Day 28/Post 27: The Myth of Perfection

*If “rude” hand gestures offend you then you may not want to scroll down. Click on any image below to enlarge.

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Last night I was scrolling through the “humor” category on Pinterest when I came across this image. It did make me laugh but, as the best jokes will do, it also made me think. Then it made me sad. And finally mad, but still with hope.

My initial reaction was that of the girl in the bottom picture. “Screw you, tasty food is tasty and I don’t care one bit about hip bones.”

Then when I really looked at the collage at the top of the image I realized that the creator was chasing something that doesn’t exist, perfection. We are bombarded with the message that anything less than perfection is unacceptable.

Silver medal? Don't even bother coming home, loser!

Silver medal? Don’t even bother coming home, loser!

But the dirty little secret that people pushing this message don’t want to acknowledge is that perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a myth that is widely used to sell you something. Buy this shoe, this diet shake, this curriculum, this hair product, this exercise equipment and you too can be PERFECT. We promise!

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When we really examine the reaction of the girl in the bottom picture another truth begins to emerge. Rebellion. When I was began recovery for eating disorders I discovered that often my food choices were a subliminal act of resistance to pervasive unhealthy messages about control and body images. In other words, pressuring ourselves to change our bodies and accepting messages about perfection is actually making it more difficult to be healthy. Our subconscious is busy rejecting unrealistic expectations instead of noticing what foods we actually enjoy and make us feel good.

I also think it’s worth noting that the top image has reduced the women pictured to body parts. We don’t see an entire body much less a face on any of them. Because the other dirty little secret of the people pushing these ideas for their own gain is that NO body is perfect. Humans have flaws and it is a waste of energy to resist that. Furthermore, if some anomaly could be found of person with a perfect body (without photoshop) that still wouldn’t mean that the person inhabiting that body was perfect. Thin does not equal perfection. Or even beauty.

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But there is hope that a healthier message can prevail. The girl in the bottom of that first image and the above quote from Ms. Symone reminded me of that.

 

 

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