Polyamory as a less conventional social arrangement of intimacy that includes more than two people, consensually involved in a sexual and/or romantic relationship at the same time, is becoming more recognizable and visible even in films. Film is a powerful cultural text and its representations of something less familiar or even Othered can either challenge or reaffirm the traditional conceptions about our social reality; polyamorous relationships can be portrayed within the discourse of acceptability or abnormality (i.e. poly people being punished or relationships being pathologized – ridiculed, diminished, annihilated, trivialised).
A flaw is a visible imperfection that deviates from the standard of what is normal or casual. It may appear irrelevant or even harmless, but the sheer existence of flaws indicates that somebody or something does not measure up to the arbitrarily constructed models of “perfect” conduct, behaviour, lifestyle or bodies. Flaws, therefore, are being marked as Othered because they should be concealed or corrected (i.e. disciplined).
To point out someone’s flaws is a weapon of microaggression and policing against someone’s personhood that does not live up to be flawless (or perfect). When a person has failed at something and is therefore self-defined and societally defined as “incompetent”, “improper” or “inadequate”, he/she/they are comprehended as a small-scale failure. Even a small-scale failure, manifested as a flaw, is not allowed in Western (although pluralistic) society, which is constantly striving for success and perfection.
When it comes to bruises on a woman’s body, almost a unanimous assumption is quickly made and it usually involves domestic violence. Why does the conclusion of a woman being abused suddenly prevail, when an adult woman has a bruise on her body?
The western understanding of a woman’s body is – alongside with its reproductive power – also built around its aesthetic (decorative) and mobile (inactive) nature. It is expected for a girl to be pretty and a woman to be attractive, so to stay pretty/beautiful, a girl/woman should not engage in activities (sports mostly) that could ‘ruin’ her appearances. Bruises ruin skin to a degree of transforming skin colour from natural to ‘unnatural’ – blue, green, violet, yellowish. But most of all, they bluntly expose the fragility and mortality of the human body.