Flawed Beauty Is Perfection

by Catherine Jeltes in Outside My Art


We are constantly inundated with what it means to be perfect–the perfect spouse, the perfect partner, the perfect friend, to have the perfect body.  To have “ideal” beauty–either for ourselves or in our home, society tells us things must look a certain way and if not, we are told what we need to do and what products we need to achieve it.  To obtain perfection is always the goal (Martha Stewart’s brand is built on it); to reach anything less than that is simply to be less.  Oh the horror.  To fall below society’s ideal seems to mean: “Better scramble, honey.  You have work to do.”  Personally, I prefer flaws–they are real and as a result are much more interesting.
It is easy to appreciate flowers in full bloom or a sunny autumn day, but how much more satisfying is it to see the beauty in spent flowers, seed heads, fallen leaves…a cloudy, chilly autumn day where the breeze is brisk and the air heavy with the promise of rain?  When I find beauty in the flawed–all those things that are deemed no longer perfect–the world becomes larger, full of promise and hope…a place I want to be.  Just like in the Velveteen Rabbit, flaws make things real.  There is a strength in imperfection that takes me beyond myself, connecting me to something larger and timeless.
I enjoy exploring that “realm of imperfection” in nature, showing people that which might otherwise pass them by.  Being in that moment of recognizing oft overlooked beauty allows the extraneous to fall away, providing me with focus and balance.
Flaws show a history…a becoming…a wisdom…a strength of endurance.  Society’s version of perfection, while obtainable, is certainly not sustainable.  True beauty is not perfect, but transient and evolving.  It serves as inspiration and is not simply the end result…but the evolution of the journey.
All artwork © 2015 Catherine Jeltes, Gallery Zoo Art. All Rights Reserved.
Art shown in order of appearance: