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Good, But Not Good Enough

3 Pages 823 Words

Good, But Not Good Enough
There are times when we feel we must be perfect in order to please others. No matter if we did the best we could do, if it wasn’t perfect we felt like a failure. We want the approval that comes with perfect ness. Every day we see a new commercial or magazine showing an image of a hunky, greased up muscle man or an anorexic model with tons of make up air brushed on her body and society compares you with that image. We as a people tend to use those false images of beauty as a scale to rate the rest of the population by and if you do not fit in that category you are not beautiful. So we strive to be accepted to be approved by the rest of society.
In Janice Mirikitani’s poem “Suicide Note” a young Asian American college student apologizes to her parents for not being perfect. Perfect in school and perfect in life. Even though the girl worked very hard and did very well it wasn’t good enough in her mind and maybe in her parents’ mind to be worthy of her parents’ love or life itself, and so her only option was death to atone for her sin of imperfectness.
The poem begins:
How many notes written…/ ink smeared like bird prints in snow./ not good enough not pretty enough not smart enough / dear mother and father ./ I apologize/ for disappointing you / I’ve worked hard, / not good enough / harder, perhaps to please you.(373.1-9)
Clearly the girl in this poem the girl is apologizing for much more than grades. She has set unrealistic standards for herself and has a lack of self worth all because she cannot achieve these standards. She cannot change the way she looks, yet she is apologizing for not being “pretty enough”.
She also goes on to talk about how life may have been better for her if she were a son instead of a daughter. She would be worthy of love because she associates strength, confidence, beauty and smarts with being male. “I would swagger through life / muscled and bol...

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