What is Perfection?

Students discuss the idea of perfectionism and how it affects them and the world around them.

Students+discuss+the+idea+of+perfectionism+and+how+it+affects+them+and+the+world+around+them.

Graphic by Emy Galustyan

Students discuss the idea of perfectionism and how it affects them and the world around them.

Grace Johnson, Staff Writer

Perfect. A very simple, but complex word. A word with one and many meanings. According to the Oxford dictionary, the word “perfect” means, “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.” 

Perfection is a distinct concept that has evolved over the course of time. This has motivated people to attempt to achieve perfection, whether it be through owning the nicest cars, expensive clothes, having the fairest skin, having a lot of money, etc.  None of that should determine what being perfect is or the true meaning of being perfect. 

Being perfect, looking perfect and living a perfect life may be impossible to many individuals, but to senior Cameron Stevenson, it is attainable. 

“I believe everyone is perfect,” Stevenson said. “I think being perfect is being original.” 

Cameron isn’t the only person who views perfection differently from others. Social media can also play a  role in how “being perfect” affects individuals’ mindset on perfection. A study by Thomas Curran and Andrew P Hill found that people who try to meet the high and unrealistic standards set by social media experience “multidimensional perfectionism.” Daisy Buchanan, writer for The Guardian, discusses this study  in an article titled “Perfectionism is destroying the mental health of my millennial generation.”

“The study linked this with the growing number of cases of mental illness among people in their 20s, including eating disorders, anxiety and depression,” Buchanan said. “Perfectionism is a weakness. It’s making us ill.”

Senior Antonela Sefolli  discusses the effect social media plays on how being perfect should look. 

“ I feel like social media, like Instagram and Twitter really screw with young adults’ minds,” Sefolli said. “That you have to have expensive clothes, long hair, a nice body, or a lot of money to be perfect. I believe that being yourself is as perfect as you can be.”

Whether you own the newest BMW or get around by bike, whether you thrift shop or own the newest season of Louis Vuitton, or whether you’re a millionaire or you only have $3.00, being perfect starts from the inside. Perfection should not be a category that only the rich and famous get to be listed in. Everyone is perfect no matter your age, race, gender, or social status. “Perfect” should not have an established definition of what it means because “perfect” is a word that suits any and everyone, so why should we think otherwise?