• UNITE Editorial

Perfection: Ideal Or Illusion?


A friend of mine, Denise, really enjoys Pink’s "Perfect" - a song that was written in 2011 about the struggles of people striving for perfection. That song really struck a chord when Denise introduce it to me and till now, it is one I can’t stop replaying.


Oxford Dictionary defines perfection as a mass noun denoting the state of being perfect or flawless. But what does the word “perfect” really mean? Very often, as students and young adults, our ideas of perfection lean towards visual entities, such as magazines and television shows, and achievements and recognition such as certificates for Employee of the Month or something along those lines. While I admit to being guilty of such thoughts during my darker and weaker moments, I contend that perfection is more of a socially-constructed illusion that most of our generation try to achieve.

I think all of us have been in a position where we’ve felt inadequate and “not good enough” compared to some of our ambitious peers, or celebrities we see in magazines that look like they have it all. Take, for instance, in primary school where a selective few were chosen as prefects while you were just ‘ordinary’ or when every err you commit seems to pile up and makes you seem like the most imperfect person in the world.

But let me tell you this: It is okay not to be okay.

Perfection, in itself, is a social construct. Striving to be “perfect” is like fighting a losing battle. Why? Because everyone has flaws and bad days, regardless of how ecstatic or bubbly they may be in person, how elaborate their Instagram profile may be, or how many designer items they may retain. I think many of us are often misled, for we are only able to access a fraction of another person’s life, but regardless, we shouldn’t assume that there is an ideal template to be the “perfect human being”. I guess most of us have a tendency to assume that our peers’ lives are perfect just from their Instagram posts and their Facebook photos or other social media platforms.

Attempts to emulate such lifestyles to strive for perfection would only fall short, because perfection itself is a social construct… an illusion.

That being said, however, I recognise the heed of embracing both your merits and shortcomings – because they make you the person you are; they differentiate you from your siblings and your peers. I believe that it is up to each individual to construct his own version of perfection and focus on his own traits and becoming a better version of himself as the sun rises each day; the key is to stop comparing yourself and your lives to others – focus more on your merits and your blessings and find out what makes you unique. What makes you you.

For me, personally, “perfection” and being “perfect” is just the equivalent of being the best version of myself, because that is all I will ever be. I am my own definition of success and each day I just strive to be happy while doing something I enjoy – because that is true success to me. I take solace in acknowledging both my demerits and virtues – that includes sometimes eating humble pie and accepting compliments.

You are your own definition of success and it is up to you to construct your views and opinions on what perfection is. Because (in the words of Pink) “you are perfect to me….”.

#lifestyle #motivation #advice #opinion

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