Striving for the Impossible

Allison - Beaverton, Oregon
Entered on December 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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Have you ever realized something and then wondered why it’s taken you so long to think of it? Well, it’s taken me 14 years (my entire life) to realize one thing: perfection is impossible.

When I was younger I would look at those people in movies and in the media. Looking at these freakishly skinny people made me think that that was what people were supposed to look like. Now I look at billboards and in magazines and think, “wow, that person was definitely Photo-shopped; I wonder what she really looks like?” Have you ever looked at the people in the media? Almost no one in the public looks like that.

I believe that humanity has a desire to do the impossible. Society has taught us to be perfect in every way. Yet when everything is as good as it can be someone somewhere will say that it’s not good enough; it must be perfect. I grew up thinking that even if everyone said only to be as good as I could be that that wasn’t good enough and I had to achieve perfection.

I read the book Uglies a few weeks ago and in that society you have an operation on your 16th birthday that makes you “perfect”. Only to find out that even the supposedly “perfect” society is just about as far from perfect as you can get; everyone has had something put in his or her brains so they simply don’t care that they’re brainwashed. That society was too perfect and too good to be true.

I happen to be fascinated by Greek mythology. One thing the Greeks realized was that even the gods aren’t perfect, though they are close. For example, take Persephone who ate pomegranate seeds and was then stuck in the underworld for a few months every year. Even Zeus wasn’t perfect; he had a myriad of affairs even though he was married. They knew that everyone has some little imperfection and they used those imperfections to explain nature.

A few months ago I realized I liked some of Lily Allen’s songs and decided to find out more about her. Lily Allen knows she isn’t perfect but unlike some other stars she’s fine with that. Then I looked at some of the old Hollywood movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and found out that a lot of them had been size eight and ten, not size zero like so many stars are today. I realized that I didn’t have to be perfect and didn’t have to follow trends to be perfect. Perfection is impossible.

Humanity keeps trying to achieve perfection, the perfect society, the perfect life, and the perfect people. Modern society still hasn’t grasped that perfection is impossible. It always has been and it always will be.