Why Effortless Perfection Is A Feminist Issue And We Need To Address It
If you look at women on and outside of social media, it appears that many of them are leading effortlessly perfect lives. Not a hair out of place these ladies pack perfect lunches for their kids, keep their homes ship shape, meet every deadline at work and perhaps also glow while sleeping. With effortless perfection, women create this aura around themselves of how they have every single aspect of their lives well in control. But is everything that seems perfect actually so? Also, are women obliged to be effortlessly perfect? Effortless perfection is a feminist issue because believe it or not, it is yet another stereotype which women have internalised.
- A lot of women like to project the image of effortless perfection.
- But if we do not talk about the effort that goes into making our life what it is, will people even appreciate it?
- Effortless perfection further rubs the social stereotype on us that an ideal woman must excel in all walks of her life.
- Feminism is also about sharing each other’s struggle so that women realise that they are not alone if even daily life seems like a challenge.
With effortless perfection, women create this aura around themselves of how they have every single aspect of their lives well in control. But is everything that seems perfect actually so?
Effortless perfection in fact is an actual term which made its debut in a study by the Women’s Initiative in 2003. In refers to this compulsion among some women of making it appear that they can practically cruise through their lives, giving other women anxiety issues. Around the world, women are taught that they must ace in whatever they do. Multitasking skills of women are the stuff that legends are made of. We tell it to ourselves as well as others how women can do a lot of things all at once without much trouble. But is it yet another way of getting more work out of us? Are we paying the cost of acing every job that we take, with exhaustion serious fear of lapsing or falling back? And doesn’t this effortlessly perfect cut out take away from all the hard work that women put in? It is not a secret that women still do majority of household chores whether or not they work for a living. If we project the image that we are doing it effortlessly, will anyone seriously value the hard work we put in?
Let me get this straight. There is no such thing as effortless, in any department; it is all about projecting an image. Be it being well-read, well-groomed, housekeeping, holding a job or catering to every need of your loved ones even before they have to ask for, it takes effort. It takes time and energy and even money to make perfection happen and while one may relish the perfection part of it, do we really have to make it look effortless? The problem lies with how it affects other women around us. The sense of effortlessness on our behalf may fill others with a sense of inferiority. They may feel like a failure for not acing in all walks of life so breezily. They may also end up wondering what they are doing wrong to complicate things for themselves. It also fills women with the dread of not meeting the standards set for them by the society, which clearly other women are upholding effortlessly.
There is no such thing as effortless, in any department, it is all about projecting an image. Be it being well-read, well-groomed, housekeeping, holding a job or catering to every need of your loved ones even before they have to ask for, it takes effort.
Feminism is also about standing up for your sisterhood and keeping them from feeling that they lag in some way. It is about showing compassion and empathy towards each other and not making life into a competitive sport. Besides, women have a tendency to not speak about their struggles which isolates us. We must reach out to each other and openly embrace all the effort that we put in making our lives what they are. The stories of struggle and failure are as important as sharing the ones about success because they let other women know that they are not alone.
There is no shame in admitting that perfection comes at a cost. If you are putting an effort to ace all aspects of your life, why not be proud about it? And even if our lives aren’t perfect, effortlessly or otherwise, one needs to ask who set the standards for perfection for us, and why did we let them do that. For me personally, like effortlessness, there is no such thing as perfection. We all have chinks in our armour and these chinks are what make our lives unique and give us individuality. No amount of perfection can beat that, can it?
Image Credit: Autumn Goodman, Unsplash
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.