12.02.2012

The Notion of Perfection

A man applying spray deodorant from 1971 Good Housekeeping ad for Borateem.
I found this ad from a 1971 Good Housekeeping Magazine for Borateem which, in case you don't remember, is a laundry booster, much like 20 Mule Team Borax, which I still use. Unlike Borax, Borateem contains a microbiocide and an insecticide, which is probably more than you really wanted to know, and really not the focus of this post.

The 1960's and 1970's were, in many ways, a much  more forgiving time. Look at this guy; he's not exactly Old Spice material if you know what I mean. It's just that we didn't all have to be perfect physically. 

Of course, there were always exceptions; I certainly got my share of "thou shalt not be fat" lectures from my mother, but you could still see print ads with women whose thighs were larger than my wrist and men without pecs of steel. Enter the Borateem guy.

I've been thinking about Lance Armstrong and the notion of perfection. Not the need; the notion. That sort of vague awareness without any real clue. 

There is no such thing as perfection, and everybody fails sometime, has a bad day, gets stuck in a rut, or something. It must be enormously stressful feeling such pressure to be the best all the time, and then even more stressful to live such a big lie. It's sort of like this ad says, "If he smells good and his clothes smell bad, what's the point?"

Or not.

Maybe Lance Armstrong is just one of those people who drank too much of the Koolaid until he believed the lie himself. Lots of people apparently do. I guess they never consider the collateral damage to those around them when the inevitable fall from grace occurs. Which is not to say we shouldn't try. But isn't the real beauty in the journey?

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