So this is what happens when your blog goes on a scheduled hiatus less than a week after Beyonce’ releases her latest album — ideas you were planning to try to talk about, but didn’t quite no where to start, end up having even more relevance.
Such is the concept of finding the beauty in imperfection. I’d been trying for sometime now to write down my thoughts about this concept, and then I heard the Visual Album, and it all synched up together for me. Yes, damn it — I’m comfortable in my skin too, I thought. Yes!!
Now listen, I’m by no means a Beyonce’ stan, but the thing I love about this album more than the rest of her albums is also what I’ve grown to love about myself — it’s not perfect and it’s not trying to be. It’s vulnerable and honest in a way I don’t think Beyonce’ has had the courage to fully be in the past.
And let’s not mince words here — it took courage for her to say some of the things she said on this album. (No – I’m not just talking about the sexual songs.) Just like it takes courage for us all to choose the path of honesty and vulnerability in our lives as well. For us to say, this is who I am — either love that person or move on. For us to embrace our imperfections and still love ourselves because of them.
People have always told me that as I got into my thirties, certain things wouldn’t seem so important anymore. They said I’d feel less pressure to be everything for everyone. That I would start to have less of a need for everything to be written perfectly (a problem that inhibits many a writer from actually completing their works), and more of a desire to just get it written. That I wouldn’t feel the need be the perfect demure little woman who knows how to do an exceptional curtsey and who would never find herself saying or doing anything inappropriate around mixed company.
That I’d be more comfortable just being me.
And surprisingly, they were right. I don’t quite know what it is about turning 30, but somewhere between 29 and now (almost 31), I’ve been learning to love the imperfect things about me. Enjoying the silly thrills of being that girl who twirls her hair when she likes a guy. Loving things like my height (I’m a strong 5’1 — grrrrrrr!). Finding my voice in my writing, even if it doesn’t sound like Hemingway or Ellison.
That doesn’t mean I’m not always seeking to improve on things. No, not at all. But it means just like how I’ve been working on being happy while I reach for my goals, I’ve also been working on embracing the current things about me even while I seek to improve.
And that makes me more confident.
It makes me more willing to be open and honest.
It gives me the freedom to express my feelings, whether sad, happy, anxious, angry, etc…
It releases this archaic stronghold that I can’t be a lady and desire sex.
It helps me embrace wanting to be seen as intelligent, resourceful, cute, sexy, powerful, beautiful, etc… and not just one of those. ALL OF THEM.
It allows me the opportunity to be me without having to project this image of the strong, black woman who is never phased by anything, never confused, never insecure, and never anything but strong and black.
And what I absolutely love is that while I’m embracing these imperfections about myself, I’m seeing more images of women who look like me doing the same. We see it in Scandal, where the main character is a strong and powerful woman but who is also a mess in her personal life. We see it in Being Mary Jane, where she admits to wanting things like a family and a child, and doesn’t subscribe to the belief that her success in her career is enough. And now we’ve also seen it in Beyonce’ — an album that came from someone who many (arguably, rightly) looked at as a machine before, telling the world that she’s not perfect. That she loves freaky sex and gets jealous sometimes. That she had to find herself again after becoming a mother. That she’s embracing her imperfections and it makes her feel that much more beautiful.
Talk about it all synching up, right?
I don’t know about you, but it helps to see it. To know it’s not just me.
What do you all think about the idea of finding the beauty in imperfection, though? And have you felt the pressure to be perfect or the release of some of those pressures as you got older?