Reflex – by Emerzy Corbin
Perfect Imperfection is the premise for this book. I recall first hearing the notion and believing it to be ridiculous. By default, an imperfection can not be perfect, otherwise how could it be an imperfection? I sceptically read the book and as I did so I began to understand the concept being laid out in front of me.
REFLEX is the title of the book – a reflex to what you ask? Emerzy D Corbin, the author of Reflex, recalled many occasions of complementing women of colour on their appearance only to be reprimanded for the comment or for the complement to be re-buffed.
Emerzy maintains that many black women can not take a complement. Our “reflex” is to deny the affirmation of our person that was bestowed upon us by another, only to point out our views on our own flaws. Perfect imperfection comes from loving that which we perceive to be flawed and embracing it.
You could call this a universal law, one that all women should follow. So then why have a book aimed at, and dedicated to “the black woman,” regarding this matter. Well that would be because black women, particularly those raised in the western world are raised believing that an African/Afro Caribbean concept of beauty is not relevant, as it is in fact not beautiful at all. We learn from childhood, that a straight nose, straight hair, light skin and light eyes are all more attractive then whatever beauty we, as Black women are genetically pre-disposed to.
Perfect Imperfections, I have come to understand is an idea, for us as black women to see the beauty in what would be called by the western media an Imperfection. Reflex aims to remind us that what we dislike about ourselves, ultimately others are envious of. Do not forget many years ago we were mocked for our full lips and now injections are given to re-create what we naturally have.
Reflex is the start of a movement in celebration of all aspects of black beauty, that’s why you will find no airbrushing within its pages, nothing filtered or altered to enhance beauty, we must embrace and love what we have. So the next time you are given a complement ladies, please just graciously accept it, absorb it and know it to be true.