March 15, 2010

Asymmetry Is The New Black

Long time readers of this blog will be aware that I have a small issue with one of my ears. Or, rather, a bigness issue with one of my ears. Though my right ear is nicely proportioned and sits flat against my head, my left ear juts out at an angle of approximately 84% (not that I've measured it.... ehem....).

The fact that one of my ears sticks out whilst the other does not is clearly genetic. My mother's ears both stick out, and my father's don't, so with the combination of their genes I got one flat ear and one protruding.

For years I struggled with my protruding ear. I wore hairstyles which cleverly disguised it. I resented my mother for not taping it back when I was a baby. I even tried sticking it down with Blu Tac, which worked brilliantly for three minutes at a time, after which it would spring back into position like a mousestrap on a spring.

But then I realised: why should I be ashamed of my asymmetry? After all, symmetry - like slimness - is just a random concept, embraced by our particular culture. Now, I know what you will say. The studies have been done. Human beings are naturally attracted to symmetrical faces. But clearly, these studies are biased. Did they sample every single civilisation in the known universe? East Estonia? Kyrgyzstan? Guinea-Bissau? That African village where they only communicate with clicks? No. I think not.

No doubt somewhere else in the world, asymmetry is embraced. Women with one big breast and one small are celebrated as the sexual ideal. Men with one testicle dangling 8 inches lower than the other are considered to be the epitomy of virility. And having one jutting ear elevates one to deity status.

Now, there has been a great deal in the media about Positive Body Image and the need to portray images of women of different sizes and shapes. The campaign is immensely important, but unfortunately it doesn't go far enough. Because it's not just about the perfect weight, or the perfect skin, or the perfect size. It's about the perfect symmetry, and how little that has to do with being a woman.

Yes, folks, it is time to shout it and shout it out loud. It is okay to be asymmetrical. It is cool to be lopsided. It is hip to be hanging low, when the other side is hanging high.

My own asymmetry is not just confined to my ears. I have one slightly protruding tooth, and an eyebrow which is microscopically thicker than the other. Oh, and I have two nipples on one breast and only one on the other (which is a lie, of course, but it would be perfectly okay if I did).

So for all those of you who have asymmetrical body parts, don't call the plastic surgeon! (or if you do, get him to make them MORE asymmetrical!) Celebrate your uniqueness, and be proud. Today, my friends, is uneven day.

Asymmetry is the new black.

Hooray!

17 comments:

  1. Whilst as usual your humour is brilliant Kerri, you make a very incisive point. Marie-Claire and or Madison are you listening? And I have two bunions. One is larger than the other. I'll toast their asymmetricality (is that a word?) tonight thanks to you.

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  2. Ahahaha brilliant! I have a freckle that sits in the middle of my nose. OK it is not assymetrical but it is embarrassing. It only shows up in summer. The central-ness of it really showcases how assymetrical my face is. It is like the meeting point for all things that don't match on my face! Love your work!

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  3. LOVE it!! Asymmetry RULES!! Yay, YOU!

    Incidentally, Stephen Colbert's ears do the same thing, he makes fun of them from time to time, and CLEARLY doesn't care!! Cheers!!

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  4. Yes, embrace the asymmetry!!

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  5. Ahhhh.... your blog photo... it all makes sense! Normal ear cocked at a coquettish angle, gammy ear hidden behind a curtain of hair. Out with it Kerri- release the ear! If it really is uneven day reveal your aural oddity and be proud!

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  6. Here's one for the books. I have a crooked front tooth (no, that's not the interesting point)but when I pointed it out to my dentist and queried having it straightened she replied "No, don't do that, I like your slightly crooked tooth, it makes you look unique." And she's a dentist, she wouldn't lie..oh hang on, is that doctors ? Oh, whatever.

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  7. This strikes me as a post that needs facts and figures. Did you, for instance, know that four percent of women have a left breast that is larger than their right. That's a lot of women embracing Uneven Day.

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  8. Ooh this post has struck a cord with me. You've nailed it Kerri!!

    The human body is NOT symmetrical- Inside or out!

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  9. I'm pretty sure symmetry isn't a random cultural beauty concept like slimness. Symmetry is considered attractive across all cultures, most likely because it suggests good genes. Even monkeys find symmetrical monkey faces preferable.

    Don't hate me because I'm a nerd. I find your enormous head flap sexy.

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  10. Damn - did I miss asymmetric day? Oh wait, since my today is your yesterday, I'm just gonna pretend I got here on time!

    In honour of this wonderful day (and fantastic post), I will celebrate my left eye slightly bigger than my right and my left ear slightly higher than my right and my left foot slightly larger than my right. Hey, what the hell? !?

    Anyhow, I'm with Kylie...I want to see your fab ear - bring it! ;)

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  11. Reveal all! (please)

    I have an asymmetry 'issue' too - one crooked tooth. All the others are straight, but one sticks out. Now I see that I should not get it straightened, but instead embrace the uniqueness of it... well, for now anyway.

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  12. Having one breast bigger than the other is the sexual ideal - haven't heard that before but hey why not? I think being "different" looking (read odd) will soon become the ideal in this age of nip/tuck conformity. Perfection is downright boring.

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  13. Who knew I was so cool - totally assymetrical.

    Show us yer ears! (yelled in a yobbo-like show us yer tits kinda way)

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  14. Kerri, crooked ear or not,your writing talent is what counts,apart from your bum finger, so rejoice in your oddness. Not that you ARE odd.... Actually, now I come to think about it.......... ;-D

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  15. Oh Kerri, I totally get what you are saying and applaud your confidence to live with your sticky-out-ear, but... I have to tell you that getting my ears surgically pulled back at 22 CHANGED MY LIFE! My hair still grows as if they stick out though, with a little kink on each side.
    xoxox

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  16. Here's one for the books. I have a crooked front tooth (no, that's not the interesting point)but when I pointed it out to my dentist and queried having it straightened she replied "No, don't do that, I like your slightly crooked tooth, it makes you look unique." And she's a dentist, she wouldn't lie..oh hang on, is that doctors ? Oh, whatever.

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  17. Ahahaha brilliant! I have a freckle that sits in the middle of my nose. OK it is not assymetrical but it is embarrassing. It only shows up in summer. The central-ness of it really showcases how assymetrical my face is. It is like the meeting point for all things that don't match on my face! Love your work!

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Thanks! Love hearing from you.

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