In a Huffington Post article entitled “Are We Addicted to the Idea of Perfection?” by Dr. Jennifer Howard, she argues that the majority of humans today are on a meaningless pursuit of perfection. The media convinces our culture that success is paralleled to a certain cookie-cutter image of perfect. It itches at our deepest insecurities and tells us that we must conform to some sort of mold. Because of this, it has become the norm to believe that we are not good enough. A recent study known as “Beauty is the Promise of Happiness” suggests that good-looking people are happier than unattractive people. From studies on economists in the US, Canada, Germany, and the UK, it concludes that attractive people make more money and have more successful love lives. This study has had a poor influence on society because it makes people want to strive to have perfect looks rather than growing their internal wisdom and improving their psychological maturity. In its simplest form, psychological maturity is the ability to make yourself happy the way you are. The article goes on to point out that despite the global economic recession, the cosmetic industry is thriving. It is unfortunate to think that people live lives believing that changing something on the outside will somehow create a lasting impression on the inside. People continue to surgically alter themselves to the point where they appear unnatural. This itself is a sign of a dystopia. Dr. Howard then brings up the question: What if we spent all of the time that we waste on fruitlessly “strengthening” our outer selves to strengthen our inner selves? After all, internal maturity is truly what will help us to withstand life’s curve balls.
Overall, this source highlights the unfortunate tendency of our culture to worship at the alter of perfection. As I analyze where different peoples’ ideas of perfection are developed from, it is important that I understand the psychological part of it. This source provides the raw truth about how our society’s priorities have evolved over time. Additionally, this research has helped me to understand why humans are addicted to perfection. Understanding this will ultimately help me to draw conclusions about how authors of dystopias derive their dystopian societies from perfect societies.
I believe that a few other students in this course would be able to benefit from the information in this article. Victoria gave her presentation about what makes dystopias so popular. I think that people wanting to read about failing societies makes them feel better about themselves. This goes back to the whole idea of desiring perfection. Additionally, I think that this article would bolster the ideas in Joshua’s presentation about YA dystopias redefining what is human. People changing their outward appearances to fit a societal mold is a sign of an unfolding dystopia. The part of the article that mentions people beginning to lose human characteristics because of their modifications is very similar to what Joshua had to say.
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