Girls, Strive for Progress, Not Perfection
Young girls struggle waking up each morning as they're getting ready for school because they’re too busy thinking about what they're going to wear and how they'll look - this is what consumes the minds of many teenage girls and young adult women. Girls as young as six years old are in the mindset that they're not good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. It's the thought process of who's going to like me or judge me today?
Will my hair look pathetic? I love my eyes, but seriously, who cares about my stupid eyes? My legs aren't thin enough, why can't I have long, fit legs like that pretty girl in my math class? So what if I'm not perfect? Why can't everyone just accept me for who I am?
It's what our culture of girls defines as pretty or pretty ENOUGH. Pretty enough for who? Good enough for who? Bombarded by thoughts of measuring up to certain standards. Like, "are my boobs big enough?” "Is my hair blonde enough?" "Is my butt nice and round enough? Being a good girl, the perfect girl, the one who's nice to everybody, and the girl who hardly makes mistakes, or that girl who only speaks up when spoken to - these are the pervasive thoughts where perfectionism takes over the minds of girls and young adult women.
How do we empower girls and young women? How do we let them know we understand the cruel and complex world they're living in that causes them to feel flawed and misunderstood? How do we help them accentuate the capable, beautiful, valuable qualities about them when they need to feel it and believe it themselves?
Perhaps, if they started with small steps to see how imperfect others are around them, then they’d get it. You know that girl in your math class with the perfect legs, the perfect hair, and the perfect teeth? Yah well, as pretty perfect as she appears on the outside, we don’t know anything about her life. We just assume she has the perfect life. We know nothing about her. That pretty, perfect girl who you think has it all might actually tear herself apart each and every day and every night. She may not want to get out of bed in the morning because she hates her life even though she appears pretty on the outside. And, she probably thinks the same things that every other teenage girl thinks about. She most likely compares herself to every other girl.
So, let's strive for progress and not perfection. Let's give ourselves a lot of credit for being real, for showing up every day no matter how we feel, and stop being so self critical. Everyone has a story. So, let’s stop comparing ourselves to others because we don’t even know what struggles they’re going through themselves. Let’s begin feeling that we’re beautiful ENOUGH, worthy ENOUGH, strong ENOUGH, smart enough, and good ENOUGH. And let loving ourselves ENOUGH be the greatest, most powerful definition of how we describe ourselves.