Searching for Perfection and other impossible things

I interrupt our previously scheduled discussion on lasers. I have been thinking about perfection for a while. This picture is of me. The first thing (and odd, it is) you will notice is that I have no chocolate anywhere near me….what?? This picture was taken the day my son graduated from Uni. When I took this picture I was ecstatic over my good makeup and hair day. I took the picture and I did so admire this picture, this rare moment of perfection, And, of course, I was going to post it. Who wouldn’t…? But in my admiration, I suddenly noticed this thick strand of hair sticking straight out. Can you see it? Straight. Out. Sigh… couldn’t I be perfect just this once?

Perfection….shouldn’t we all strive for it? No, not really. If there is one thing being a wife and mother has taught me is that perfection is unattainable. Just when you think you’e got it firmly in grasp, you spill coffee down your shirt, you yell at your husband when he needed you to give him a hug, your kid sticks his entire hand in the birthday host’s oh-la-la cake. When you walk out of your injectors office with killer cheeks and to-die-for lips, only to see them droop and change 2 weeks later.

Here’s my philosophy as an injector: everybody is different. Every curve of your face, every valley of your temples, every nuance of expression wrinkles makes you, you. I learned this early on in my career from a patient who had her crowsfeet treated with Dysport. When she came back 4 months later for her next treatment, she absolutely did not want her crowsfeet treated again. Her skin was flawless; wrinkle free. The Dysport did the job. So what was wrong? That’s what her boyfriend wanted to know. Why aren’t you happy? You just seem uninterested in life. In treating her crowsfeet we lost the crinkle in her eyes that made her bubbly personality bubble. She looked indifferent. We did treat the crowsfeet again but with a greatly pulled back dose. (This was 2006 before micro-dosing became the thing.) This allowed the crinkle in her eye but relaxed enough to not etch her skin

So what happens to your perfection over the weeks and months following your treatment. Well, you do; beautiful, wonderful, unique you. You raise one eyebrow higher than the other when your friend is talking on her cell while frantically looking for her cell phone. That forehead muscle is a bit stronger on that side and will come back quicker. Do you smirk when you eavesdrop on strangers? Ugly cry when Max is running up the hill to escape Vecna on Stranger Things? Love, love, love surprises? All of these expressions and micro expressions will cause the dermal fillers and neurotoxin to move, dissipate, absorb at different rates. Those smirk lines… noticeable again in 3 – 6 weeks. Those pouty lips will have the left side flattening out before the right. The filler moves through the muscle. The muscle strength is more on one side than the other. All of this will cause your perfectly symmetric face to become once more asymmetric.

What is the answer? We need to change our thinking from perfection to excellence. Excellence is “being outstanding or extremely good” the dictionary tells us. Instead of changing our beautiful selves with all our quirks, we need to embrace excellence. Focus on being the best of ourselves. This is not to say that if there is a bump after your dermal filler that looks odd should not be checked out. Nor should perpetually shocked expression around your eyes be allowed to continue. We’re not talking about a lifestyle of “good enough” But rather accepting that we actually look better and more interesting with our tiny asymmetries. Stop trying to add “a little bit more here”; “dissolve a little bit there”. Look at your whole face. Look at your balance and profile. Think harmony rather than perfection. That is my goal as an injector – natural enhancement to a real live expressive human. Excellence. Outstanding. You look like a great you rather than an odd something else. 

Isn’t that what we all want in the end? To be our best, excellent selves?

Oh and once I had tamed my hair and flounced out of the house for grad pictures, a giant sudden cloud burst soaked everything to the bone. Yeah…perfection.. no such thing.

Recognizing your unique,          beautiful self equals dark            chocolate every time