Let’s touch on a subject that has plagued us all since the beginning of forever – the world’s obsession with perfection, and the pressure to succumb to it. How many of us have run ourselves into the ground, or completely refrained from doing something we really wanted to do because of perfection, body image issues, and the fear of “not doing it right the first time”? Please don’t be afraid or ashamed if you nodded your head because I promise you that you aren’t the only one; in fact, I’m nodding my head right along with you as I type this.
Everywhere we go the idea of perfection is reinforced with images of what society claims it to be – and I’m not just talking about physical appearances here. I’m talking perfect career, family, body, house, car, children – LIFE (*cough* see instagram *cough*). This causes us to believe that we need to be different from who we actually are in order to be accepted by others and in most cases it really, really sucks. The truth is, under all the images we see and the beauty standards that have influenced our world we’re all already perfect and we didn’t assume we weren’t until society told us so.
These messages feed into many of our deepest insecurities of never feeling like we’re good enough and causes us to hold ourselves to impossible standards. It’s the reason why many of us spend so much time waxing, dieting, exercising, getting surgeries, and going through many other things to get the “perfect” look. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with pampering yourself or striving for an appearance that will make you happy. I support people that decide to get cosmetic surgery in order to feel better about themselves I really do, but again surfaces the question of why have we let people outside of us tell us how we should look and feel. Will the change really make you happy?
Sometimes I wonder if I would spend so much time getting waxed if women having hair wasn’t something that people saw as undesirable. Tbh, I’ve also brought up the topic of getting my nose done, and my eye color changed, because I’ve always felt that my nose is not pointy or small enough and that I’d be more attractive if the color of my eyes were different. We’re so used to seeing a specific image and noticing how others respond to people who fit this mold that we’ve all assumed that this is what we should look like and that’s where it gets frustrating to me; no one should ever be considered less than others because of their looks. It all stems back to wanting to be liked and treated well.
Obsession with perfection has infected the depths of people’s work lives as well. People will work on something extremely hard to the point where they are ignoring their mental, physical, and emotional health. It doesn’t help that most employers tend to value their businesses over their employees’ health – providing less than ideal working conditions and expecting the best while returning much less. Striving for perfection in this case is not a bad thing as long as there is a healthy balance in doing your best and taking care of yourself. On the contrary, there are people that are so determined to be perfect that they will not let themselves make any mistakes, which keeps them stagnant. Mistake making is a direct tool for learning and if you’re too afraid to try something because it won’t be perfect then how are you going to learn?
If you don’t feel like you’re beautiful enough to follow your dream are you just willing to let that dream go?
I’m always conflicted in conversations like this because I understand the want and need of people to desire perfection, but turning inward and seeing the beauty in yourself is so important. Who determines what is perfect for you? Are you going to allow yourself to decide, or leave it in the hands of people you don’t know? Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and I hope that we learn to move past perfection if only for our own well-being. I can’t help but wonder how different the world would be if societal standards weren’t an issue. Imagine that world and tell me what you see.
images via pinterest