Complicated Perfectionism

“If I Were Thinner, I’d Have the Right to Expect More”; on perfectionism and the scarcity model.

Few girls feel as pretty, as sexy, as skinny as the women they see in the media. As a result, many young women conclude that happiness is something that you only get when you get to your goal weight. And even more troublingly, when it comes to relationships, lots of straight girls think that if their own bodies aren’t perfect, they have no right to expect too much from guys.

I identify with Schwyzer’s post so very, very much… but there are two complications with this mentality in my life.

1: I generally have high standards and do not put up with shit from guys I am with, for any length of time.
2: I am brown, making looking like “freaking Megan Fox” not just hard, but impossible.

This just means that feeling unworthy takes on new implications. It means I don’t put up with shit in hook-ups or long term relationships, and both are generally positive experiences for me with positive endings and no negative consequences. However, in short term infatuations where I think there might be some long term possibilities I suffer. The moment he appears to be losing interest I panic and blame everything on my size, shape and colour. And I make the effort to change my appearance to once again deserve this guy I am with.

The other situation I suffer is in one-sided attraction. I have a history of being overlooked in favour of blondes. You know, that hair colour I could never have and look natural? Right. I also have a history of being overlooked for much, much thinner girls, with more girlish figures in general. As logical as I can be right now, putting it into context of the times when I have attracted guys precisely because of my figure (hi there het and cis privilege), in the moment it feels awful and I blame myself for not being stronger, more disciplined, not having that power to control my body shape and, irrationally, my colour.

Schwyzer focuses on the treatment of women by their significant others. In my life the insignificant others are the ones who have done the most damage.


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Filed under check your privilege, ethnicity: other, heteronormativity is fun, let's blame the media, the personal is political

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