Being the ‘Perfect’ Child
By Kassidy Samuel-Ancrum
Being the “Perfect” Child is about standards that are commonly set within family structures. This piece talks about the struggles of trying to withhold both family and societal expectations.
You have to keep that perfect GPA to make everyone content. It’s great that you have good grades but can you really do anything else? You’re the oldest, set an example. Don’t have those negative thoughts, you have the perfect life. You get to have a room all to yourself with nothing but your own thoughts. Keep it together. Go to church and don’t say anything. You swear you won't say anything about this rigid system. Pray or you're not gonna end up in the kingdom. You shouldn’t feel that way, your conflicting identities doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pray. Try to save yourself before it’s too late. You do everything you’re told but at the end of the day that’s not enough. Don’t cut your hair, you're gonna look like a little boy. Don’t sit like that, girls don’t sit like that. You can cook but you can’t cook (Mac and cheese, Stewed beef, Bbq Chicken). Your education is important but so is learning how to cook, clean and behave. You can’t be an example if you act like this.
This piece was inspired by “Girl,” written by Jamaica Kincaid. After reading this, I was instructed to write a second-person point-of-view piece. From the inspiration gained from “Girl,” I wrote about things said to me when trying to uphold an image in different cultural settings. And with all that in mind, I wrote Being the “Perfect” Child in a 10-minute writing window.
Kassidy (she/her/hers) is a sophomore in high school. She writes primarily in a journalistic style, but plays around with the concept of writing in other styles. She was born in Brooklyn and raised in Manhattan.