Flaws In the Weaving

It has been noted before: In many cultures, when a work of art is created such as a tapestry or rug or other craft, often a deliberate imperfection is left in the work, either as an homage to a deity or to the idea of beauty itself, and ultimately, truth.  Deity or not, those flaws, (whether deliberately caused or a result of the effects of being human), I feel, are part of what makes us beautiful.  In French there is a term for women who are not conventionally beautiful, but still have a certain something: "jolie-laide".  I am a big fan of that term, because I feel it can apply to almost anyone or anything that might otherwise be called ugly.  I want humans to be the best they can be, and I think it would be beyond lazy to assume that what is considered a flaw at first glance, could not ultimately be our true strength.  What does beauty have to do with strength?  I feel that there is a direct correlation between how we perceive ourselves and our world, and how we treat ourselves and our world.  If we can't allow for what are conventionally perceived as flaws in ourselves, how can we hope to embrace solutions befitting the beauty we claim is possible, in any aspect of life?  Certainly, our most painful flaws need improving.  I don't fault anyone for wanting an upgrade in whatever form they find comfortable,  but I also want to cut through the immediate shock of being human, and embrace the beauty I feel is there, undiluted, maybe even ugly, yet gorgeous. 


deleted deleted 26-30 12 Responses Mar 21, 2008

Your Response


In French there is a term for women who are not conventionally beautiful, but still have a certain something: "jolie-laide".

This shall be added to my written vocabulary, as I don't know how to pronounce it. :) Such a wonderful term.

Who is to say a flaw is truly a flaw? Webster says a flaw is: a: a defect in physical structure or form b: an imperfection or weakness and especially one that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness

Definition a. How does one determine a defect in structure or form? Who is to say the little bump with a freckle on it under my right eye is a defect? If the flaw were meant to be there, or purposefully put there, is it not intentional? It would no longer be a defect as it would then be an element of the original design.

Definition b. What some may consider a weakness could be considered a strength by others. :)

Some flaws are obvious. However what one may consider a flaw in herself could possibly be what another considers to be her strength.


Beautifully written....dont we all love something thats obviously hand made.

Our flaws are what make us truly human.

Even at the most basic point, we are flawed. We are not perfectly symmetrical. That's why statues, or replicas of real people don't quite look right...

mine is very soft and smooth.. with the odd ridge here and again in it... come to think of it alan.. it is cool.. no one else has one like it = D

Tate3 -- It seems that someone without scars hasn't really lived. I did manage to acquire a few cools ones when I was a kid.

When I was a kid I was jealous of friends who had cool scars. I still think scars are cool.

thank you.. I would tend to agree with you.. I was only 18mo old.. and have no memories to recollect.. but I continued to terrify my mother with a love for dogs.. and have been bitten by many a critter since.. (in all fairness I did work for a Vet for a time).

Well said...

I have a scar underneath my righ eye.. where a dog bit me, when I was very small... I never thought much about it until I was a teenager... most ppl never noticed it was just part and partial to me... I use to be so discourged everytime I looked in the mirror and saw... this blemish that set me apart from the "norm"...

but as I have gotten older... I never think of it.. and people never comment on it... it's just a little piece of "my story" I wear on my face.

Tate3 -- For some reason, I tend to find absolute perfection boring and dull. When I think of a human face without any flaws, I see a plastic doll, not something of beauty. When I think of a perfect place like heaven, I imagine everyone being bored to tears.

I need flaws to perceive beauty.

Wonderful post, Tate, and so true.

Something similar that my MIL likes to say is that

"as in any sort of needlework, if you look at the underside you see a jumble of threads and knots. Everything is so tangled and there seems to be no rhyme or reason. This is the way we see life. But God sees the front of the project where each thread is interwoven in just the right way to make a beautiful work of art."

Yes, Tate , It is said that the Amish women always intentionally leave out a stitch when making a quilt because humans cannot create perfection.

I like the French term that you have told us about.Thanks for sharing this thoughtful story.

Great post Tate. I love your views on many things.

Hope you have a great day. : )