Here’s a thought: Why are we so obsessed with being perfect?
How often has someone called you perfect? How often have you come back from a lousy day, caught in the throes of self-worthlessness, and confided in loved ones about what is on your mind? When they hear everything that is bothering you, do they smile at you, give you a big hug, and boldly proclaim “you are perfect!”
The next question I have is: on what occasions are you called perfect?
Does it bother anyone else that the word “perfect” is being flung around with reckless abandon in social settings?
I find that because of the usage of perfection as a descriptor for men and women alike we are doing nothing to help them truly feel better about themselves and feel worthy of praise and acceptance from those around them. Simply put, we are settling for perfect far too often when we know for a fact that we need to hear something more to heal what is at our core.
On the not-so-rare occasion that my self-esteem hits a low point, it is easy to find solace in the arms and ears of friends who are willing to listen to my troubles and doubts and will help try and build me up to get through the next day or week or month. Genuine compliments can be hard to find, and those can be some of the best things to hear on a bad day. What I am opposed to is the nagging insistence of blanket compliments that should mean more than they actually do.
What does someone actually mean when they watch you point out your flaws and insecurities and blurt out, “you are perfect!” ? What are they actually telling you?
“You are perfect.” It is the shortest way to get someone to stop putting themselves down. It is the all-purpose compliment, supposedly because of its all-encompassing power to rejuvenate the most dejected soul.
There have to be other ways to tell women suffering from insecurity that they are worth so much more than their perceived faults without pulling the “perfection” card. I am not knocking the campaigns that encourage women to love themselves as a whole, but I am criticizing the overusage of a concept that, when lacking sincerity or conviction, I find harmful and unhelpful for coping with self-esteem and body image issues.