Picture imperfect – women, we have been framed

Striving to be picture perfect is a mental health hazard that keeps us from enjoying and being ourselves in all our perfect imperfection.

Picture imperfect – women, we have been framed

We women have been framed by pictures of perfection.

We diet and taunt and torture our bodies daily and quietly beg them to behave as we walk out into our homes, jobs and society, disliking the picture imperfect fact that we don’t look like airbrushed, photo-shopped ‘perfect’ models. Yet in truth, models don’t even look like models.

  • More than half of teenage girls are, or think they should be, on diets[1]
  • 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted “often” or “always”.[2]

We often scan and hunt for the flaws we think we have in our own photographs when no amount of critiquing will ever change the fact that we are perfectly imperfect.

We are obsessed with looking perfect in so many areas of our lives.

  • The perfect family
  • The perfect partner
  • The perfect children
  • The perfect job
  • The perfect lifestyle

You name it and perfectionism comes in many forms.

We have been faking it for years thinking that perfection is the answer to our issues. But the cracks are beginning to show. Perhaps not to the external world but deep inside we know. We live in fear that the world will find out that we are not perfect and reject us for it.

60% Complete

Why women override and hurt themselves with ideals

This excerpt presents a great explanation as to why women often avoid being honest about their feelings and their choices.

When we equate perfection with being loveable we live with anxiety, low self worth and even depression. Day after day we attempt to manage who we are trying hard to be, the perfect version of ourselves. Feeling the shame and sadness of being imperfect is a global reality for many women.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)[3] reports Americans spent more than U$ 12 Billion dollars on procedures in 2014. That’s a lot of money spent on changing the way we look. It would be true to say that we have an obsession with perfection in the human form. According to this report the top five surgical procedures for both men and women combined in 2014 were:

  • Liposuction
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Nose Surgery

In 2013, 90.5% of all cosmetic procedures in the UK were for women.[4]

We have been framed.

The way we women critique and judge ourselves is a mastered art but not one to cherish. This continuous assessing of our flaws and faults makes every encounter with the mirror an arrest.

We strive for perfection with what we see, like it somehow confirms our worthiness. But what is it we are truly seeking? The perfect look? The ageless face? Zero size body? A mask to hide behind? Protection from judgement from others?

We fool ourselves that if we present as perfectly groomed and flawless in complexion than no one will notice how emptiness and sadness have cloaked our lives.

We have been framed

Almost the entire make-up industry is built on the premise that women feel imperfect, masking our flaws and highlighting our ‘assets’. With every layer of foundation we breathe a sigh of relief. With every wave of the mascara wand we rejoice in the fact that the mask can be applied and in doing so we rob ourselves of the very thing we are so desperate for – to be deeply loved and accepted for who we truly are, in our true state of natural beauty.

The face in the mirror that we judge and dissect is not perfect. It is real. It is raw. It is our God given right to accept and love our face with tenderness and adoration.

"When you look in the mirror you will always see what you feel."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, Volume 1, p 539

Next time we look in the mirror, we could take a moment to truly connect to our warm loving heart, not our cold ideals of perfection. We may at first be drawn to see imperfections on the surface, but if we allow ourselves to look past these and go deeper within our eyes we can find something that is so much greater than perfection: us.

Picture Imperfect is knowing and celebrating that – We are fragile and delicate and beautifully flawed. We are fluid and forever evolving. We are deliciously sweet and gorgeously odd.

Our worth and value do not lie in the way we look. It will never be found in a mirror we gaze into with anything less than the depth and stillness of love that we all are at heart.

We women are divine and the only shame is what we inflict upon ourselves when we forget to allow, enjoy and show our perfect imperfections for all to see without reservation or apology. When we don’t see ourselves as broken there is nothing to hide, fix or ‘make up’ for.

"Enjoy being you – there is no greater joy."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, Volume 1, p 539


  • [1]

    Health Research Funding. Retrieved from http://healthresearchfunding.org/teenage-girls-body-image-statistics/

  • [2]

    National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Retrieved from http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

  • [3]

    The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Retrieved from http://www.surgery.org/media/news-releases/the-american-society-for-aesthetic-plastic-surgery-reports-americans-spent-more-than-12-billion-in-2014--pro

  • [4]

    British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Retrieved from http://baaps.org.uk/about-us/press-releases/1833-britain-sucks

Filed under

Beauty mythsSelf-worthEmpowermentBody image

  • By Kathryn Fortuna

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.