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Perfection: What Do You Think?

Updated on August 17, 2009

Perfection: How do you define and View It?

I was searching through my computer and I found this paper that I had wrote awhile ago about "Perfection" . I'm sorry if it seems a little choppy lol . I would love to hear other people's opinion about the idea of being "Perfect"

“In Hollywood a girl's virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You're judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty.” – Marilyn Monroe

What is “perfect”? What exactly is the true meaning of “perfection” that Americans strive for everyday? Are we just living in a fantasy world with this ideal vision of the “perfect person” or are we as a society just not willing to accept the imperfection in our lives will never be able to be completely erased.

I decided to do some research and look up the definition of perfection on the internet. I came across an interesting website called the “Vision of Perfection.” The purpose of the “Vision of Perfection’s site was to educate readers about the ways that man has attempted to achieve “perfection.” How do Americans explain the reasoning for the vision of perfection? In American society we view “perfection” as this cherished gift that must be embraced by everyone at any cost.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “perfection” is defined as a quality or a state of being perfect. It is freedom from fault or defect. It is the flawlessness and maturity that we long for. It is also the quality state of being saintly. It is also defined an exemplification of supreme excellence and an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence. The process of “perfecting” oneself takes a toll on everyone in its path. But is it really worth it? Is it really worth it throwing away your own identity for a completely superficial one? The media displays this process of perfection in a variety of ways.

For example, let’s start with the process of perfecting the American family. This begins with the higher class of society. These are the wealthy people living in the secluded suburbs that only they have access to. Their houses consist of 3 story mansion estates with in-ground pools in the backyards for personal leisure times. Also instead of sending their kids to public schools, they decide the best way to “perfect” their status in society is to send the 2 children to the highest prestigious private or boarding schools in the nation. In addition, another portrayal is the perfect environment. The ideal environment consists of a clear, non polluted atmosphere where the clouds are in their whitest color without a stain of any toxicity. In this perfect environment it is filled with all organic and healthy based products without chemicals or artificial ingredients and finally society will finally be able to affiliate itself with a non drug or violent atmosphere. Another ideal media portrayal would have to be the work environment. The hours would be 9-5 where all workers are making an appropriate wage and constructively working in a happy atmosphere with no disputes about management or financial issues.

Lastly, the media’s prominent portrayals of “perfecting” would have to be the relationships and appearances of society. The perfect relationships would have to consist of you walking into a home of a loving family rarely arguing about any issue. The mother is usually working a 9-5 shift so she can have the time to pick up the children and put food on the table while the father comes home from an early morning shift and kicks off his shoes and enjoys a good dinner.

Finally the last step of this extensive display is the media’s broadcasting of the nations “perfect” appearance. For females, it would be a tall, slim, tanned, long legged beauty with flowing golden blond hair making heads turn any wherever she went. This goddess would have the blue eyes and large shapely breasts that would knock any guy off his feet. This woman would barely do anything because her “perfect” face would lure guys into doing whatever she wanted. With males, it would be a tall, muscular, athletic man that would steal any girl’s heart with his tanned skin glistened with sweat, baby blue eyes and dirty blond hair.

After complying all of the media’s portrayals I realized that there was one missing element. Throughout all of these descriptions, never in one does it emphasize intelligence. I was shocked by this discovery. Intelligence is the main source of survival that you’ll need to function in all aspects of life. Without intelligence, you can’t maintain a job or any type of relationship. If that is so why would the media not support the “perfecting’ of intelligence? Why would the one thing to help make “perfection” a reality be thrown away? Are we ashamed of embracing the beauty of the mind with the fear of not becoming this perfect drone that we fight for every day?

Many Cultures view the physical appearance of another person to be a large factor of that person’s personality. We are often taught to not judge a book by its cover but to do so accurately is impossible. In American society, we focus more on outer appearance than inner appearance. When we first meet someone we pay more attention to their looks than anything else. Just like a book in a library. When we browse we look at the design that’s appealing to the eye. Sometimes we may focus on the title but the most important decision on picking a book is how it looks. If there was a book that had a dull, bland cover we would pick it up and set it back down because our main focus is finding something that’s attractive and pleasing to eye. Society automatically categorizes objects and people as unacceptable and not worth judgment if they don’t have an intriguing image.

Since it’s a natural habit, we miss out on the best things in life. Because of this portrayal of “perfect” we discover when it’s too late that book that had the dull, bland cover was the best story in the world. The same goes for the person with the not so appealing features. That person that society has passed up could have changed their life. However, since that is not the ideal vision of person we don’t take the risk of going the different route. We constantly stay on the same route until “perfection” chooses to change.

Perfectionism: the persistence of will in obtaining the optimal present and future quality of spiritual, mental, physical, material being.

This definition states what must be obtained to achieve perfectionism. Out of these qualities, physical and material are prominent in society’s eyes today. The ideal “perfection” is centered on the materialistic point of view because that’s all that sells. We are a society that is built on consumer marketing. As a result, in order to achieve the ultimate “perfection” in society you have to be commercial buyers. In American culture today we are focused on purchasing whatever merchandise that will give others the impression that we are of importance in society. Whether it is spending millions of dollars on elite cars, cosmetic surgeries, liposuction procedures, hair transplants, houses or anything that can edit your outer appearance or living conditions has a price on it. Perfection is a price tag. The greater the demand for this ideal living the higher the cost is. This is probably why intelligence is never prominent in the pursuit of “perfection” because a person of prominent mental strength would realize the real reason of pursuing these goals is for the continuous gain of financial success in the product industries.

2 Corinthians 7:1 - "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God

In this quote from 2nd Corinthians 7:1 it states we must cleanse our selves from the flesh and spirit. We must cleanse our selves from the materialistic point of view and focus more on the spiritual aspects of life. In order to do this we must remove ourselves from society’s superficial grasps and focus on the inside of ourselves. According to 2nd Corinthians, we are called to cleanse and repair ourselves from the inside. We are called to forget about the flesh that we strive so hard to focus on, and take time to examine the mind, heart and soul like God has done. Society’s way has always taught us if you don’t want it remove it. As a result, we always want to take the surgical way for everything and not think if it’s the right thing for ourselves. We are so warped into a vision of perfection that we never think about the effect that will come after it. As a result, we’ll never think about how “we” would feel, we will only think about how society will feel.

Even though society has its ideal vision of “perfection” to promote to everyone, the image which perfection takes it’s actually shape in is different for each person. For instance, one may find furthering education is important while another person may find physical beauty as their main priority. In the end, that individual must decide what perfection is. We strive so hard to be this perfect object that everyone believes is right but the sad thing is that no one can truly portray and achieve perfection. You may think that’s crazy but think about it. You may change your face, body, name every aspect about you until you are unrecognizable and everyone may follow the trend until they are a completely twin of you but it still won’t make a difference. On the outside you may think your ideal vision is achieved, that you are finally have “perfected” yourself for the better, but on the inside if you don’t realize it or accept it everyone still has the flaws of imperfection that they started with. What society doesn’t realize that you can promote a certain image for everyone to follow and they may follow but each person has a different mindset and different viewpoints of life which causes the imperfection to still be there. While one person may think the ideal “perfection” consists of a person with a slim figure and long legs it may not exactly be viewed the same way by another person.

As a result, there is no true perfection because imperfection will always be there. They say the eyes are the window to the soul and I think truly that’s where you’ll find perfection. The ability of making yourself happy for yourself is true perfection. True perfection is the ability to wake up in the morning and accept yourself for who you are. It is the ability to be able to think and model yourself in the way you feel is right, not of what others think is the way to be. Happiness is the true core of self satisfaction. You are in charge of what you think is right. Without happiness, you have no feeling or true acceptance of life in general. Like it says in the quote below it may be hard by being tempted with all of the products that society is provided but in the end you’ll finally discover who you are because no longer will you be led to believe that you are nobody. You would finally begin to discover that you will finally be yourself.

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      could you please post the link to the "vision of perfection" site.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Absolutely incredible essay. You seem to be very knowledgeable on this topic. Keep it up!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Please check out my company Hello Perfect at We would love to have you part of our community helping us redefine perfection and inspire others to accomplish their dreams!

    • bryanbaldwin profile image


      6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I think about stuff like this all the time, thank you for sharing.... perfection is such an interesting concept if you change the lens often.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thanks buddy for your lovely essay, i am really happy about what i have read of luck.

    • rutley profile image


      6 years ago from South Jersey

      Great hub! See if my over 40 butt hub has any significance to this subject.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Heb 10:14 - For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. The work of the cross is a complete work. Jesus is not going to come and do it again. It was a once for all sacrifice, and through that one sacrifice for those who believe in Him, they have been made perfect forever. If I had to sort out myself and clean myself I might as well forget about the whole thing. In myself I am not strong enough to cleanse myself. Yes, I do try and do the right thing. Lets say you can do it yourself. Then the cross was useless, and then further, how much is enough. Read your bible more, how much more... Every morning and night. Sure that's enough? All day whole day. Become a priest and devout your life. Jesus saves us and works in us. We can't. You are perfect. Forever. Jesus made sure of that.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this. I'm doing a photography on the ideas behind perfection and this essay helped a lot :). Good stuff.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      wowww thank you a lot!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i got freaky freaky baby

    • KatieP ThinEnough profile image

      Katie Paul 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great essay -- I heard someone say once that striving for perfection is the LOWEST goal you can set yourself because you will never reach it. Progress not perfection is my motto.


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