I googled the definition of “perfect” today and here’s what both the adjective definition and verb definition were…
- having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
- make (something) completely free from faults or defects; make as good as possible.
What I found particularly interesting was the words “as good as possible” in both.
As good as possible…
The definition didn’t stop at “having all the required or desirable elements” or “completely free from faults or defects”.. it added to the end of both “ as good as possible”.
To me those four words are the true definition of perfect.
They are the loop hole in the whole illusion of perfection because they say “as good as it is possible to be” but then the question begs, what rule book defines just what that is for us as individuals? What defines what that Perfect looks like for any one human being? For any girl or woman?
The answer; Nothing.
There has never been since the beginning of the ages a document drawn up that states what the perfect person or woman in this case, should look like, act like, sound like, dress like.
And sure, while society nowadays tries it’s best to fill our minds with images of what it wants us to believe the perfect woman should be like.. the truth is there really is no one ideal.
For some the curvy-bodied lovably hilarious and equally beautiful Sophia Vergara is perfection… for others the business minded sleek sophistication of Anna Wintour is perfection and to others the anonymous parisian girl sitting drinking coffee at a cozy café, wearing hardly any makeup, smoking like a chimney and looking like she would probably be more comfortable in her naked body in the middle of a busy french street than you in your fluffiest warmest Christmas pyjamas in the privacy of your own home, is the epitome of perfect.
So then if there’s no one definition of perfect human, what the hell are we all striving for? When I call myself a perfectionist, what does that even mean? How can I measure my perfect-ness? And against what?
Against my own self-devised standards? But aren’t those standards just a jumbled chopped and changed version of the one society is feeding me at any given age of my life?
Currently this is the idea of perfection I’m getting from society being in my 20’s…
I should be fit, and healthy, but not too skinny, I should lift weights and be strong cause hey “Strong is the new skinny” right? I should be ambitious and driven an have all my life goals written out and be moving towards making all my dreams come true and looking damn good while doing it. I should probably be vegetarian or vegan cause that’s the trendy thing to be these days, it’s “the compassionate thing” and we’re all about compassion for the animals right? (as we put a pair of Christian Louboutin heels made of 100% real leather on our birthday wish list.) I should definitely have a facebook page, a twitter page, an instagram, and a pinterest and I should have at least 1,000 followers and friends on each otherwise I could be seen as a bit “unsocial”. I should probably drink vodka Tonics on a night out cause they have the least amount of calories, but then I’m also thinking maybe I shouldn’t drink at all because I’m really wanting to start getting serious about being a “real yogi”. I should be able to at least do a headstand/ handstand or at least be working towards doing one. I should be drinking green juices after long hikes with my perfect boyfriend but make sure to capture photos of it that I can filter and post later to let everyone else know how perfect my life in my 20’s are!
Thing is… I thought I was doing all these things thinking that I was being my “authentic self”. I was living outside the box right?! … but if I was living my own mind, creating my own ideals then how come I was seeing so many other girls my age doing the exact same things, playing almost the exact same part as me? The yoga loving, weight lifting, green juice drinking, headstanding, perfect boyfriend having, posting to instagraming, dream living, young female adult finding her way in the world.
Parts of that are authentic to me… but other parts are not. I had just taken on the current trending idea of the what the perfect twenty something year old looks like. Why am I spending all my time on instagram, on facebook, posting pictures, getting followers, when honestly.. I’m not really that social a person. I like time alone, on my own, I’m not one for lots of friends or acquaintances, I enjoy the company of only a handful of people really. I don’t like gossip. I do love yoga, but I actually would prefer to spend time learning it’s philosophy everyday then perfecting the headstand. I actually recently found myself suffering from severe anxiety because I realized the standards I set for myself and the bars I set for myself in my life were proving, (while not unattainable), unrealistic in the time frames I was allowing myself. I expect to start something today and be perfect at it tomorrow. Living in a society of instant gratification surely has something to do with these unrealistic goals. And this anxiety actually served to bring me around to taking a good look at myself and breaking down whether what I was spending my time doing truly was coming from my authentic self.
What is perfect to me is, and should be, completely unique to me. Not what can be measured against the current perfect societal image, or what the girl next to me believes to be perfect.
It is the “as good as possible” as I can be and at what I enjoy doing, not what I imagine I should enjoy doing. And that is what your measure of perfect should be for you too. Taking time to learn just what you really love, what moves you, truly motivates you, allows you to set your own standards. And its against those standards that perhaps we can become, perhaps not the faultless, flawless version of perfect that the definition also describes, but rather the latter half of the definition. The idea that perfection is “as good as it is possible to be”. We can all achieve that. We can spend time to find out what we really truly love doing, what is in our hearts and then become the best we can possibly be within that. That’s all that is asked of us. To be the best possible version of ourselves we can be. But the trick is only we can figure out what that uniquely is for all of us. We have to do the work to draw up what that image looks like for our own selves.
Perfect is, you being you, and only you, to your highest potential. Perfect is you listening to your soul, really hearing what is wants and says, and then expressing it in ways only you can.
To quote the fashion genius Marc Jacobs
“Perfect is what’s natural or real. That is beauty.”
So then we need not be anything more than our most natural real selves to be truly perfect. A perfectly beautiful women is one who knows herself and loves herself genuinely and completely. That’s what I’m working on. I want to be perfectly me. Because that’s really “as good as I can possibly get” isn’t it?.