“You’re Perfect”, people told me on the dance floor. I’m glad they were wrong.
A personal story on how saying more FUCK IT to appearance injonctions and feel better.
At a party last week, a very long party involving a night and a day, on an open air sandy dancefloor in Thaïland, some women with whom I had danced and laughed the whole night went to the toilets to change their clothes and redo their make up. They wanted to look good again for the day-long party ahead of us.
When they came back, they told me : “Gosh, we showered, changed clothes, painted our faces again… but… you beat us ! You have the same dress, the same makeup, and…You’re perfect !”. I was flattered, but mostly embarrassed. I wanted them to know how IMperfect I felt. How my stomach felt like a fully pumped airbag after having ingested a thousand beers during more than 12 hours and that my smile was statuesque, just helping me to look like I got it together. I could not dissuade them from thinking I looked “perfect” at that time.
About an hour later, a very handsome guy, who was dancing with such cool moves, wearing Daft Punk socks and a super arty look in general, came to me and said to my face :
“My whole life is trying to fight that black side of me, the one that gets fucked up high at techno parties”. I told him, flattered by the fact that this sexy man would go talk to me, “well, this is exactly the story of my life too, I’m black and white swann alternatively and it is ok !”. And he replied “No, no, you…you are good. It’s not the same. I can see you are good”. I wanted to scream to him… that he was “good” too !!
This made me smile and reflect on self images.
I spent my whole childhood and teenage years being seen as “not cool”. Being too uptight, feeling unfit, naive, not getting any cynical jokes, dressing up too preppy or too loose. I was always the most shy person in the room. So, having people now defining me as looking Cool now is both a self achievement and a responsibility : how I suffered when I was younger by being looked down on by “The cools of the school” is everything I want to avoid doing to someone. If i now manage to appear like a happy woman who owns her shit and finds the joy and energy to diffuse even in a hardcore party situation, I know how long and bumpy the path was. Is. How I learned to love my body after 15 years of orthorexia.
I just decided that I am good enough. With all my flaws, with 10 more kilos than my ideal because I still eat more than what my body needs but i enjoy it so much that it is ok for now. I stopped bringing my makeup to fix myself in parties, and blow drying my hair or having perfect nails, I stopped going to get waxed and pay 100€ per month for pain to please guys and comply with another society’s injunction.
We are not supposed to be our best self, the most productive, the most fit, the healthiest. In the end, it is our capacity to forgive ourselves for being who we are which is connecting us together.
I think of Brené Brown, I think of my therapist, I think of Jack Nicholson saying “Fuck it”. Those people at the party were not admiring my so-called perfection but the Freedom to not (or at least less) give a shit.