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On the Sexiness of Imperfection

Zen and the Art of Tightrope Walking explains today about the uncanny appeal of the person who might be characterized as "a hot mess."

Now, one could view this as objectification or, as I do, the recognition that sizzling attractiveness does not require conventional symmetrical orderly beauty.

At a spa where I was teaching writing a few years ago there was a yoga teacher who appeared to be physically perfect in the tan-toned-blonde-surfer-yogini way.  She also taught in complete sentences without noticeable second thoughts or hesitations. The effect was striking, but a male friend in that yoga class confided afterward: "I'd be afraid to touch her." And he was not a shy guy.

I was having lunch later in the spa dining room at a table of women, when someone said, "She was in the hot tub nude yesterday afternoon."  All knew who "she" was.  One of the other women said in mock-aggrieved tones:  "Oh, why would she do that?" 

Like I say, perfection is eye-catching.  Fortunately for most of us, a warmly rumpled and flawed sort of beauty can be just as magnetic.

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  • January 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply

    The same can be true of books.  I'm thinking of Joan Didion's last two — both raw and imperfect but beautiful in a way her more tightly edited books are not.

  • January 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm Reply

    I tried to reply before but it got eaten.
    Thanks for sharing this. Much appreciated. 

    • January 8, 2013 at 11:56 am Reply

      Thank you, Viv. Yours was a really good post.

  • aiki
    January 8, 2013 at 11:38 am Reply

    I'd want to be w/ an imperfect trustworthy woman, & I'd hesitate even to approach someone too-perfect.  Young and nubile is exciting to look at, but it doesn't attract me any more, cause I'd want to be with an experienced woman, not a girl.  Aiki

    • January 8, 2013 at 11:57 am Reply

      Thought you might weigh in on this, Aiki. I like your point of view.

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