by Naina Sharma

In reality, nobody is ‘perfect’ or ‘normal’. There is no valid definition of these words. The only thing we know is society’s perception of these traits. A kind and warm personality,  a beautiful appearance and intelligence is everything a perfect person entails, as per society. What would happen to society if these perfect people were everywhere? If more people thought, acted, and looked the same way, would the world be much happier and safer? Or as every action has a consequence, what cost would we pay for such a perfect world? As I see it, there are multiple good and bad sides to this dilemma. 

People who are empathetic, kind, and generous are always in demand. Everyone wants to be around such people. But is it really good to be “good” all the time?  Perfect personalities are self critical, and indulge in self blame, instead of telling others when they’re wrong. This can lead to someone internalizing. They bottle up negative emotions, instead of being truthful about it, and at some point these emotions will burst out. Bottling up emotions can also cause depression and anxiety. When they hide their opinions, it leads to resentment. To be nice, people give up their own wishes and put others’ wishes first all the time. Instead of making themselves happy, they choose to let someone else be happy. 

Don’t get me wrong. Being a good person is never bad. The world would be a much better place if everyone had good intentions, erasing negativity, depression and crime – A Utopian society. Also, the way someone behaves builds their reputation. This affects the opportunities you get in life. Let’s use a career opportunity, for example. When a company has to hire a new employee, and if the candidates have amazing resumes, they look beyond the achievements at the references each can provide – these are always personality led and the winning candidate will not only be good at work but also a well liked person. 

An important and critical perception of perfect are looks. As per society rules, beauty is always physical. Perfect body, perfect hair, gleaming skin, typically fair, etc. The whole myth of first impressions are based on physical appearance. Your personality and your qualities don’t matter, only your looks do. The pressure to be beautiful is very high, and can lead to people being insecure about themselves. There are many negative points about society’s beauty standards. Each person was made as an individual. We were meant to be original, and not succumb to what everyone else is. Dressing, acting, and looking the way you want, shows your personality, and it’s a window into who you are. Many things affect people’s views. Television and books affect mindsets to show how someone should look and act. The people who are beautiful and smart are mostly shown as the hero, while the person who may be a genius is made to look reclusive, sloppy or unkempt. Film Stars are required to always look their best – on screen and off screen. On television, we watch fake people, see how they look, how they act, and we think that’s what reality is. Social media, portrays a certain idea of “life” and we all try and ape it. 

Being attractive can have it’s benefits. The University of Wisconsin performed a study which found that S&P 500 companies which had very attractive CEOs had a higher revenue than the companies with less attractive CEOs. The companies with CEOs who rated higher on a Facial Attractiveness Index got incredibly high stock returns immediately after a TV appearance of that CEO. When the exact same CEO was featured in a news article without images, the stock returns were much lower than before. This shows how people continue to judge the looks, and how important they are shown to be. Beauty can also give you an upper hand in politics. According to a Finnish study, both attractive male and female candidates do better at the polls than average-looking politicians. The study measured an increase of 20% in the number of votes an attractive candidate received, compared to the average-looking candidate. 

Another expectation of a “perfect person”, is a high level of knowledge. In populous countries like India, there is a lot of competition in everything, so having a higher IQ gives you an upper hand. 

Being intelligent is never a bad thing, it can however affect you in certain ways. People that are extremely intelligent, tend to think instead of feel. They are ‘factual’ and they analyze how they feel, instead of just feeling. Intelligent people often express their thoughts factually rather than emotional person, who may react first, and think later. They might scream, cry, kick, punch, displaying strong reactions. Logical people tend to overthink things, spending hours contemplating and analyzing even the smallest moments. At the same time, solutions come faster to people with a higher IQ than to an average person. This could lead to the smarter person becoming arrogant and discounting the other person’s hard work and perseverance.

Having a high IQ is extremely useful in many areas of life. In school, children with a  higher IQ are able to process and absorb knowledge faster, giving them a stronger chance of being successful. Intelligence also helps you develop good judgment. By having the ability to gather information, weigh it out, and consider its consequences, shows your judgment skills. Intelligence also gives you the ability to plan and solve problems, think logically, and understand unfamiliar ideas. These are important abilities in both personal and professional lives. People with these abilities are more successful in life. 

Interestingly, I took a survey of 20 students in Ascend International School, asking them three questions. “Would you opt to make everyone beautiful?” To this, 84.2% of people said no, and 15.8% of people were unsure. “Would you make everyone extremely smart?” To this 94.8% of people said no, and the remaining 5.3% had a mixed opinion. “Would you make everyone’s personalities perfect?” To this, 73.7% of people said no, 15.8% said yes, and 10.5% had a mixed opinion. To draw a conclusion from these facts, the people think that individual personalities are more important than being carbon copies of each other. 

In my opinion, having all of these things would be amazing, but with limits. A nice personality is good only till you are not true to yourself. Being beautiful is great, until you lose what makes you original. Being intelligent is important, until you lose touch with your emotional side. To me, the importance of being perfect all the time, as opposed to the pressure of improving oneself is different. Perfection means there is no need for improvement, no need for growth or learning. If so how will new ideas, learnings, inventions and new heights of science be conquered? We need to be constantly evolving and growing, making mistakes and learning from them. Humans are flawed – but that is what makes us perfect.  

Naina Sharma is a eighth grader at Ascend International School. Some of her passions include, singing, writing, and fashion. She is dedicated to her work, and likes to be organised, and have nothing out of place. She loves to learn and try new things. In her free time, you would probably find her engrossed in a new book she picked up at the library. She writes for the Ascent because she wants to voice her opinion on a larger scale.