Imperfect or I’m Perfect?

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Men and women will only be equal when a woman can walk down the street scratch her crotch, burp, fart and still think she is the sexiest thing on two legs.

So says my husband, who should know.

The truth is that if a woman exists who thinks she is perfect I haven’t met her. I doubt anyone has. I’m sure Kate Moss has issues. Body dysmorphia isn’t an anomaly, we all have it to some extent. Maybe it goes with oestrogen.

Fat women want to be thin.
Thin women want to be thinner with more curves.
Old women want to be young.
Young women want to look more mature.
If you have brown hair you want blonde.
If you’re blonde you want to be a red head.
I want my daughter’s curls.
She wants straight hair like me.

All of which is why gyms, Estee Lauder, plastic surgeons, hair salons and Jimmy Choo make so much money.

This is also why I am about to be a part of the Imperfect Project.

It is all about realizing the perfection in imperfection. In seeing your body as representing who you are, where you’ve come from and the strength it took to get this far.

The Imperfect Project takes woman of all shapes and sizes, with scars and stretch marks and orange peel thighs. Real women like us. Women who have given birth, lost their boobs to cancer or gravity. Women who live, love and need to celebrate the woman within.

Remember that movie, Shirley Valentine?

Every woman, she is beautiful in her own way.

Quite often we forget to see the beauty in the curve of our hips and instead see that we can’t wiggle into a pair of skinny jeans. Or we focus on unsightly stretch marks and cringe, instead of seeing them as marks of motherhood and fertility.

What the Imperfect Project aims to do is strip off all the artifice and help a woman find her courage, acknowledge it and worship it.

One woman has just come out of an abusive marriage. One after years of marriage had never been naked in front of her husband. One as lost her breasts to cancer.

All of them used the project as a way to reclaim themselves, to see themselves as heroes, to see the beauty in who they are.

Does the thought of stripping off for the camera with no protection, no armour to hide behind scare me? Absolutely. It scares me silly. But it also fills me with excitement. And an urgent need to go the spa get preened, plucked and manicured.

By the time I arrived at the Life Day Spa Rosebank for an emergency massage my head was spinning with the implications.

For many women going to the spa is traumatic. Taking off their clothes and allowing another person, a stranger, to touch them can do the exact opposite of relaxing them and instead drive them head on into a panic attack.

I love going to this spa. I love that they have thought about this and made sure that there is a curtained change room so you don’t have to strip off in front everyone else. I love they don’t see the imperfections and I never feel judged and found wanting. I feel like a goddess.

From the time I walked in the door on Friday afternoon I began to shed all the stress and tension I was carrying around like Atlas. So I shrugged it all off and wandered into the change rooms.

I eased my aching feet out of the killer (but very sexy) heels and cuddled into an enormous toweling dressing gown. I looked down at the heated pool with ill disguised desire and popped my head into the steam room and sauna and promised myself next time. Lerato was busy with a client and so Ivy ushered me into the room of tranquility. I had warm oil massaged into my hair, strong hands sweep away my worries and wondered how anyone could deny themselves this because of fear.

We need to be touched. Have our hair brushed by someone else. Feel human contact. That is part of the healing of massage.

The simple touch of someone else who cares enough to try and help you through the stress of everyday life.

I promise you, by the time you’re done with a treatment, you won’t feel imperfect at all.

You feel as perfect as the Venus de Milo rising on a shell surrounded by men worshipping your beauty.

You don’t need to burn your La Senza lingerie to feel empowered. Just go get a massage.

By Victoria Bruce

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