Pic­tur­ing per­fec­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY -

YOU see them all the time while mak­ing your way through your favourite shop­ping malls. Man­nequins, decked in all the pop­u­lar fads of the sea­son, care­fully ar­ranged in­side the dis­play win­dows of each and ev­ery cloth­ing store.

Any change in the at­tire worn by th­ese fig­urines would be un­mis­tak­able, but would you no­tice if they had body shapes that were per­haps, a lit­tle out of the or­di­nary?

Pro In­fir­mis, a Swiss or­gan­i­sa­tion in sup­port of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, cer­tainly thinks you would, as ev­i­denced by its re­cently pub­lished YouTube video en­ti­tled “Be­cause who is per­fect?”

The short film, which lasts about four min­utes, shows cus­tom man­nequins be­ing made to de­pict the bod­ies of five fa­mous per­son­al­i­ties with dis­abil­i­ties: Miss Hand­i­cap 2010, Jas­mine Rech­steiner; ra­dio host and film critic Alex Ober­holzer; ath­lete Urs Kolly; blog­ger Nadja Sch­mid; and ac­tor Er­win Aljuki.

The re­sult­ing fig­urines were then used in the dis­play win­dows of de­part­men­tal stores across Zurich, in­clud­ing at sev­eral lo­ca­tions along Bahn­hof­s­trasse street, a fa­mous and ex­pen­sive shop­ping area in Europe.

Re­ac­tions of passer-bys were also cap­tured as part of the video.

The real deal

Pro In­fir­mis shot this video in con­junc­tion with the In­ter­na­tional Day of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties which was on Dec 3. It is part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s “Who is per­fect? Come closer!” cam­paign where it aims to en­cour­age greater pub­lic ac­cep­tance of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. I watched this video for the first time to­day, and was deeply moved by its con­tents.

I es­pe­cially loved see­ing the re­ac­tion on the faces of the five peo­ple when their very own man­nequins were re­vealed to them. It was price­less. “It is spe­cial to see your­self like this when you usu­ally can’t look at your­self in the mir­ror,” Rech­steiner had said.

Ever since I first saw the video, I’ve been keep­ing watch over the num­ber of views it has gar­nered and have no­ticed that it’s been ris­ing steadily through­out the day.

While I ad­mit it has yet to reach the in­sane fig­ures that most of us are used to see­ing when a video goes vi­ral, I re­ally wouldn’t be sur­prised if it were to reach those lev­els some time soon.

The mes­sage be­hind the video was re­ally thought pro­vok­ing for me and I found that it spoke vol­umes to me.

Bet­ter per­spec­tive

I found my­self ask­ing what per­fec­tion ought to mean to me in terms of how I re­gard my­self and oth­ers.

Most of the time, I think we tend to set­tle for the def­i­ni­tion of “per­fect” that pop cul­ture teaches us. Per­form this feat, fit into th­ese dresses, an­swer this sci­en­tific equa­tion cor­rectly, and you are per­fect. But is that re­ally true?

As th­ese five per­son­al­i­ties clearly show, some­thing doesn’t have to be per­fect in or­der for it to be beau­ti­ful. I be­lieve that the clothes that were fit­ted onto those five spe­cially crafted man­nequins in Zurich did not look any less ap­peal­ing than they would have had they been placed on stan­dard man­nequins in­stead.

Bring­ing that closer to home, I learned here that my life is re­ally no less sig­nif­i­cant even if it is, in re­al­ity, not as im­mac­u­late as I may like it to be. And that every­body else I meet de­serves a lit­tle kind­ness too, be­cause the truth is that no­body’s per­fect. But that’s fine ac­tu­ally, be­cause life’s just as won­der­ful the way it is, any­way.

Su­sanna Khoo, who is a self-pro­claimed per­fec­tion­ist, in­tends to be kinder to her­self and oth­ers in the fu­ture now that she’s learned what a beau­ti­ful life ought to look like. What’s your take on per­fec­tion and its im­por­tance? Tell her all about it at su­sanna@thes­tar. com.my.

Thought-pro­vok­ing mes­sage: blog­ger nadja Sch­mid poses in front of the man­nequin cre­ated in her im­age.

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