The Misfit Life of Perfect

March 29, 2012
We all have that same sense of dread when confronted with the word perfect. It means different things to different people, but it has the same denotations to us all. To some it may be that outside persona, the one that first greets people. That could be a smile, a hair flip, or even the blink of an eye. The one people base perfect-ness off of attractiveness, character, and aesthetic. However, there are others that see perfect through that piece of paper they get at the end of the year. The one that they worked for, the one that really has nothing to do with you, but with how someone else grades your worth. The one that puts you in the category of letters, numbers, and paychecks. These can all be used to see oneself as perfect. But the denotations perfect has for all of us are the same, if you’re perfect you are happy. However, if you look deep into the meaning of perfect you will see it is never defined as happiness.

I've lived my life with that same stigma of perfect tapped to the inside of my head. It blocks out and filters images, thoughts, and conclusions. It forces my brain focus on that word, and forsakes all else. How can one see beyond perfect? This single mindedness values all others below perfect. It doesn’t value what other people are going through, it doesn’t value others thoughts, unless directed at itself. If others don’t see something as perfect it is not perfect, but other wise perfect doesn’t care. Perfect is personified in our culture. It shouts out from the billboards, it roars in cars, it smiles in surgery, and it clinks in money. We all strive to be perfect even if we don’t like it.

Some call striving to be perfect ambition, but is it? That achievement of perfect pushes all else past itself. That which could be called vain, egotistical, selfish, is called the achievement of perfect. People may be starving, dying, raped, and murdered, but our society only sees the word perfect.

Some might call perfect competition. Perfect that wild lion, in which we are all gazelle, hopelessly out matched by this glorious beast. We stare at it like deer in the headlights, awed by its light. But really, it is an unreachable object.

Like a drug, we are addicted to perfect. It gives us that first rush, that high, but as we keep consuming it we want more and more. Then suddenly that perfect is not achievable and we need to take stronger more potent forms, just so we can reach that short term high of “happiness”.

The word perfect in bold letters is a symbol of our societies perceptions. Perfect follows each one of us, consuming our shadows and replacing them with greed, vanity, pain, and loneliness. The smiling faces of famed and fortunate fade away with these new shadows. These shadows can lead to drugs, addiction, disease, depression, and death. All because of that little word perfect.

Perfect what we all strive to become, is like a disease. We infest our body with foreign substance, to achieve perfect. We treat our bodies like clay to be stuck and pulled together all for the achievement of perfect. Perfect is using steroids. Perfect is putting plastic in your body. Perfect is never allowing yourself sadness. Perfect is not eating. Perfect is throwing up. Perfect is a fast car. Perfect is money. Perfect is standing above all others. Perfect is Photoshop, completely unachievable. Perfect is on the outside, it is never internal. This image of perfect contorts our views, slimming the range where we can actually meet that value of perfect. Always that value of perfect is changing as society tries to meet its growing demands. Again forsaking natural survival.

Perfect is the product—we are the consumer. The lifestyle of perfect has left of us greedy and others ravished. This monster of perfect stares us in the face, yet we do nothing. We let it run rampage through us never once, considering stopping it. To many it hides deceptively on top, but is ignored, we let it feast. Will we let it feast until it consumes us?

Why do we put so much value on perfect? I'm not really sure. But ask yourself is perfect really worth it?

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