"Flawless" and "Perfect" are Over
The rants, aka: opinions or pet peeves, not so gently expressed in the following are the sole opinions of Sarah G. Schmidt. They are not meant to target, insult or harm. They are to spark conversation and really I may just need to vent. You’ve been told and forewarned, all right? Here goes...
The other day, on my usual lunch hour fashion internet cruising, I read and heard an alarming amount of one of the following, statements, “one of the ultimate products…”, “click here to find the perfect (lip, shirt, dress, dog, man)…”, “That’s flawless…” (come at me, Beygency). “Always… never… forever…” Ugh.
To me it is frustrating, misleading and verbally vapid. I understand that the use of these types of statements in fashion is for communicating passion, urgency and interest. I appreciate excitement but am wary of overly dramatic or blatant, inaccurate word choice. In the pursuit of the ultimate experience, perfect outfit, or best dressed, I fear we diminish the things in life that can simply just be good. Or the things that truly are fabulous and deserve a celebration. Or at the very least the disregard for the appreciation for individual product recommendations for individual people living individual lives. How can one shoe or shirt possibly be “perfect” for me? The brand or source didn’t ask about my individual taste, my lifestyle or ask me if I truly wanted it. They don’t know me. I am admittedly more than a touch huffy.
Further, my WTF radar alerts ‘furious’ when I see repetitive statements like, “the worst dress I have ever seen, seriously” or the contrary, “one of the ultimate, best dresses I have ever seen” yo-yoing from the same source day after day. Really, was it the worst? Or is it really, “Flawless?” Yesterday you said that other dress was, “Flawless.” How much, “Flawlessness” does one get? To all those that proclaim that by using words like, "Flawless" it's implied that we respect and love whole people's, "flaws and all." I respond, um, just say that then?
We teach and encourage each other to appreciate and love variety, differences and even challenge the idea of perceived flaws. I am drinking the punch with that ideal. But then some say people, places and things are or aren’t perfect? I’m confused.
I think overuse and misuse of these meaningful or special words makes them less meaningful or less special. For me, using language like that all the time is dangerous. To me it sets the source up to fail or sound flippant. I say save those words for when you really mean them. Because there are dresses for instance out there that to me are spectacular. But the best for a specific person in a specific moment in their individual life. I urge that it’s worth the extra, individual clarity.
I’m guilty too. I often catch myself mid-hyperbolic statement and think, “Why did I just say that? I cannot possibly uphold and be accountable for that statement for the rest of my life. I’m not "always" going to like that?” Of course I know that we westerners say statements like this to colour conversations and have a bit of fun. But shouldn’t we strive for a bit more meaning or intent in the language we use and still are accurate, colourful and fun?
Why I am so worked up? Because I think it makes us sound un-intelligent. I think we sound empty, perhaps pathetic. And I think we sound desperately wanting when we shouldn’t.
In short, I am never, never, ever whatsoever going to say those statements again. Like, forever.