Perfectionism is rife today – our culture has commodified it -packaged it and sells it.
It tries to persuade us to conform to an established norm – the perfect woman (Miss World) – and channels all we do – it has become the story of our day – searching for the perfect partner, the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect kitchen, and reality is blocked out. The reality that life is difficult, and we are imperfect, is ignored.
And the internet has increased the problem – a hundred years ago if you were an eighteen year old man you only had a small number of men to compare yourself with. Today you measure yourself against the movie stars, athletes and supermodels you see all day on TV, Facebook and giant bill boards. Today you are a lot more likely to feel inadequate.
The most dangerous version of this perfectionism is when we impose it on our children – when we perfect our children – ‘look at my baby isn’t he/she perfect’ – ‘and I intend to keep her or him that way …make sure she is top of the class, makes the team and then on to University’.
Searching for perfection makes us ill at heart, takes us away our of ourselves, for the perfect human being does not exist – we are all unique.