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At Assembly this week, Chloe (Year 11) spoke about her personal struggles with self-acceptance.
“I was searching high and low in the depths of Tumblr to find the perfect way to start this speech and I found something really interesting. I realised that we were all born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection. I’m not perfect in any way, trust me! I can’t colour inside the lines, I put vegemite on my pancakes, and I am a very impulsive person - like the time I thought I’d look good with a bob haircut! But who decides that these things aren’t ‘perfect’? What even is perfection? Perfection can be seen as me rewriting this one sentence over and over until it sounds absolutely flawless. Perfection can be having not a single hair out of place on top of your perfectly shaped head or playing that perfect chord on a guitar. Perfection is different for everyone. To me, kindness is an act of perfection. An act done with an immense amount of love is perfection. Forgiveness is an act of perfection. And most importantly, loving yourself is the greatest act of perfection ever known.
Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m 16, I was born in Sydney, I have two older sisters and two cats. All pretty mainstream stuff. Except I was born with a funny eye. It would drift off whenever I was looking at someone, and even now it looks in a completely different direction to my other eye when I try to cross my eyes. That’s not my only imperfection, either. In the past, I’ve struggled with managing life’s complications. It’s affected me, my family, and the people I love most. I set my personal expectations too high, I was scared to ask for help because I didn’t want to affect anyone else, and I didn’t think I was enough. These things didn’t make me imperfect, they made me human. I was too worried about what others would think of me, I was confused about what was right and what was wrong, in fact I still am confused.
A lot of us feel that we need to be liked by everyone, and this fear of being perfect constricts us from being who we really are. Everyone has things going on in their lives that can make it hard to cope, and that’s when using the support of our friends and family can help us realise that just because things happen and stuff changes, you are no less perfect than the person sitting next to you. In no way shape or form does having these complications mean you’re imperfect. If anything, they make you perfect in your own way. To be honest, I’m still struggling, and that’s ok. It’s ok to cancel a commitment, it’s ok to change your mind, it’s ok to speak up, and it’s ok to be you. I mean apart from those other things… my real complication is that I’m 16 and still can’t open my own lollipops.
As young women, we are fixated on the idea that we must be perfect in every single way. In the way other people want us to be. These thoughts are drilled into our minds from a very young age when we are exposed to movies, TV, magazines, social media, and even our peers. We need to forget all of this and realise that we are all perfect, there is not one person here who isn't. And I want you to know who you are and know that that is enough. Because no matter your age, gender, sexuality, hair colour, or ethnicity, you are perfect. We are all perfect in our own way.
Chloe (Year 11)