What is perfection?
The definition of ‘Perfection’ / ‘Perfect’ based on the English Dictionary is “the condition, state, or quality or being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects” / “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be” / ”without fault”
I would like to take a moment to un-pick this.
“Condition, state or quality”, to me, sounds as though we are discussing the sale of a new, used car.
“As good as it is possible to be”; ‘it’, the common pronoun used to refer to an inanimate object.
“Without fault”; inhuman, inanimate, un feeling. No human is physically capable of being without fault, it is simply impossible.
So why do we strive for such an ideal?
Perfection is something ingrained into young women and girls from such a young age. We are told to act a certain way, dress a certain way, talk a certain way. Media and outdated views have forced women to strive for perfection unless they be shunned for their actions. Society tells us these things and tells us to judge those who flout such ideals.
This is problematic to say the least. No two people are the same and so long as we are doing as good as is possible to us in that moment, haven't we already reached perfection?
For as long as I can remember, I have heard of Beauty Pageants being a place of rivalry, cattiness and betrayal. I’ve seen tv programmes where Mothers push their children to extremes to fulfil their own dreams through their child and where almost any character with a history of beauty pageants is the bad guy; That starting rumours and tearing other women down is “just part of their pageant training”. Not only this but that Pageant Girls are proper. They are filled with grace, class elegance: A true image of perfection with a poisonous after-effect.
I'm not too proud to admit that this is what I expected when I first started competing. I expected girls to be unwelcoming, to be tripping each other backstage and to be the ultimate image of “Perfect”.
”Perfect“ is what I thought I had to be to make it in pageants and I tried to change myself. I tried to do what I THOUGHT everyone else was doing and what I was supposed to do..
But what are we supposed to do? The answer to that is whatever you like.. we aren’t SUPPOSED to do anything. We make choices every day that affect who we are and you can either choose to follow the crowd and do what you think may be expected or you can choose to be you (I know.. cheesy right) and do what makes you happy. Pageants are a hobby and if you don't have fun then what is the point?
It took me a whole year to realise I could truly be myself and have the best time.
Above is the moment I realised what that was about. It just clicked: Seeing every other girl make their way into the ball doing 'that pose' for their photos, one after the other, EXACTLY THE SAME. This is when I realised that we were all trying to be perfect. We were all trying to be that image that springs to mind when people think of a beauty pageant.
I realised that is not what I wanted. I wanted to break stereotypes. I didn't want to be a cookie cutter Beauty Pageant contestant. I wanted to have fun and enjoy my hobby because I realised that I hadn't been enjoying my appearances all because I was trying to reach an unobtainable goal.
I am not perfect. I am imperfect and that is what makes me perfect.
This is when I truly began to enjoy Beauty Pageants.
Until next time,
Lucy and the Pageant Land Girls
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