What is Our Generation’s Obsession with Perfection?

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Philosophy defines perfection as something which is attainable, especially moral and spiritual perfection. Now, who is defining this moral and spiritual perfection?

We are well aware of the fact that life isn’t black and white there are a lot of grey areas where one might find himself in a dilemma to decide whether a certain action is right or not. Such situations can cause a lot of undue stress and anxiety of the individual. The word perfect is used way more commonly than it should be. We use perfect as an adjective for almost everything for example ‘the perfect day’ ‘the perfect dress’ and so on.

But a few questions that need to be answered are –

Why is our generation obsessed with the idea of perfection?

Why do millennials strive to do everything perfectly nowadays?

Why does perfection acts as a guiding force to almost everyone today?

And most importantly –

WHAT IS PERFECTIONISM?

Perfectionism means striving for flawlessness. It’s not about being flawless yourself. Part of it also means making the environment around you perfect which can be tiring not only for you but also for people around you. It also involves extremely negative reactions to wrong or inaccurate performances, self-criticism, self-loathing and over burdening one self. A study revealed that today’s youth is more perfection driven than ever before, that means, our generation suffers from perfectionism more than our previous generations. 

WHY ARE MILLENIALS SUFFERING FROM PERFECTIONISM?

One of the major reasons as to why young people are obsessing over the idea of perfectionism is the cut throat competition. This cut throat competition is partially the outcome of increasing population and the rest is the emphasis on being on top and by the society, mainly by parents and teachers. Competition introduced to children at a very tender age in schools and this is followed by high admiration from parents and teachers for being ‘perfect’. Rank, performance and winning are excessively rewarded hence reinforcing the habit of perfectionism. 

Another reason for high need of perfectionism is parenting style. Critical and controlling parents may foster perfectionist behaviour and ideologies. Their affection is conditional depending on the behaviour and performance of the child. Such child rearing practices are again the outcome of highly advancing society which is not very accommodating of discrepancies. Everyone around us is striving to be perfect this creates a pressure on people who might be comfortable with themselves but now when they see that everyone is trying to be a perfectionist, they end up feeling uncomfortable with themselves and surrender to the norm. 

Perfect and glossy lives are advertised on various social media platforms. Influencers and bloggers today are the brand ambassador for perfection. We see these models in perfect shape and make up wearing the perfect outfits every day even in their daily lives. Nobody is ready to reveal what is happening off the camera or off the Instagram.

Today, even little kids have their YouTube channels where they are put in perfect clothes and make up and made to do various acts, skits or dance. Every field promotes being the best or being number one. We are conditioned to believe that number second or third or last are nothing but an embarrassment. 

WHY IS PERFECTIONISM BEING CRITICISED SO MUCH?  

Perfectionism and perfectionist behaviour are linked to a lot of psychological problems mainly eating disorders, anxiety, stress and depression. Models, influencers, bloggers etc. today promote looking perfect and endorse these unattainable goals regarding looks and body. To achieve these goals people have started following these insane diets like keto diet, only liquid diet etc. not only this people also starve themselves to lose weight or binge eat on purpose to gain body mass.

Failure is associated with negative feelings like remorse, sadness etc yet no one is ready to talk about it or prepare us for it so when faced with failure people tend to heavily criticise themselves and end up in self-hate causing stress and depression. Inaccuracy and failure are a part of life but everyone makes it look like it’s the end of the world. 

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

  • Unconditional love is the antidote. No matter what make everyone around you feel wanted and loved no matter how they are. Be accommodative of differences.
  • Spread positivity and refrain yourself from unhealthy and toxic competition.
  • Accept your flaws and be comfortable in your skin. Know that no one is better than you everyone just has a different set of skills. 

Perfectionism is nothing but a myth. Everyone has a different idea of what perfect is and your definition is the right one. Don’t be afraid of failures, it’s a part of life. You will miss out on everyday learning if you strive for perfection. Failures is a way of growing and is completely natural. Don’t be hard on yourself. It will all work out for the good just keep a positive outlook. 

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