The Pressure To Be Perfect| Motivation
This title I’ve been battling with since the day I decided to even write about this topic, but it’s honestly a struggle we ALL have, right? At some point, the pressure to be good, perfect, just becomes too much.
It seems, worse off, in young women. The pressure to succeed in all spheres of your life, is extremely high. From societal pressures, cultural pressures, pressures in the work place (because already you are competing with a man to prove that you can do the same job better and fighting for a higher salary at that). Feeling this pressure, comes with a lot of feelings of inadequacy, like you are lacking something, that you have not fully “lived”, if you have not done xyz. It is honestly so draining, frustrating to be confronted with all these pressures, on a DAILY basis.
This is arguably one of the most spoken about forms of pressure young women are confronted with on a daily basis, mostly, irrespective of which cultural background you are from, which part of the world, race or class. Society has developed a certain standard (in terms of beauty, behaviour etc) that makes it extremely difficult for women not to feel the pressure of having to be “perfect” without being judged. Then again, someone tell me, what is PERFECT???
WHAT IS “PERFECT”????
If we are not told about what “beautiful” is and what it should look like, we are told how to dress, how to behave, what is seen as acceptable and what isn’t… according to society. This has become extreme because you want to seem like you are “perfect” and so “put together”. The pressure inflicted on many young women becomes too great to handle, and the desire to be perfect has implications on accepting the health and happiness of young women, hence the surgeries, diets, has impounded the pressure on many women to what to be what society deems as “perfect”. Women starve themselves, work out and go on fad diets, change who they are physically by doing all sorts of cosmetic surgeries, change how they dress, who they are, because “this is what society says you should be”. Many studies have proved that many women struggle with this, because it brings on cases of depression and anxiety.
SOCIAL MEDIA- Another BIG pressure on women to be and look “Perfect”. Again, what is perfect? On Instagram, you have to have the “perfect”selfie, before you DARE post it up… Big breasts, good” weave,”small waist, perfect clothing seems to be the images that dominate many Instagram pages lately. This is what makes this so much harder. We have young impressionable women, who think that this is “THE LIFE!”, and end up doing the craziest things in order to get access to the money so that they can “look like the girls on Instagram”. When did Beauty become categorized like this?
HOME AND WORK
The pressure to be perfect for women is also a serious issue in the workplace. The pressure to produce A’s in school, further yourself and prove that “anything that a man can do, you can do too”, is TREMENDOUS. In a utopic world, this would be seen as a good motivator, however it creates immense stress because high standards are set, from your family, peers, colleagues, and even yourself. It’s a tricky balance. Of course you want to excel, be successful and live a great life, but how are you doing it for yourself when the push factors are often the people around you, or whats happening. These pressures make you feel like you are not good enough, or that something may be wrong with you. Which is so often FAR from the truth.
In African black culture, as I can only speak from the point of view of an South African Black woman, the pressures don’t stop after school. They continue far beyond it. The pressure from family and family relatives to get married, and have children. I know in my culture, once a certain ages hits you and you are not married or have children, you are seen as barren, and that there must be something wrong with you. Believe me, it’s true, there’s even words for it. Fortunately, I come from a family where they push education, self love and happiness, I have never experienced this pressure, however, I know it is there, because I have been asked such questions from family members outside my immediate family. The pressures are often so intense, that it messes with you mentally, because the desire to make those around you happy, then supersedes the desire to make YOURSELF happy.
This is a terribly mentally disturbing process for young women to go through, because you end up losing your own sense of self, at the expense of making others happy. Your family, your colleagues, your partner, friends, pretty much everyone around you. How can it NOT mess with your happiness.
Since when do we have to request validation from others and value that over the validation that we need from ourselves. I understand that the pressures can be difficult because with family, of course you want them to be proud of you and be happy for you, but at whose expense? Yours? The world today, has made the pressure to be perfect, FAR outweigh you just BEING YOURSELF. One can say that, “yolo” and “do you”, but how possible is that when young women are faced with such pressures everyday?
MOTIVATION: Remember, you are only one person, trying to do right by yourself and sometimes others, but you can’t be right all the time, do right all the time, at the expense of pleasing someone else. You are not perfect, but you strive to be… That on it’s own, is perfect. <3
Have a great week!
What is your take on this? Let me know.
Until the next one,
Live in Light and Love,