Understand. And love.
We’re here. And we care.
I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul.
But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo,
And I don’t belong here.
– Radiohead (Creep)
Perfection…such an ambiguous word.
According to the dictionary,
“Free from flaw or defect in condition or quality.”
But as a human, isn’t being perfect a fault unto itself? Isn’t it those little quirks of our own character, those little blemishes on our skin, that gives us an identity of our own- that makes us memorable?
Anything that does not conform to society’s norms of “acceptable” is deemed as faulty, weird and ugly. If you are short, they call you a Midget. If you are tall, they will call you a Flagpole? If you’re pale, they’ll call you a Ghoul. Once you get a tan to please them, you become ugly for some reason.
If you speak fluently or have a good sense of humour, you end up being called Whiny, Noisy, Boisterous or just Lame. If you keep to yourself, you become Uptight and Arrogant.
If you enjoy studying, they ridicule you by calling you a nerd. They are surprisingly certain that all you are capable of is mugging up books. If your interests lie outside academics, you become Dumb and Useless.
If you are conventionally ‘beautiful’, you invoke the green monster in others and immediately get stereotyped- Shallow, Bimbo, Superficial.
If not, well, there is an abundance of sneering and jeering and irrelevant name-calling awaiting you every day.
Whilst striving for physical perfection, we lose our sense of belonging- be it in school, or among our friends and family. How can we ever ‘belong’ when all we ever do is compare ourselves to others, get jealous or let our self-esteem take a hit?
A Perfect Soul?
I was once under the delusion that every soul is perfect. That every shade of black or white or grey was beautiful. Growing up taught me otherwise.
Being “pure” and “selfless”- these seem to be the criteria for Perfection. Anything that isn’t pure and translucent becomes a flaw by default.
I lie. I tell my father “I am fine, I am happy”, when actually, I feel like howling out my grief.
I do it to alleviate my father’s worries for me. I do it to reassure him. But I am a liar. I am an evil person, am I not? That speck of black tarnishes my could-have-been-perfect soul. Doesn’t it?
I see my “perfect” sister going about bullying her peers, acting like she owns the world. I get angry. I get so, so angry. And this too makes my soul flawed, no?
So, if you are looking for perfection my friend, you won’t find it here.
When I tried to blend in, I inadvertently stood out and got told off for it. So now I actively aim for non-conformity.
I don’t want a “perfect” body. I don’t want a “perfect” soul. I am more than content being a Creep and a Weirdo.