By J1 Reporter Ariana Ganson
I was working on my Art the previous night and I couldn’t help but compare my work to others. I compared it to my classmates, and even though it was my best work, I still found myself unsatisfied. I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life which has both negatively and positively affected me. It has pushed me to improve myself but also left me wanting to reach perfection that only I can see in my head. My perfectionism has affected me a lot in school because it’s so hard not to feel like you’re lacking something when you see other people not struggle at all.
This negative trait that I have has been reflected in two of my favorite movies. “Black Swan” and “Whiplash” are a harsh reality of perfection and how it can ruin someone. “Black Swan” tells the story of a ballerina, Nina Sayers, who is driven by not just her own idea of perfection, but by other people’s idea oppressing her. She sacrifices her mental and physical health just to gain a role of a lifetime. By the end of the movie you can tell that she not only destroyed herself, but her relationships with others around her. The movie closes with a destroyed Nina who can’t help to say “I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.”
During the school year it is so easy to stay up late and damage your health just to study a few more minutes for a test that can’t seem to leave your mind. I’ve found myself getting four hours of sleep a night just so I could get a few points higher on my test. I strived to be better like Nina, sacrificing my sleep for it.
When I first watched this movie I didn’t realize that this was one of the first ones I’ve watched that dealt and confronted the idea of perfection. It shows how it can truly ruin a person and how comparison can make you hell bent on the idea of trying to reach something that can never be obtained.
I recently watched the movie “Whiplash” that mirrors the ideas of “Black Swan” but approached it in a different way. It showed the stress a professor can put on you and how it seems like you are competing against your classmates to outdo one another, which can be seen at school as well. The main character Andrew is pushed by the expectations of his teacher, who tries to make Andrew perfect while he witnesses him ruining himself in the process. This put into perspective how how teachers, parents, and peers push you to limits that destroy instead of help.
It is so easy to get caught up in the idea of being perfect to the point you sacrifice your mental and physical health just to reach a goal that can be intangible. Seeing perfectionism mirrored in movies is a sobering experience, you realize that what you are doing to yourself hurt more than you believe.