The quest for perfection is not a new one, whilst we may sit in conversation and attribute blame towards social media and modern marketing, the truth is ’tis a tale as old as time. Ambition is an intrinsic quality found in many of us and with it comes a quest, a quest for something beyond our reach, sometimes within our grasp but often eluding us at the best and closest of times. The modern quest may be the bodily and life perfection but there’s always been a search for idealism – the perfect battle, the perfect painting, the perfect prose. Is it perceived as worse when we yearn for physical perfection? Our bodies are not meant to be perfect, our skin not meant to be flawless, but neither are our minds, neither are our thoughts…and what of our language, our abilities, our manner of speech? Perfection – what is perfection? Does it exist or is it simply the absence of realism?
My 3-year-old-niece likes to role-play, she calls it ‘pretend’, the funny thing is, most times the stories are all realistic ones, barring when she transforms herself into the mummy. She’s not trying to escape reality and pretend a different one exists. Is that true of us adults? When we post our social media photos, showing pretty locations, perfectly angled bodies and always our ‘good sides’, what are we actually doing, is it real or fantasy?
And yes it’s definitely not all just physical, there are many forms of perfection that many of us strive to achieve, always striving and focusing on the impossible dream. It’s not impossible you may argue, others have done it – yes but at what cost?
I’m not opposed to ambition, it’s what drives us to succeed but then I ask, what happens when that ambition keeps you awake at night? What happens when that ambition makes you strive for unrealistic goals, won’t accept failure and when that ambition wants you to literally have it all. What happens when you just can’t reach perfection?
Jacket – Old