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.