Our Obsession with Perfection

August 5, 2017

Yesterday I had a regular dentist appointment for your run of the mill cleaning.  After I had my cleaning with the hygienist, the dentist (AKA salesman) entered the room.  Now we discussed one issue that I know I have to address and haven't because other things have taken precedent and if you have ever had any dental procedure done you know its costly and mostly never covered by insurance.  Now that being said, he pivoted and started discussing Invisalign as an option (another costly out of pocket expense) he said and I quote, "Your teeth are pretty straight but we can perfect your smile by fixing the top row." Now I will admit I do have some fang action going on but I never, ever hated that about my smile, I actually considered it one of the many things that make me me.  After our "consultation" I started thinking about how obsessed we are made to achieve perfection and what IS perfection anyway?  Is it looking like everyone else?  I thought of a scenario where everyone had the exact same, engineered teeth and I know its silly but how boring would that be??  Now listen I realize braces are necessary for many, many people.  My son had braces because he had a severe overbite, now thats different obviously and I am not casting judgment on people who pursue procedures that make sense for them.  I only question our reasons why?  Why should we all be "perfect", is it for happiness? For self-love? I challenge the idea that a nose job, straighter teeth, liposuction etc can lead to happiness and fulfillment.  I started thinking about social media and the pressure to post perfect, flawless, filtered-to-the-gawds photos idolizing thin bodies,  long wavy hair, heavy makeup and perfect locations and it makes me sad that we aren't allowed to love and value ourselves as we were made, flaws and all.  I am writing this because I have, of course, become victim of these same standards of perfection and it weighs so heavy on me some days.  I think as I become more public and share my life with you on the blog and Instagram I feel the pressure to look thin, unwrinkled, pressed, not a single fly away hair, no blemishes and I have analyzed the photos my husband has taken and started to critique them and think they didn't measure up to what I was seeing on the gram.  But when I found myself spinning down that rabbit hole I stopped and thought about the many years I have put into building my confidence and my self-love, it was a particular mission in my 20's, and I didn't want to undo all of that work because I wanted to pursue a passion project, this blog.  I mean my whole premise of creating this space was to promote self-love and self-care at any size, any age, any financial situation.  I want to inspire women and tell them they are perfect just the way they are.  I actually HATE putting on a "production" to shoot for the blog.  I have started to include on my gram me, everyday, without the extra effort of a blog shoot, you know living life!  It has been liberating.  I challenge this quest to be perfect!  Perfect, I challenge you to a duel! lol  

Where am I going with this?  I feel most beautiful when I am happy and being myself,  dressing the way I want to dress, no makeup, hair combed or not, ok this might not be coming out the right way.  My point is that accepting yourself is the best investment you can make.  Pursue a happy, healthy life that starts from within, meditate, work to quiet the negative voices in your head, surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you, who make you laugh and enjoy being alive.

READ. Read a lot.  It is important to feed your mind and imagination with perspectives and stories of lives not like your own.  Reading expands your world. I can't stress enough how important it is to read.

Eat to nourish your body not to fill an emotional void that only leads to more self hate.  So often we treat our bodies like garbage receptacles feeding it unhealthy crap that don't serve any purpose only an impulse.  Eating that way doesn't add value and only leads to lethargy, moodiness and unhappy thoughts.  Practice mindfulness when feeding your body.  Don't eat what is quick and easy.  Plan.  Have good options available in your home, at work and in your bag when you are on the go.
Sidenote: When I am in a terrible mood one of the first things I focus on is nutrition.  Picking food and preparing a meal that will give me energy, balance and make me feel happy because I have chosen to make good out of bad. 

Workout as an expression of love for your body.  Workout to see your body evolve and become stronger everyday, not to punish and abuse it.  Our bodies are amazing! I mean what we can do with our bodies is nothing short of a marvel.  It doesn't have to fit a mold, seriously.  Wrinkles, rolls, stretch marks all of it, work to change the recording in your mind that your body isn't enough, that it's ugly and unworthy of love and acceptance.  Work to build a relationship with your body.

Practice mindfulness, take moments throughout the day to process feelings, surroundings I mean REALLY be mindful of all that surrounds you and how it makes you feel.  That is a tough one for us.  We are on the go and so distracted.  There are sooo many distractions that keep us with a very shallow understanding of who we are and how we feel.  We are taught that if we look good on the outside then we will be happy.  Not true, our mind is way more complex than marketing campaigns lead us to believe. We rarely take the time to really dive deep, silence the voices, the endless to-do's, repeating conversations and interactions that make us unhappy, to measure where we are.

Put more effort into your relationships with others.  We are social beings, we were built to live among and connect with other humans.  That's the deal.  I think people and relationships give our lives purpose.  I believe when you are pursuing purpose and not perfection you will anchor yourself to the world and not to the superficiality of exterior concepts of societal beauty standards.

So, what did I say to this dentist who tried to appeal to my vanity and persuade me to invest in a "perfect smile"? No thank you kind sir, I actually really like my smile and only want to have healthy gums and healthy teeth.  Perfection is not my quest; happiness is. (Ok I didn't say that last part to the dentist, that would be weird) but I did say I don't want perfect teeth, I never have.

1 comment

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