Saturday 10 July 2010

Perfection is not always perfect

This glorious picture is from the Museum of Art in Caen and am fairly certain it was Degas. I love it because it is a beautiful imperfect body.It is currently my profile picture on facebook and a friend pointed out that sexy comes in all different forms. This has really got me thinking as I am currently writing a novel for teenagers as I am exploring the representation of sex, drugs and alcohol. It occurred to me, following Jen's comments, that for contemporary teenagers the body is often portrayed as perfect whether through plastic surgery or the airbrush. It is a body that is unachievable for most. Porn is particularly guilty of this and I would suggest that that medium might be the boys source of sex education. Consequently girls, and boys, are under a lot of pressure to be perfect and to know exactly what to do.
William Nicholson in his latest book Rich and Mad deals with first sex brilliantly and Keith Gray has just brought out an edited collection of 'first sex stories' called Losing It which I am currently still reading. I wanted to approach a sex scene in my novel in a different way. I wanted to acknowledge the truth of first time sex rather than the fake impression created by magazines (I am including teenage girls magazines here too). And Jen's comment finally gave me the inspiration to realise how I want to do it. Perfect vs imperfect. Truth vs fake. It will be experimental and it may not work, but I will give it a try.
The important thing is for teenagers to realise that perfection is not always perfect. We all think our children are perfect even though we know they have faults. The same happens if you love someone, or even just lust after them, their body is perfection you don't see the wobbly bits or the extra boney bits. What you see is the body you are attracted to...with all its faults. This is what I am hoping to highlight in my novel. Watch this space!

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