It’s been a week since our official launch, and what a week it was. After we went live on Monday, I’ve gone through an array of emotions ranging from utter excitement to stress.
Like any website, we experienced a number of technical difficulties last week that not only derailed plans, but also had the website looking a bit out of order for a few days. I freaked out. In my mind I wanted everything to be perfect. When I told a friend about how I was feeling, she reminded me that these things happen when it comes to running a website, especially in the beginning. “Of course,” I thought.
After surviving launch week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the weight of perfection, which many behavioral scientists describe as an illusion of the mind. It’s also something that keeps us bound to the way other people feel about who we are, what we look like, or what we’re doing. It was then that I snapped back into reality to remind myself of why I launched BeyondClassicallyBeautiful.com: I’m doing this because I love black women, I love to see black women shine, and I love to tell stories. At the end of the day, I’m doing my job no matter what hiccups I face.
It was easy to truly come to this realization the more people reached out to me inquiring about Jackie Ellis, a woman we featured for our “Real Beauty Moment” series last week. I met her at the Essence Block Party and asked if I could take her photo. Despite her obvious battle with vitiligo, a condition that causes the skin to lose pigment, I was drawn by her spirit and her gentle demeanor. As I spoke to her she opened up more and more about what led her to develop the disease. I began to realize that she was a woman who was emerging from a shell of depression, therefore being able to tell her story was important to her. To know that BeyondClassicallyBeautiful.com served as a safe space for her to do so while cautioning other women against domestic violence, made the idea of perfection seem even more minute.
Perfectionism also pales in comparison to our willingness to inspire others. Geneva Clark, the subject of our video feature this week, comes to mind. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a tribute to her stepmother who is a 2-year survivor of the disease, Geneva decided to shave her head bald. She was fearful of how she would look with no hair, but she did it anyway. That’s what I call putting perfectionism in its rightful place.
I’ll leave you with a quote I found online. It’s a line from Japanese artist Tite Kubo’s comic series, Bleach.
“…what meaning is there in perfection? None. Not a bit.
…After perfection there exists nothing higher. Not even room for creation, which means there is no room for wisdom or talent either. Understand? To scientists like ourselves, perfection is despair.” – Kurotsuchi Mayuri, Bleach 306