We’ve been exploring “perfectionism” and how it gets in the way of living “wholeheartedly” and becoming true strong women of grace.

Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection, explores perfectionism and how we move beyond it.  In her book Brown discusses how we can overcome perfectionism:

We need to be able to acknowledge our vulnerabilities to the universal experiences of shame, judgment, and blame; develop shame resilience; and practice self-compassion.  When we become more loving and compassionate with ourselves and we begin to practice shame resilience, we can embrace our imperfections.  It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts:  courage, compassion and connection.

When she did all this research she came to a realization of the difference between perfectionism and healthy achieving.  She states, “exploring our fears and changing our self-talk are two critical steps in overcoming perfectionism.”  She goes on to give the following example:

Like most women, I struggle with body image, self-confidence, and the always-complicated relationship between food and emotions.  Here’s the difference between perfectionism diets and healthy goals:

Perfectionism self-talk:  “Ugh.  Nothing fits.  I’m fat and ugly.  I’m ashamed of how I look.  I need to be different than I am right now to be worthy of love and belonging.”

Healthy-striving self-talk:  “I want this for me, I want to feel better and be healthier.  The scale doesn’t dictate if I’m loved and accepted.  If I believe that I’m worthy of love and respect now, I will invite courage, compassion, and connection into my life.  I want to figure this out for me.  I can do this.”

In the process of doing some research for this post I stumbled onto a blog authored by Darryle Pollack, a breast cancer survivor who explains the reason she writes the blog:

After becoming a writer, artist, TV journalist, mother and breast cancer survivor—-I realize nothing turns out the way we expect.  So I blog about handling the big and little things — with humor, humanity, and hope.

I LOVE her blog!  I would encourage my readers to take a look at it and you can find it at the following link:  Darryle Pollack’s BLOG

Read this post and see how it fits in with this theme of perfectionism:

Sure, there’s truth in advertising. Like, that dress you saw on Giselle in Vogue? Isn’t going to look like that on your body. And that ad for make up featuring the Face of Lancome? Isn’t going to make your skin glow like Julia Roberts.

Well, now it turns out that without Photoshop, even Julia Roberts doesn’t look like Julia Roberts. That’s the takeaway from the recent news that a Lancôme ad featuring Julia Roberts and a Maybelline ad featuring Christy Turlington were banned in England for being overly airbrushed.

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority decided that they “breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and being misleading.”

The panel investigated the ads after being alerted by Jo Swinson, a member of Parliament who’s on a crusade to stop advertisers from using manipulated photographs.

“We should have some honesty in advertising and that’s exactly what the ASA is there to do. There’s a problem out there with body image and confidence. The way excessive retouching has become pervasive in our society is contributing to that problem.”

“Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don’t reflect reality,” said Swinson. “Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don’t need retouching to look great. This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers – let’s get back to reality.””

Here’s some interesting reality: L’Oreal refused to show investigators the photographs of Julia Roberts before “airbrushing” —indicating that the flawless skin she has in the ad is unattainable beauty even for Julia Roberts. (I’ll remain a big fan of hers no matter what.)

If banning ads seems extreme, equally extreme are the lengths women and girls are going to in order to reach the standards of beauty pictured in the ads. Girls are on diets before they can read; eating disorders are epidemic; plastic surgeons are busier than plumbers.





Pardon the vernacular but our self-talk sucks!  And comparing ourselves to perfection that doesn’t even exist?!  This has got to stop!

More on this in upcoming posts….