“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” “You are.” (Snow White)
Ah, yes, the Evil Queen. She was wicked, terrible, and horrid – or was she? Maybe she was just a normal, average person seeking acceptance. Maybe she felt the need to be the best, to achieve perfection. Or, maybe she was just insecure, seeking to put others down because of a misguided past. Whatever the reason was – society, perfection, insecurity; the Evil Queen felt that she had to be better than everyone else, or at least the best a person can possibly be. In society today, many of us are replicas of the Evil Queen, putting on ourselves a heavy burden in order to obtain perfection, yet kill ourselves in the process as she did. Instead of trying to be absolutely perfect, why not simply try our best and know our limits, rather than die striving to achieve an impossible goal?
What do you see every time you look into the mirror? Unless you’re one of the blessed few, you usually see the imperfections. The tiniest details that no one else notices, but you blow it out of proportion. What do you see when you see me? Some say, “A good student – inquisitive, creative, opinionated, and happy.” That’s quite different from what I see. When I look in the mirror I see…pimples, blemishes, imperfections, pain, rejection, stress, confusion, and frustration. It’s all from our idealist society; it’s all from the media, the school, or even your next door neighbor. The environment we’re in makes it hard to come to terms with the fact that, in truth, perfection will and can never be achieved.
We all say, “Oh, no one is perfect,” and “Looks aren’t important,” but do we really believe it? We all try to achieve this perfect ideal, the idea of perfection in our idealist society – a goal that is absolutely unattainable. Do yourself justice, but there comes a time when further improvement will not significantly improve your cause, and it would be better to move on rather than wasting your time trying to perfect one thing. We were created in God’s image to be perfect, but after the fall of Adam, we are now born with a sinful nature and therefore unable to achieve this form of absolute perfection. The line needs to be drawn between perfection and agonizing; too often we struggle to be what we know that we cannot.
Perfection is hidden behind a curtain of lies. Every time you open up a magazine, it stares at you right in the face – self-improvement, perfection. We see the perfect models with the perfect bodies. They have the perfect skin, the perfect hair, the perfect teeth. We look at it and say, “I know that’s all done with computers. That model doesn’t look like that in real life. That model has blemishes, imperfections, and probably anorexia,” but is that how we really feel? We know it, but subconsciously, stored in the very back of our minds, is the fact that we want to look like that.
We want to have the perfect body, the perfect skin, the perfect hair, the perfect teeth. Therefore, we struggle to achieve it, both men and women alike. Awhile ago, I came across a web site that said, “Beauty is a disguise that hides all imperfections.” Although this isn’t true in all cases, it helps put things that can’t be seen based solely on appearance in a better perspective. Beauty can lie – perfection lies; it is merely a piece of beautiful Christmas wrapping around an empty box. The temptation of perfection leads us to nothing but the false assumption that we can live a in this imperfect world.
Society itself brings us to the conclusion that in order to look good and fit in, we need to make ourselves perfect. “Oh, my gosh, Becky, look at her butt, it is so big.” We all do it; we are all critical of other people and their imperfections. Usually it is just jealousy or our own insecurities, but it still happens. We look at other people, and to make ourselves seem better, we look to their flaws. We look for that broccoli in their teeth, for that uneven part in their hair. It’s no wonder that we become neurotic about looking perfect – but is it really necessary?
Although everyone has his or her own flaws, it is their good qualities that make them who they are, who we are. God has given each of us a unique personality, to be special, different, and one-of-a-kind. Focusing on the faults of others would do nothing but soak the world in depression and low self-esteem. Knowing that God created mankind in His own image, we should not judge ourselves and judge others to boost our confidence. The world would be a more loving and peaceful place if we looked at others through God’s eyes instead of through the eyes of man.
What should we really see when we look into the mirror? There isn’t much to it – maybe just a human being. Who knows, maybe she does have a scar on her forehead, but she has really pretty eyes. Maybe the glass isn’t half empty after all; it’s just how we look at ourselves. It’s simply how the media, how society, how everything, makes us feel inadequate. If people begin to come to the absolute realization that perfection cannot be achieved, the world could lead a much better, happier life. Not being in search for things that we cannot change, but changing the things that we can. After all, we’re all just human beings, trying to achieve perfection in an imperfect world, trying to be able to ask ourselves what we truly see in the mirror. Maybe it won’t be the “fairest of them all”, but it certainly isn’t the worst. Besides, it really isn’t that bad being second best next to Snow White.