Daily Prompt Responses · Political and Social Commentary

Our Version of Perfection is Elusive

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/elusive/

How elusive “perfection” seems to be!  Many of us desire to be a certain size or look a certain way, maybe even live a specific way, but we never quite reach or attain what is deep in our imagination.  I am not saying that one can never reach satisfaction or contentment with themselves or their surroundings or circumstances.  But with many humans, we still desire to look and live a certain way.

I think this comes from our lives being saturated with images from our television sets, magazines, social media, and other internet sites that point to a certain look or a certain standard that we all should want that would bring unlimited happiness!  For most of us working class folks, the images are ridiculous and not reachable in any way in many cases, but we are still enticed by them.

I think about how some of the women in my life seem to never be satisfied with how they look.  No matter how often they receive compliments or praise for how they look or maybe what they are wearing; many young ladies are grateful for the kind words but continue to see something different in the mirror at home and the mirror in their minds.  I think about my own precious wife and how she seems never to be satisfied with her hair.  I love her hair.  It has grown long and beautiful and when she straightens it out, I love it, but I also love when she wears her hair in a braid.  But do you think my wife looks at me and decides not to change her hairstyle because her husband loves the way she looks?  I don’t think so.  She moves right on ahead with some look that I think is not truly becoming of her.  I mean she is beautiful regardless, but I just don’t like all the changes.  (You know I had to fix it so if my wife ever reads this post, she doesn’t ever want to punish me for not liking her hair style.  Haha!)

It amazes me too that there are women who cannot accept a “natural” look because it does not look good to them.  So many women think that the addition of make-up will help them cover up a blemish or two as if the blemish is unnatural and it takes away from their beauty or causes them to be some sort of ugly duckling.  Moreover, many men have bought into this narrative and have undoubtedly caused their wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, etc., to feel that their worth, their value, rests in the way they look.  So much so, when the woman does not maintain a blemish-less look, they (men) see them as less than beautiful or not reaching a certain “standard” of beauty that is more real or more natural.  Of course, after this kind of thinking is made know, one should ask the questions: what is beauty?  What is real or natural?  What makes me beautiful, real, natural?  I had a female friend of mine once say to me: “Natural is not always beautiful!”  I thought to myself: “So says the westernized woman!”  Although I though the statement was ridiculous and alarming since it came from someone that I think to be quite intelligent, it made me wonder where did she get this idea from.  Was it an ideology that was passed down from her mother?  I am not sure.

Another thing is our society has a continued growing affection for things that will keep us young forever, like Botox and surgeries that tuck and lift areas on our bodies to tighten things.  Every now and again, you will see a celebrity or two come out and look massively different from what we (as fans or their audience) have remembered.  I could list a number of celebrities who have “had work done,” but I am not going to do that here.  It is not about them.  It is about why are they feeling the need to do it.  Why have so many felt the need to go under the knife to “preserve” a certain look?

Interestingly enough, these famous people (at least the ones that come to my mind) already were considered beautiful.  Some of them had been considered…perfect!  They topped lists created for the most beautiful people in the world, and yet, they – the most beautiful people in the world – are needing “work done.”  They do not feel beautiful, at least, not in and of themselves.  Or, better yet, they feel that they are not beautiful enough.  So, while we (not all of us) want to look like them, physically, and have what they have, materially, simultaneously, they (not all of them) are not content or satisfied with their looks…their money and lifestyle…or their life in general.

The old saying goes: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!”  But what do you do when the beholder has a flawed view of beauty.  What do you do when the person who is considered to be beautiful by another is considered to be not beautiful enough by another or they felt ugly in and of themselves?

So, what is perfection?  It seems that it too is in the eye of the beholder.  Not one person has a complete and objective view of it, and not one person can obtain it without altering their original idea of it.

O beholder…..do you not see?

13 thoughts on “Our Version of Perfection is Elusive

  1. From a lady named – Dr. Rhonda Kelley:

    “I loved your post – it is refreshing to see men commenting (positively) on women’s obsession with “beauty” instead of just dismissing their concerns. As a woman this is definitely a topic I am very familiar with, but lately I have been thinking about this topic in two new ways: 1. I have noticed that men (especially younger men) are beginning to be affected by masculine “beauty” standards, but I as a woman I don’t feel qualified to comment on that; and 2. I think we may be too focused on the concept of “beauty” which as you say is elusive and relative – why not reject “beauty” as a personal standard or goal – in other words, I do not owe it to anyone to be “beautiful”—when (straight) men interact with one another do they think about how “beautiful” or not the other man is? Do men have to worry about how other men are judging their looks? If not, then why do or should women?”

    Like

  2. Thanks, Jerome for the post and your perspective on this subject! To combat this problem in my own life, I continually have to ask God to allow ME to see ME through his eyes. Herein lies the perfection many often miss. We are perfect in the eyes of Jesus. Yet, as you point out, cultural teaches us that we are less than what Christ says we are. UNDOING the social conditioning that creates a person’s self image starts with seeing ourselves as prefect and whole…the way God does. My humanness still wants to get in the way of that vision, which is why my constant prayer is that he will allow ME to see ME through his eyes. In this way, I’m slowly finding my perfection through him.

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  3. Reading this I feel blessed. Shortly after we began dating my wife almost entirely stopped wearing makeup, she was a heavy user before and was surprised I preferred her without it. Without makeup she became more and more comfortable with herself and her confidence grew with it.

    It is interesting that a man’s pursuit of perfection is usually much more external. Of course there are those who calculate their protein intake and reps for maximum gains in the pursuit of physical perfection. But more often than not a man becomes preoccupied with the perfection of something like his lawn, his brisket or homebrew recipe, the dominance of his favorite sports team.

    Despite the true process of perfection, God’s sanctification of us, we still tend to focus on our treasures on earth. I wonder what my earthly treasures that I’m blind to are..

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  4. I look forward to the day when all of us in Christ will see with His eyes and will behold others by His Spirit. For now we will continue to wrestle with “the body of this death”(Romans 7:24), a body which is driven by sight and not by faith. May the Holy Spirit help us to keep our understanding of beauty and perfection within spiritual terms. When Christ tells us, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect”(Douay-Rheims, Matt. 5:48), He is urging us to be complete in our love for God and for our fellow man. I like what Oswald Chambers says in this regard of seeing all others as beautiful and never as ugly. He says, in essence, “When I look at others, I see them as perfect in Christ.” In other words, Chambers sees the work of redemption as an ongoing process in the life of every living soul—and that work always leads to the manifestation of beauty and truth.

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  5. The most beautiful women “own” their looks as they are– and understand how to carry themselves properly. I know some larger ladies that are very lovely; and some less so. It comes from within. You can see who really believes they are beautiful . . .and who is faking it to make it. When a women wears something too tight for her body it appears that they want to be different than they are or accentuate something over another part. Then it is as if they have not embraced the whole. I have a bad eye (noticeably smaller and no sight) and I cannot hide without a patch or something. I have to own it. On the bright side I am usually the only one in the room that can legitimately say “arrggghhh” like a pirate.

    Liked by 1 person

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