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Modern technologies sanction a new plasticity of physical form. However, the increasing global popularity of aesthetic procedures (re)produces normative beauty ideals in terms of perfection and symmetry. These conditions limit the semblance of freedom by people to control their own bodies. Cultural emancipation may come from principles in Eastern philosophy. These reveal beauty in authenticity, including imperfection. Wabi-sabi acclaims beauty in common irregularity, while kintsugi celebrates beauty in visible signs of repair, like scars. These principles resist pressure to medicalize dissatisfaction with healthy bodies and invite multi-sited interventions to educate taste and aesthetic choices.

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Correspondence to Stephen Buetow.

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Buetow, S., Wallis, K. The Beauty in Perfect Imperfection. J Med Humanit 40, 389–394 (2019).

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