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Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Price of Perfection

While looking to add Yo Gabba Gabba to our Netflix instant queue for our daughter, we stumbled upon a Korean horror film called "Yoga: the Movie." Sounds innocuous enough, right? Well, it was creepy enough that I'm glad I didn't watch it alone. :) Don't worry, yoga fans; it's not an attack on yoga.

It's about a home shopping channel host who gets fired and replaced by a woman who was supposed to be just her co-host, for the reason that she wasn't attractive enough. After reuniting with an old acquaintance from high school who looks drastically different now than she did then, she's referred to what she thinks is a yoga training center that can help her become "more" and therefore successful.

But, of course, once she gets in, she and the other young women in the group find out there's much more to it than that. It is supposedly run by a beautiful, ageless actress, and only one girl who makes the cut at the end of the week is allowed to meet her and learn the secret of ultimate beauty. Until then, they just have their trainer, who imposes a lot of rules they find difficult to follow. No unauthorized eating. No cell phones. No showers within an hour after training. No looking in mirrors. Baaaad things happen when you break the rules. At first, they think they're having hallucinations from fasting, but it is apparently all real.

There is a famous celebrity in the group, a singer whom the public once adored and now make fun of to the point where she's tried to kill herself over the rejection. She can't handle the way the public changes its mind about a celebrity overnight. Then there is a young mother who spends more time and money on plastic surgery than on her child and is there because she thinks a botched nose job has rendered her useless and ugly. There is a girl who used to be "fat," which, by her standards, was 45 pounds heavier. Now that she's thin, she is obsessed with weighing herself everyday and can't go without it. 

The main character eventually realizes this is not what she signed up for and not what she wants. You'll have to watch to find out whether she gets out of it or not.

But the storyline is definitely a poignant take on women's pursuit of physical perfection and a good metaphor for how that quest can almost make you lose your soul. Or at least your perspective and your sanity. The women were willing to go to almost any length to achieve perfection. And we were wondering why when they were all very pretty already...but maybe that's the point...they didn't know they were, just like a lot of us.

I talk about realizing you're enough and accepting yourself for who you are. But trust me, I know sometimes it's easier said than done. I haven't mastered it. I just try to work really hard on it every day. The alternative may not literally suck you into a world of hallucinations and terror. But, then again, it might. If you can't see yourself realistically and constantly think you're too much this or not enough that, that is a hallucination in a sense. I'm not saying it is bad to try and look your best. But don't let the elusive, unattainable pursuit of perfection rule or control you. You'll miss out on so much and gain nothing. Try to practice little ways each day of appreciating yourself and work up to bigger ones until it becomes a habit.

Have you ever done anything extreme in the name of trying to beautify yourself and regretted it?