Have you ever felt a wave of empathy during that scene in “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” where Bridget attempts unsuccessfully to give herself a home leg-waxing before her date with Daniel cleaver? How about the moment in “The Edge of Reason” when she declares to Mark Darcy, “I will always be just a little bit fat”?
Many of us can probably relate to this microscopic scrutiny of our own bodies: standing in front of the mirror, willing our reflections to show us smaller waists, bigger breasts, or shinier hair; and the short film “Models are perfect. Or are they?” by D.EFECT takes an honest look at the reality of the unattainable ideal of physical perfection – even for the models who supposedly embody that ideal.
The video features a series of female models in various stages of dress, from the opening shot of the first model in a loose-fitting summer nightgown with tousled hair and a make-up free face to the heavily-made up girl in cocktail dress and high-heels. Everything from the intentionally oversized dresses to the hideously ugly slippers works to detract from, rather than to enhance the models’ figures. Each shot is captioned with bold, self-scrutinizing statements like “This obsession with perfect looks will make you feel hopelessly insecure and miserable.”
Each girl then confesses to the camera what she most dislikes about her body: one girl hates her shoulders, another her big feet, and one wishes her waist were smaller. As the models talk about their insecurity with their bodies, the camera zooms in on the feature mentioned, drawing the eye to one’s crooked teeth and the wrinkle’s in another’s smile.
On the one hand, the video tells a troubling (though hardly surprising) truth about the impossibility of the perfect body; on the other, it challenges us to embrace our imperfections. Zooming in on each model’s “hated” feature shows us the danger of obsessing over one part to the exclusion of the whole, objectifying and fragmenting our self-image until we lose sight of who we are. The fact that each girl shares a different imperfection reminds us that there’s no such thing as the perfect body and that there’s a certain natural beauty in the uniqueness of the molds in which each of us is cast.
I’ve always hated the fact that my shoulders poke out of a strapless dress like a pair of bony boulders, but the truth is, my shoulders aren’t the sum total of who I am, and nobody is ultimately going to judge me based on whether or not I can rock a tube top. If you’re in need of a reminder to love yourself just as you are, watching this video will teach you to view yourself in a much more flattering light.
Featured photo credit: Models are Perfect by D.EFECT via youtube.com