Be Perfect

“Hey! We’re the society.
Here to give you a little doze of anxiety.
Just hear us out, we mean no disrespect,
All we want, is for you to be perfect.”

“Why are you always sprawled on that couch?
Why’d you always walk with that awful slouch?
Straighten your back, square your shoulders and stand erect.
Be perfect hunny. Be perfect.”

“Stop roving with your male friends or we’ll call you a whore,
But wait! Don’t even stay at home, or we’ll call you a bore!
Don’t act like a tomboy. Be a lady…
You have to be perfect, baby.”

“Hey! You are a boy! You can’t shed tears.
Lock away and conceal your fears.
You can’t ever be an emotional wreck,
You have to be perfect.”

“Girls your age wear a dress,
But oh god! You are such a mess!
Stop wearing clothes so shabby.
You have to look perfect, baby.”

“Boy, put down that pink coloured shirt!
It makes you look like a little girl.
Well, it takes one to know one,
We just want you to be perfect, son.”

“Being a girl, you should know how to cook,
You should focus more on how you look.
Why? Because the last time we checked,
We just want you to be perfect!”

“Boys are supposed to be stoic and impassive!
Go join a gym. Your built should be massive.
You can’t be afraid of the dark,
You have to be perfect, sweetheart.”

“You can’t show that you are tired,
It makes you look so uninspired.
All our advice, don’t you dare neglect!
Because you have to be perfect.”

“Your teeth are crooked and hair’s messy,
Oh hunny! You look absolutely trashy.
Stop fostering this wide array of defects.
You can’t be anything, anything less than perfect.”

“We’re trying to polish your reputation.
And that’s why we manipulate your decisions.
One day you’ll realize we were correct.
Because darling, we just want you to be perfect.”

Stop! Just for a second, please halt!
Quit making everything seem my fault.
Your words? They sting!
Stop treating me like a puppet on your strings.

I don’t care whether what you’re saying is ideal,
For once, can you consider how I feel?
Being judged upon my clothes and personality,
Everyday, being reminded of my apparent immorality.

I may not have a wide and bright smile,
I agree to it! Fine!
But did you look for any other quality in me?
Or did you even leave me be?

No! You taunted and made crude comments.
Never once did you stop your torment.
You treated me like a damn object,
All because you wanted me to be perfect!

But perfection is not a large quantity of laurels,
Perfection is about having decent morals.
Perfection is not about having a fair complexion.
Perfection is always giving out affection.

“You don’t get to question us or create a fuss,
After all, your world revolves around us!
We’re the society, sweetheart.
And whether you like it or not, you are our part.”

All these gender roles assigned to us,
Are starting to get on my nerves!
Deviate from them and you are a social reject,
Question the norms & you’re showing disrespect!

Yes, I agree, I’m a part of the society!
Then, shouldn’t you accept me the way I seem to be?
I’m way too far from perfect, I agree!
But at the very least, I’m proud that I’m ‘ME.’

Shreya Vijay


  1. The emotion and empathy I can hear in the writers voice. This voice wants to be heard as part of humanity. The writers poetry is flawless and a educational master piece. We all can learn from the value of her words. Most important coming to terms with empathy. When we create the empathy like the writer it creates our strengths and the ability to be ourselves. Not hiding from our emotions by shining by our expressions. Thank you for creating this vision that we all can learn from. Expressing our inner words and thoughts can be scary but the results help so many others. Well established in this poem. A true work of emotions insight and the capability that we all have the ability to see. If we focus and adapt with guidance. Well written and truly appreciated.


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