When someone does the right thing for the wrong reason, the false motive trumps the good deed. Flattery, bribes and crocodile tears corrupt the praise, the gifts and the emotions they supposedly offer. Accurate praise, costly gifts and real emotions become degraded when paired with selfish intentions. All who participate in such proceedings are demeaned.
This is true of beauty as well. If our motives are impure, we lessen the beauty we seek or find or offer, and we too, are in some way diminished. True beauty does not require perfection, simply sincerity.
When I was in first grade, we were one of a few families in our neighborhood with a pool in our backyard. My best friend—Dara—often came over to swim. I don’t ever remember her formally thanking my mother for allowing her to play in the pool, yet my mom was always happy to have her at our house.
On very hot days, another neighbor girl often wormed her way into the water, despite the fact that she was mostly mean, and neither me nor Dara considered her a friend. This girl always made a point of knocking on our door and very politely thanking my mother for letting her swim. Mom never encouraged her to come back, and she was never fooled by her perfect manners.
Perfect form does not create beauty, less than perfect form does not detract from it.