Observations on Adulthood Vol. 2: Perfection

I’ve definitely heard that women are socialized to have a perfection complex but for some reason I always thought that frame of thinking was limited to appearance (the perfect hair, the perfect body, the perfect clothes.) I’m only just starting to realize how deep these Jedi mind tricks actually go. 

I know some of the most incredible women in the entire world. Exceptional, capable, intelligent women who could save the entire world and they keep telling me things like, “I can’t apply for that job my cover letter isn’t finished yet,” “I can’t start that business plan my idea isn’t done yet,” “I can’t do that fellowship my portfolio isn’t where I want it yet.” But they don’t mean not finished or done yet, because of course it’s all finished, they mean it’s not perfect yet. 

How many opportunities do we miss out on because we are waiting until it’s perfect, until we’re perfect? And why do we all think we have to be perfect in order to be worthy?

The fact that we’ve been manipulated into believing this concept, that society has implicitly or explicitly enforced it our whole lives, and that it’s still existing subconsciously in most of our minds (I know for a fact it’s in mine) is illogical. Perfection is unattainable and our constant pursuit of it does nothing but paralyze us until we miss out on opportunities all together (which maybe is what the system wants?..) If I’m going to be manipulated and lied to I at least need it to make sense.

What’s even more frustrating is as I see the women I know force themselves to be perfect I watch, aghast, as certain men actively flaunt their mediocrity more blatantly than ever before. Look at all the nonsense they’re doing: unqualified, unstable, and unable to do these jobs and doing them anyway regardless. They’re becoming Supreme Court justices, fucking president of the United States; the system is basically telling on itself. Do you think they ever sit and wonder, “hm, am I good enough or even qualified enough to be doing this or going after this opportunity?” No, they’re not. 

If this is happening with some of the most powerful positions in the world I don’t even want to think about the smaller ways this plays out everyday. It’s really ridiculous.  Basically I don’t have the bandwidth to give every woman on the planet the pep talk they need but society can’t handle us second guessing ourselves because the more we count ourselves out and hold ourselves back from opportunities the more unqualified people takeover. There’s already enough structurally in our way on behalf of society; the last thing we need is to get in our own way. 

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

-Liz

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