Todd Selby and eBay Reject Perfection
‘Perfect’ means different things to different people. To be perfect is to be totally free of flaws, but the observer must decide what a flaw is to make the definition work. A flaw to one person might be a marker of brilliance to another, creating as many definitions of ‘perfect’ as there are people in this world. But what if the subjective nature of the word ‘perfect’ is actually devoid of meaning? What if “perfect” doesn’t mean anything? This spring eBay sought to find the answer to that question in their latest campaign and asked Todd Selby to help them in their investigation. It turns out that Todd is exactly the kind of person you want on your team to prove that ‘perfect’ doesn’t really exist: it’s not really a part of his vocabulary. “Personally I’ve never really been concerned with perfect, or interested in perfect,” Todd says. “I think only one time someone accused me of being a perfectionist. It was some random person who obviously didn’t know me very well,” he says with a laugh.
The six women featured in the campaign, that includes a video, are a collection of ladies who use eBay to help express themselves through the special finds they discover on the site. Having access to the things that stimulate them through eBay has helped shape their point of views and strengthen the idea of creating their own version of ‘perfection,’ whatever that looks like. And good for them! “None of them said that perfect exists and it’s something that we can try to get to,” Todd says. “Perfection is a painful thing. When I see perfectionists, I don’t envy them. I think it’s better to express yourself and know when it’s right, the right amount of wrong.” At the very least we could all take their example and create a goal for ourselves that is true to who we are and how we see the world, rather than relying on the expectations of an outside construction of ‘perfection.’
The intimate, personal portraits in this campaign are exactly the kinds of photographs that Todd likes to create. Campaigns like this offer him an experience that inspires him, learning about his subjects and how they come into contact with the world. “It was a great group of women and it was great to talk to them and really I think all of them had really interesting things to say,” says Todd. “I always love visiting people and entering their worlds. It was nice.” When we reject the idea of 'perfection' it suddenly means that we have to understand everyone's experience as their own, with their own standards and unique genius. It is inside that diversity that we find what's interesting about meeting other people, and Todd is lucky enough that he gets to do it every day.