Hi guys – a bit of #deepstuff + #WOWwednesdays (words of wisdom wednesdays) coming ur way!! Today I’m going to talk about perfection – and why I want to stay as far away as possible from it.
In the words of our noble leader and fabulous queen B (Beyoncé for the uninitiated):
‘Perfection is the disease of a nation.’
Or, in the words of my fictional queen when I was approximately 10 years old (Hannah Montana, the ultimate babe):
(Okay it was from a cheesy Disney Channel song, but still).
So, we’ve established that perfect is unachievable and bad; but what actually is ‘perfect’?
According to dictionary.com (the most reputable of sources), perfect has a number of definitions – but the top one was: ‘
In our society, we are constantly told that perfection should be the ultimate goal of the masses. Wherever we look, we are confronted with society’s perception of perfection: the perfect hair, the perfect body, the perfect relationship etc. Yet, it is the same people who spew out inspirational messages like ‘Be yourself’ who tell us to do the exact opposite.
I myself, am a Millennial or Generation Z (or whatever other codenames demographers have come up with). In other words, I have grown up in a vastly digital age where I am constantly surrounded by multitudes of social media dictating how I should look, think and view myself. If I scroll though my Instagram feed at any moment, I see picture upon picture of what society dictates should be my #relationshipgoals or #figuregoals or #holidaygoals. Everyday I am confronted with a surrealist image of what I should aspire to – along with millions of other teenagers. Rejection is not an option.
Yet, along with this, the toxic appeal of perfection finds other ways to worm itself into my life. As I may have mentioned previously, I attend a high-achieving, all-girls grammar school. It is considered to be one of the top state schools in the country – and along with this comes the crushing expectations of scholarly perfection. Day upon day, we reminded of why we are here: to learn and study, to be awarded all A*s and grow up to be the next female leaders of the future. Whilst it is obviously a noble aspiration, I don’t believe it is presented in the right way. To me, it seems like the only option. You either pass or you fail – and there is no in between.
Growing up, perfection was what I strived for. Maybe it was being a particularly high-achiever in a community where average was expected – or perhaps it was the high aspirations that I held for myself. From a young age, I believed that if I was not perfect i.e not getting full marks in absolutely everything, I was failing. It was obviously an absurd and toxic concept – but I had been so self-conditioned to think in that way that I would literally break down crying if I missed an answer. It wasn’t healthy – but then perfection isn’t healthy either.
In Western culture, we celebrate people who we perceive to be ‘perfect’ – we lament over the unattainable beauty of models, we envy the angelic voices of singers and strive to achieve god-like bodies of fitness gurus. Yet in all this obsession and self-loathing, we forget to appreciate the little imperfections that combine to make amazing, beautiful people. Like you.
Don’t hate your crooked nose, your close-together eyes or the plumpness of your cheeks. Love them. Without these features, you wouldn’t be you (and I wouldn’t be me) – and that, without a doubt, would be a great shame.
Personally, I’ve made a conscious decision to stop chasing down perfection in my schoolwork, relationships and life in general. The only thing I need is happiness – after all, that’s what makes the world go round.
Thank you for reading – I sincerely hope you enjoyed the post (comment your thoughts below!). This is probably the deepest #deepstuff post I’ve ever written – but I really did enjoy writing it. That’s it for now – remember to love your imperfections!