We’ve heard it all before; the endless praises of celebrities wearing “flawless” dresses on their “flawless” bodies while giving “flawless” speeches. It’s obvious we’ve accepted the fact that people like Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson or Megan Fox will always be described as “flawless”.
With white girl feminists, like Lena Dunham, and Caitlin Moran rising into the mainstream, we’re beginning to see change in the trends of people who are considered “perfect” in the eyes of society, or at least in Hollywood. We’ve seen Adam Hills defend Adele against Joan Rivers’ horrible comments on her weight, and Jennifer Lawrence praised for her awkward moments on the red carpet. As Alexandra Petri writes in her article, Imperfectionism—why the cult of Jennifer Lawrence matters:
“Jennifer Lawrence is the rightful hero of the whole new I’m-Not-A-Real-Person-What-Am-I-Doing-Who-Are-These-People movement. She makes faces. She faceplants. She talks about her bodily functions. We feel that we could get along with her.”
This is definitely a step in the right direction because we’re finally getting images of people, in the public eye, which aren’t completely unrealistic to live up to as “regular” people. However, as we see in several places on the internet, Jennifer Lawrence is still referred to as “Flawless”. “OhNoTheyDidn’t” on Live Journal has a “Flawless Queen” megapost dedicated to Lawrence, and several popular tags on Tumblr have stemmed from the words “Jennifer Lawrence Flawless”. I get it—she’s flawless because she is NOT flawless. And this is, truly, a breakthrough.
I’m plagued by the idea that we still mask imperfections up and put them on a pedestal. Think about the women who hold this title of “flawless”, regardless of how many flaws they actually have. They’re usually young, successful, white women. Even when Hills defended Adele, it wasn’t because he believed that she shouldn’t be chastised because she is fat, it was because he thought she was talented enough for society to look past her fatness. Again, we’re seeing an instance where her “imperfections” are masked up, instead of being broken down. So, how big is this step towards acceptance, really? In my humble opinion, it’s not that big.
“Flawless” needs to be eradicated from our vocabularies. There is no basis, or history, of perfection. The Golden Ratio might create facial structure that makes us envious, but that’s only because mainstream media has performed its duty (a job it’s been performing efficiently since the dawn of time, it seems). If we relate and look up to someone because they remind us that people aren’t perfect, then we shouldn’t label them that which we oppose. They are imperfect. They are beautiful. They are real.
Ingrid (a.k.a. lilgrrrlcreep)
Editor In Chief