tell you that a lot of tweaking goes on.

However for all its flaws the adult industry does produce variety, in this country at least. While off-shore producers may churn out the same scene week after week, simply adding newer and younger female performers to titillate an audience hungry for something different, the UK industry tries to exercise a little creativity.

And having seen it very close up and very personal I have to say that porn stars have stretch marks, and cellulite, and imperfect skin, and the occasional day when they look like shit. Now while I accept that you don’t want to see that on-screen it’s the truth. It’s the truth because they are just like the rest of us, imperfect, flawed and what’s the word … that’s it – human!

Human beings are infinitely diverse and beautiful because of it. The sooner we all accept that and realise that our variety (and blemishes) is what makes us so exquisite the better we will all feel.