embracing imperfection

Sitting across from me in starbucks sits a beautiful young woman with her son in a baby carriage. I notice that the only imperfection on her face is a mouth full of scraggly teeth. When I take off my headphones to eavesdrop, of course, she speaks with a faint French accent.

Here, what reasonably well-off family would allow their daughter to grow up with crooked teeth? No, they must be bent back into shape using wires and glue, or else she won't become the perfect flower she's destined to be. Without straightened-out rows of pearly whites, shiny and conforming, her prospects in the job marketplace and romantic racket may be greatly reduced. If you want to make it in this town, baby, you've got to hammer yourself into the perfect mold. Think of it as an investment -- as we do about everything, it seems.