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Graphic illustration by Kaylin Chin

Atlanta-Area Teens Speak on the Pressures of Perfectionism

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What is perfection? It’s a three word question, yet it can be put into so much thought. The truth is, there is no such thing as perfection. So the bigger question is, why do women feel pressured to be perfect? Studies and reports have found that many women struggle with perfectionism and that those numbers have been on the rise for decades. There are many approaches to perfection which include bodies, education, self-oriented, and more. 

Asia Rodney-Collins, a 15-year-old student at Atlanta Girls’ School

“I see [perfection] as this unattainable standard of what’s expected of a person but its not something that can truly be achieved,” says Asia Rodney-Collins, a 15-year-old student at Atlanta Girls’ School and a fellow VOX ATL teen staff member. 

One of the main causes of perfectionism is social media. The act of perfectionism is a really big element of one’s mental health. According to The Washington Post, it can lead to “low self-worth, depressive and anxiety disorders, high stress in the face of failure, and even suicidality.”

Hampton Walker, a 16-year-old student at Atlanta Girls’ School

“Social media impacts girls today by setting up those social standards and can sometimes make them feel insecure and not good enough,” says Hampton Walker, a 16-year-old student at Atlanta Girls’ School.

There are lots of expectations that women are expected to follow due to society. For example, women are expected to dress, look, and talk a certain way. 

Grace Neff, a 16-year-old student at Atlanta Girls’ School

“I feel like the expectation is that you should always have great energy, always smiling, having your hair and makeup done, or always dress perfect,” says Grace Neff, a 16-year old who also attends Atlanta Girls’ School. “As much as I feel pressured to do that, I’m not going to lie, I really don’t because it’s more work than I want to, and I’d rather spend my energy doing other stuff. But there definitely is pressure on women to do that.”

These expectations can be a subcategory of the word perfection. The way that perfection is perceived in today’s society, especially for teenage girls, can be very difficult. Perfectionism is also different for everyone, because everyone can interpret the word in different ways. One thing that needs to be spread is that it’s okay to not be perfect. it’s life.


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comments (1)

  1. Shelia Toon

    What a powerful message about such an important topic! To hear these young people have such passionate views makes me hopeful that our future is in good hands! If this is an indication of the future of journalism, we’re in for a treat! KUDOS Kaylin and all the contributors!