Perfection Projection

As women, we fantasize about being someone else.

If only we could be perfect chick, with the ideal bod. The one that makes it all look effortless. You love her and hate her at the same time….and would like nothing more than to be her.

It’s called Perfection Projection. And its total B.S. It will destroy you, if it has not already.

"The habit of comparing ourselves mercilessly to others first forms at this age, and it proves central to the development and continuation of eating disorders and eating-disordered behavior," suggests Courtney Martin in Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters.

Are you like Gina? The willing subject of Martin’s "girl talk" research, who finds herself stating "Sure, she has a nice body. She doesn’t have to worry. It makes me feel self conscience standing next to her."

Well, I got news for you- I was that perfect girl. And it sucked, bigtime.

I was the one everyone hated standing next to. As I entered a room, I was looked up and down by every jealous female, feeling the mean spirited eyes of judgment through their fake smiles, all the while hearing their whispers; "She’s the model. She thinks she’s hot shit. She isn’t that pretty,"

All of it sucked. But more importantly, I never felt perfect. I never had less self esteem than when I was a model. Those six years of my life were the most trying on my self esteem and confidence, which got so low I never thought I would get my groove back.

I dressed down in baseball hats and no makeup for years. I hid my true self for the sake of others insecurities. Perhaps the saddest part is I know why I did it, and I am not sure I would change a thing. I wanted others to be comfortable with me. I didn’t want to stand out in a crowd, in fact after my modeling hell ride, I wanted to fade into oblivion.

We need compassion. True compassion for others. True understanding that there is no perfect, and a commitment to stop striving for it.

If you are longing to be another, you need to look yourself in the mirror today and ask why? Why are you so unhappy with what god gave you that you waste your time absorbed in self comparison.

Your issue is much deeper than your thinner, prettier friend that you wish you could push away from standing by your side.



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6 Responses to Perfection Projection

  1. Sarah says:

    Great great post & video. In recovery at first its hard to grasp that way of thinking (the truth) The first step is trying, then learning. That’s the real feel good in life. I hid with my ED by turning every life “problem” (aka not being perfect @everything) onto “perfecting” my body (which did nothing but cause anxiety, no self esteem and depression.) I know by working to disconnect myself from my ED, my true identity will shine through. I am the one that needs to love & accept myself first. And the right man will be there waiting for me;)

  2. Ella says:

    I can’t watch the video – my computer won’t let me and I don’t know why.
    One of my friends told me that an eating disorder is a bandaid solution to our problems. It seems like a great fix, until the bandaid gets stuck and the wound underneath becomes infected and filled with puss. Then the only way to fix it is rip off the bandaid and let the wound air.
    For me – a lot of things changed how I saw myself, but one of my biggest fears is that I take up too much space and when I am sick with my ed, when I am not eating, when I am purging, etc. I feel like I am taking up a little less space, that I am a little less of a burden, that there is less of me to worry about.
    However, it’s nearly 2:30am in Australia and I need to get some sleep!!

  3. Tanya says:

    “She doesn’t have to worry. It makes me feel self conscience standing next to her”
    ‘Its alright for you’ is one of the most damaging phrases in the English language. I went through school and college hearing that from ‘friends’ because I always did well academically. They completely ignored the fact that I worked myself into insanity for the entirety of my academic career (eventually leaving university after the sudden realisation of “I don’t actually enjoy this or want to be here”).
    It was not ‘alright for me’. I worked my ass off. All the time. I felt like a failure if I was anything less than perfect. I didn’t feel that I had to be better than other people at things (quite the opposite, I’d rather lose and congratulate someone who was gloating than win and deal with bitterness) but I had to be the best that I could be, with no exceptions. This pressure mostly came from within (sometimes I feel like such an eating disorders cliche).
    I went back to college a few years ago and, as always, worked myself insane to do the best I could possibly do. And I heard the dreaded ‘its alright for you’ again. Only this time, I argued. My life didn’t suck by any stretch of the imagination, but I had a debilitating incurable illness (still do) and no money at all so things weren’t easy. My achievements were the result of my own hard work, not blessings of circumstance.
    I wish people would concentrate more on why they feel so insecure rather than pushing all that negativity onto the people who they feel (wrongly) have a better lot in life than they do.

  4. Araea says:

    I too am not able to watch the videos. However, they work on youtube…weird? Also, it seems bizarre that when you keep yourself at that teetering point between emaciation and normal is when people act on that perfection projection. For years, everyone thought I had it so easy because I was ultra thin and I could see the glares, but internally I was an emotional mess. People always assume that if you appear beautiful you must have it all. When usually, it is the opposite.
    I completely get what you are saying about the space issue. I feel the exact same way, especially around men. Also, I think the band-aid analogy is pretty close to a perfect explanation. Some might not agree though.
    I think us ED people, we seek to perfect our bodies because they are tangible and we can manipulate our bodies. Our cognition on the other hand, seems to be the hardest to control and change. Just thoughts, but I must go study for exams.

  5. Jen says:

    I would also like to point out the often innate interfemale beauty competition that seems underline female relationships. So the disorder and “perfection” is not solely to take the blame but we also have to change the way we frame our feelings towards other women, how we base our security on an aesthetic standard or comfort around each other. It is absolutely ridiculous and all the more insecure to feel threatened or humiliated by a thinner girl.
    Girls, we need to re-evaluate the way we see ourselves and others to help each other instead of perpetuating the beauty myth and creating relations where women hate women.

  6. smudgeruk says:

    Just saw this online, seems to fit with the topic.

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