By Sophia Fromell
From the time women are little girls they are being conditioned by pop culture and media on the “perfect” image – airbrushed celebrities, marketing campaigns and movies portraying the ‘perfect’ woman who is the ideal businesswoman, wife and mother.
Women nowadays feel tremendous pressure to look ‘perfect’. Even after having a baby there is a lot of pressure to shed off the baby weight. The media doesn’t recognize women of all shapes and sizes.
Women are constantly asked why they are not married, when they will get married, why they don’t have children and when they will have children.
Even when they have children they will sometimes get criticised as non-ambitious if they stay home, or labelled as inadequate mothers if they go back to their careers.
As partners, the media popularizes a profile of a woman who has a full time career, comes home to be a patient and supporting mother who throws a 5 course dinner party at the end of the day with little effort.
All these perfectionist images of women in media is causing a lot of stress and can lead to self-image issues, eating disorders and can even lead to depression.
What to do about it:
- Practice critical awareness – Filter all of the messages and beliefs that you receive every day and select to keep those that fit your goals
- Recognize and accept yourself for who you are – You do not have to fit the social image of the perfect woman. It is okay to lose your temper, have your hair undone and cry whenever you feel like it. Be less critical of yourself.
- Reach out – Find the people in your circle who are like minded and avoid toxic people who
- Speak up – Women put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves in all areas of life. Talk about how you feel and do not hesitate to speak to others too about what is important.
Instead of trying to be perfect and keeping up with an impossible and unrealistic social image, we need to celebrate what women have achieved in the last years:
Today women are attending college in record numbers (57 percent of college students in 2010 were female),
In 2011, women accounted for 47 percent of the overall labour force in the United States and 59 percent of the college-educated, entry-level workforce.
In 2010, women earned 47 percent of all law degrees in 2010 and 48 percent of all medical degrees
In 2009, wives out-earned their husbands in 38 percent of American households.
This year, let’s make a new beginning and accept that the quest for perfection for is a myth. Not because we cannot have it all, but because we do not have to conform to a social model of perfection that we do not agree with.
We need to make a promise to ourselves that we will decide to be the woman we truly want to be, not the one our family, colleagues, friends or media expects us to be.
Sophia is a certified life coach who helps her clients navigate change in their lives, helping them overcome feelings of uneasiness/dissatisfaction and progress towards genuine contentment; as well as develop a more positive and goal oriented mindset to help them find happiness and realize their potential. After 15 years in Banking, Sophia has left the world of finance to establish Ithaca Life, to connect with people from all walks of life and share with them her knowledge, expertise and practical methods for creating a happy, fulfilling and well-rounded life.
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