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Flaws.

I cannot, and may never understand the desire for flawlessness. Coming from a self-proclaimed perfectionist, the irony does not escape me.
Not at all.

And let me just say: this is not cheese. I am certainly not one for unnecessary uplifting beauty proclamations. But this, this is not about lifting the spirits of the vitiligo-faced girl or calming the harried soul of the too-large-nosed boy.

Call me apathetic.

However, I do disagree with the entire essence of flaws. Completely. This is not self-confidence or a high self-esteem talking. This is a facelessly objective observer of . . . well, flaws.

So, Merriam and Webster would have you believe that a flaw is a defect.

The bastards.

Oh, I’m just lashing out.

The one I have to logically agree with, while the sentimentality within my brain attempts to disprove is: an imperfection.  Anyone who knows M & W will know that they did not just end it there. They stirred the pot.

“an imperfection or weakness and especially one that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness.”

Really, the bastards.

Naturally, I will proffer my understanding for the fact that they were not indeed necessarily speaking of appearance. Well, I am. I’ll get to the other kind of flaw at another juncture in my life.

So. Let’s go with an imperfection. As is my wont, I will metaphorical-ize these two scenarios – perfection and imperfection. So, what shall I go with?

Give me a second.

You can understand the need to get the perfect descriptor, naturally. Imagine it – a flawed analysis of the essence of flaws. What an unnecessary merry-go-round.

Let’s go with an armchair, which I will attempt to paint to the very best of my abilities, until you can see it right at the tip of your nose.

A stout green armchair, a rather bright algal color. Actually, let’s make that two – side-by-side.

One, to the left beneath the luminescent glow of fluorescent lighting; black stitching on every edge, with button-filled crevices – on the back, on the seat, and right in front of each arm. The velvety fabric shines whichever way you look at it; the mix of green with silver giving it an overall ethereal aura. The entirety of it implies sturdiness, homeliness and mostly, comfort.

That, for the purpose of this diatribe, is perfection.

The other sits beneath the exact same lighting, mirroring the poise and homeliness of the first. Except, there is a single button missing on each section: the back, the seat, the arm front. Barely noticeable, what do we care?

Now, the wear. Naturally, in the seat. A depression of the “poof” implies age, so I shall emphasise the equality of their “poofs”. Instead, a single rip that exposes the evidence of creation beneath – a pale tread of foam; a contrast. The thread on a single edge, loosened, hanging free.

Non sequitur, it is rather hard to find the line between flaws and nature. That is, a faded chair versus a chair with a dent – one is age, the other is chance.

Back to my imperfect chair – one last little thing: right against a single armrest are a set of fingerprints, black, pressed into the fabric like a scar in flesh. But, faded; barely visible at all, but still, visible.

At this juncture, I must remind you: this chair is not for sitting, but rather for viewing. Simply. For the purpose of this – whatever this is – chairs are never sat on, in fact.

Of course, I’m biased. But which draws you in more? The one which looks as it did on the day it was made, or the one with a set of stories across its entirety.

For me, flaws are the permanent pieces of a past; they are an everlasting story waiting to be told; they house the memories right across one’s features.

The missing buttons – that too-large aunt who tried to hard to fit in. Yes, the double entendre was intentional.

The rip along the seat – the evening of the missing keys; the extreme search; the futile massacre.

The loose threads – the moment of infantile discovery.

The fingerprints – the unconscious immortalisation of oneself in inanimateness.

Why would anyone want a face without a story? Why would anyone not want an immortalised past?

“Why would anyone want a face without a story? Why would anyone not want an immortalised past?”

-Sinmi Olayebi

When I think about scars for example, for me, they represent some of the most beautiful of flaws. They hold the truth: that we as humans had resilience within our very veins from the moment we were born; they serve as a reminder for the meaning of pain, and a mental representation of pain. Any kind.

Flaws are imperfections which beautify us. They are the things which enhance our individuality; the little things with which we are neither defined nor recognised, but with which we hold evidentiary support of human imperfection. They keep us distinctive, and without a single flaw, beauty is just beauty, but not “beAuty.”

-Sinmi Olayebi

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not attempting to denigrate the seemingly flawless; I am just recognising the beauty in a crooked tooth, or a puffy head, or rabbit teeth, or a too-large nose, or big eyes. The things we call flaws are a “fragment” (as M & W put it); an obsolete definition, but the perfect one.

A flaw: a visible fragment of imperfection.

And frankly, no matter what anyone says, or portrays, or sings, nobody – not a single person in this entire world is flawless: both visibly and internally.

Tell me otherwise, and I’ll show you your flaw.

By: Sinmi Olayebi

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