We live in pursuit of perfection. Increasingly we are embarked on a quest to become an unrealistic version of ourselves, with a perfect career, partner, children, social media feed and figure. When we fall short – when our career nose dives, our love life is disastrous, our children go off the rails, our followers flee, our weight balloons out of all proportion – we’re likely to fall into a spiral of doubt and self-loathing. Perfection lies all around us, out of reach, and we have only ourselves to blame if we fail to attain it.
Yet our suffering is based on a fatal misconception. Despite what mainstream culture would have us believe, perfection is an illusion: a consequence of our inability to recognise in others the same inner doubts and disappointments we struggle with ourselves. Instead, we need to reconcile ourselves to imperfection and embrace own up to the mess of flaws that, at heart, we will always remain.
Helen Fielding is the creator of the phenomenally successful Bridget Jones series and a novelist, screenwriter and journalist. Since debuting in a weekly column for The Independent newspaper in 1995, Bridget has become a worldwide phenomenon, with a trilogy of films as well as an upcoming BBC documentary and West End musical. Despite her best efforts, Bridget is gloriously, riotously imperfect, judiciously chronicling her every slip-up, over-indulgence and unmet desire. Her enduring popularity is a testament to the unexpected but profound appeal of imperfection. We may admire the successful, but we don’t actually like them: it’s our blemishes and vulnerabilities that make us truly loveable.
This November, Helen will be joined on stage by Alain de Botton, writer and founder of The School of Life, for a conversation about her life’s work and everything it has taught her about the benefits of being proudly imperfect. Join us for a funny and forthright discussion about the illusion of success and the wisdom of failure.
For more information and to book tickets go to:
The Perfection of Imperfection: Helen Fielding in Conversation with Alain de Botton. £30 (plus fees)
When and where:
Mon 11 Nov 2019 19:30 – 21:00
Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham St, Westminster, London SW1P 3DW
Doors from 7pm
Event Starts 7:30pm
Talk Ends 9pm