Couch Kitten: Perfect is just an illusion

15 February 2020
Author   Clementine Tjameya
“You’re too tall.” “You’re too short.” “You’re too skinny.” “You’re too fat.” “You’re too dark.” If anyone ever comes to you with these complaints, tell them; “You’re too nosy, and you’re a fan in denial,” then walk off and continue doing what you’re good at:  being you.
Society has become too shallow minded and visual. We face criticisms every day because we are forced to conform to society’s image of beauty and perfection. I have no idea how that works.  How does one just decide what is beauty and what is not, or what is perfect and what isn’t?  What grounds are you using to come up with your criteria?
 “You’re too fat/thin” isn’t a complement and the sooner we realize that, the better for ourselves and everyone around us. When I went home for June holiday in 2018, most people I came across were making a huge fuss about how “skinny” I had become. They had very disturbing comments and questions, but the one that hurt me more was when one of my relatives came to me and said; “Oh my goodness Clem. What is wrong with you? You have become so skinny. What, don’t your parents send you enough money to buy food back at Uni? Have you gone for blood tests? This could be an illness.”
She left me with a cloud of thoughts hanging over my head. Have I gone for blood tests? Seriously? I was calm and collected on the outside but on the inside I just wanted to snap at her and say; “I don’t know, have you tried minding your own business? Get a hobby.”
I was in shock. Was she so bored that the only thing she had left to do was just to observe others and point out their flaws? Since that day I realized that there are really toxic people out there:  people who find pleasure in other people’s flaws and insecurities. Notice that these people are forever making lots of comments about others; none of them good.
I feel like this is probably what motivated the release of Beyoncé’s Pretty Hurts. The message in the song is exactly what is going on in society. The song’s lyrics tell the story of the extremes that women go through just to maintain and achieve their sense of outer beauty, while their inner beauty is deteriorating. In the video, we see Beyoncé getting a face lift and a Botox. She stated that the scene represents all the things that women go through to keep up with the pressure that society puts on them.
I watched the video and it dawned on me:  it is no small talk when people say that life is too short, and we only have one lifetime, so we can’t waste it trying to live someone else’s life or conforming to society’s rules. There are only so many definitions of ‘perfect’ out there. There is no such thing like the perfect body, perfect face or perfect hair. For all we know ‘perfect’ could be an illusion.  People twist its meaning just to fit their own criteria.
Don’t let public opinion get to you. Don’t let the negative comments eat at your self-esteem because this is exactly what the ‘haters’ and professional criticizers out there want.  Embrace all your flaws and be you, because you are at your best potential when you’re you.  Anyone who doesn’t accept you for who you are is not worth keeping.  No one is worth losing yourself for. 
Love yourself, be you, because no one else is better at being you apart from you.  A lot of people out there are losing themselves while searching for perfection.  Don’t strive for perfection because it is just an illusion, strive to be you because you’re real.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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