Perfectionism is an Agonising Myth With Inferiority

When does our self-confidence start to become debilitated in life and we begin to doubt ourselves?  What makes us question ourselves and start to feel insignificant in other peoples eyes?  It is all a perception… yet so difficult for us all to see.

When we are little girls… we are full of confidence… nothing can phase us.  We are full of life, energetic and our strength is abundant in play.  At some point, at this very young age… we fall into a tangled web, as our peers’ question our relevance and we start to doubt our significance.  Differences are pointed out loudly and doubt sets in, upon our somewhat immature minds.

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This negatively conceived concept of perfection develops and sadly becomes the ideal for young girls to strive for… to fit in with a childhood society as a pecking order develops.  The unfortunate part is that it can take many years for these pre-conceived notions to be challenged and overcome.

As young girls develop through their teenage years and grow into young women, these perceptions are carried into adulthood and can burden our personal relationships.  Inferiority complexes have become the norm and media continues to depict the symbol of perfectionism as beauty without flaws.  Visual attractiveness becomes the image for one to endeavor to assume.  What are we teaching our young women and our young men of today?

As women are exploited on television and in magazines, our society is sending this message that perfection with our looks is the ideal.  We place unnecessary pressure on these young developing minds, that our appearance is more significant than personality, behaviour and attitude.  Those less fortunate in the beauty department are left feeling inadequate and unworthy.  Self-confidence has been lost and takes years for one to resurrect.

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Women can spend a great part of their lives, feeling inadequate and defective in some way.  They then feel accustomed with these faulty impressions and perceive that their partners will see the vulnerability beneath.  Men become confused as to what role women play in our society… beauty or brains… one to look at and one to hold.  They may fail to realise that women are far more complex than either.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and this rings true.  But beauty is far more than being skin deep.  Beauty is a package of love, emotions, attitude, behaviour and values.  Attraction is complicated and not something to be evaluated.

Beauty is not in our appearance… real beauty is in our overall take on life and our confidence to be who we are.  It is our passion, our natural ability, our differences… those special little quirks that make you distinct and stand out in this world.  Everybody has something that makes them special, allowing them to shine with their true beauty when it is discovered.

We are who we are and why would you want to be anybody else.  Be true to yourself and own who you are.  Show the world what makes you tick… show the world that perfection is a myth and you are worthy just the way you are.

Kindness, compassion and an understanding for others are the real qualities that make us beautiful.  There is no need to strive for perfection.  Our flaws are what make us unique.  If you always look for perfection, you will never be content.  Have faith that you are perfect just the way you are.

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We can always strive for personal growth to benefit ourselves in our health, our mind and our wellbeing… but not competition or comparison.  Love the person you are.  Flabby arms, speech impairments, baldness, lack of coordination, shyness, wobbly tummy, big nose, cross-eyes or a physical limp… does not define who you are.  They are just imperfections that should be accepted and thought about no more.

Our flaws and imperfections are the beautiful attributes that make us unique.  There is an untold story beneath each and every attribute.  Claim those stories… claim your individuality.  Our behaviour is not perfect either, we are all human.  Our mistakes are our lessons in life.  Learn the lesson and move on.

Too much of our life is wasted upon how we think we should hide, disguise or shield those unimportant visual discrepancies and our misaligned conduct.  We are what we are and we must feel comfortable in our own skin.  We need to boost each other up and encourage everyone to reveal the real beauty within, rather than battle a comparison war and feelings of inadequacy.

Love yourself first and foremost… then you will attract others into your life naturally and not by any false means of advertising.  You will be happier and more content if you allow yourself to be confident and believe in yourself.  Those little things that make up who you are… is what really makes you beautiful.  Believe you are beautiful and the world will see that you truly are.

Take care, Karen

“The biggest challenge of life is to be yourself

in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.”

~ Author Unknown

 

From Exploiting Women…To The Triumphs of Strong Women

It saddens me that women still have to fight for feminism rights and respect within this world.  Today I tackle a controversial issue that irritates me within the Australian culture… the exploitation of women.  After being faced with an incident last week, it has played on my mind, and now it is time I revealed my annoyance with the way women are looked upon as inferior sexualised objects.  Australia is supposed to be a pretty advanced society and women’s rights have been successfully implemented over this last century.

Despite the strength of many women, we are still faced with sex-based discrimination bringing an abundance of emotional torment to women every day in this country.  Why do some men welcome this exploitation for their mere selfish pleasure?  Why do some women allow themselves to be regarded as the inferior sex and settle for being taken advantage of regularly?

Historically, Australia is a male-dominated society, which started way back in 1788 when the British settled upon this land.  There has predominantly been a lack of respect and inferiority that continued for many generations.  Despite the equity of women becoming more accepted in Australia now… sadly I am reminded that we still have further hurdles.

Thankfully most Australian’s are respectable and there is support for women’s liberation every day around us… and not all men are so superficially challenged.  During this last week, I have witnessed both extremes… from very supportive women to the exploitation of women.

After enjoying several performances and shows during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, I was having a wonderful time and enjoying time away from the farm.  However, there was one particular performance that really did annoy me… which in my opinion, is working against the progress that women have made.  Not to mention names of the “not so great” performing group or venue… the exploitation of a woman within their performance, I found extremely crude and disrespectful.  Not funny at all.

To set the stage for you…

A young woman was “selected” from the audience as a volunteer, which may or may not have been part of the act.  The attractiveness of the young woman was verbally stated as part of the show… but it was the inappropriateness of the in-depth references to her body parts and blatant sexual advances, that I found very offensive. I am not too much of a prude and I don’t mind a little crudeness for humorous purposes.  But the sexual suggestions and inappropriate requests from the all-male performers… such as asking her to stroke the tambourine with intimate references, continuous bending over to take a bow in order to give the drummer a view of her butt in her short shorts, jumping up and down in excitement with men tantalising over bouncing breasts, brazen suggestions for a wet T-shirt to be brought to the stage, the fiddle player “accidentally” on purpose poking her breast with his bow, and the ongoing sexual advances… this was not entertainment but patronising vulgarity.

The saddest part was that this young woman was all too obliging and acted very “ditsy” when carrying on with their show.  Her foolishness within this show, made women appear brainless and cheap.  It made out as if women are worthless and our purpose is only for the sexual connotations for men.  This notion is so prehistoric and I found it crude that this was depicted in this way.  This type of presumptuous demeanor is a tragic insult to women in general.

Women have come so far in this world with equality, through women’s liberation and feminism, and our value has finally been acknowledged.  Sadly, I felt sorry for this woman being exploited (whether she realised it or not).  I felt sorry for the women in the audience (mainly an older generation)… thinking that this was normal back in their day and not considered sexual harassment at all.  And I felt sorry for the men that watched (and maybe quietly enjoyed the show) whether they realised it was disrespectful or not.  As a mother of 2 sons, I would be disgusted and disappointed if my sons treated women like this… and I am grateful that my husband respects women and is not superficial.

I watched the show for a short while, despite their early warning that their aim was to offend people and challenge political incorrectness.  I really thought the show could be quite funny.  Once I realised that this show was far too objectionable for my liking, I did leave the venue, as a personal statement that I did not support the exploitation of women by anyone.

Women are not sexual objects… they do need men to drool over their superficial looks and sexuality.  Women want to feel like a work of art… not a “piece of meat”.  Women have thoughts and feelings… they have opinions and talent… they deserve to be treated with dignity and regarded as an equal gender.  No more, no less, equal.

Although the disrespect may be evoked by many men in our community, it is women who allow them to be disrespectful towards them.  Women must realise their worth and stand up for themselves.  As women, we need to promote the well-being of all women.  If we are more liberated, the men will see that we deserve the respect we seek.

In a paradoxical moment, only several days later, I was able to witness a heartfelt supportive woman.  I attended Beccy Cole’s concert and enjoyed her fun-loving stage presence, her humour and her music.  Something that stuck with me… at the end of her show, her outspoken statements in support of feminism.  She just wants women to be nice to each other and accept ourselves for who we are.  Women need to support each other and boost each other up.  Her kind words really resonated with me, as I totally support this notion.

Similarly, when I attended another big concert “Country Turns Pink” which was raising funds for the McGrath Foundation, I witnessed another inspiring event.  Many music artists showed their support at this event and of women in general.  Beautiful music and lyrics touched the audience thanks to artists such as Tania Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Beccy ColeAdam Harvey and Amber Lawrence.

I would like to share this song I enjoyed when sung by Amber Lawrence as I really loved the beautiful lyrics… “Cheers to the Girls”.  The uplifting song is about women realising their own worth, taking back their power, standing up for themselves and following their dreams.  I am sure that every girl and woman can relate to this song and has felt these sort of feelings at some point in their lives.  This is what we should be promoting for women… and we deserve nothing less.  Listen and enjoy!

Take care, Karen.

“Women of Worth

She is someone’s daughter

She is someone’s friend

She is someone’s sister

She is someone…”

~ Author Unknown

Video Credit: Amber Lawrence & YouTube

The Exploitation of Women is Startling and Beyond Harmful

As a woman, wife and mother, I believe women have been exploited terribly over the years.  Why do we allow the media to put so much pressure on us making us feel inadequate against the “ideal” images portrayed?  The focus on a women’s appearance is very strong throughout our popular culture.  Women’s roles on television and in magazines & newspapers is often seen as a sexualised adornment.

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Despite the women’s movement over the years, it has not substantially changed society’s attitudes towards women, when they are still portrayed in a two-dimensional way.  It is a continuous struggle for the women of today to be seen as strong, important and valued members in our country.

Women have come so far and made significant changes over the years which has forged pathways for other women.  It wasn’t until 1902 that women were given the right to vote in Australia and stand for a federal election.  However women were not present for the first 20 years of Australian politics.  Since the 1970’s women have increased their representation in politics.

Women have made significant strides towards equality in workplaces, at universities, in boardrooms and in Government, taking on leadership roles.   It was 1974 before women were even granted a full adult wage.

Women and girls make up over 50% of the Australian population.  While women comprise of 47% of all employees in Australia, they still earn about $250 less than men each week.  The national gender “pay gap” is 15.3% and has remained between 15%-19% for the past 20 years.

FTF2018_gender_1200.jpg (1200×1440)It was not until 1984 that the Sex Discrimination Act came into force, making sex discrimination and sexual harassment against the law.  This has played an important role in changing community attitudes and helping advance gender equality in our country.

More than 50% of women, aged 18 or older, have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.  More than 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.  These figures are quite alarming.

Despite the progress, women and girls continue to experience inequality and discrimination, which can limit the choices and opportunities available to them.

There is a competition of ideas about what a women’s role is in our society.  Today, Australian women have many more choices about how to live their lives.  It should be what is right for each woman… as every woman has her own idea as to what fulfillment is for her.  A woman can be a mother, or she can be career-orientated, or both… she can be single or in a relationship of her choice… there is no right or wrong.  Women have the power to exercise their freedom, despite the limitations placed upon them.

Yet why are women still portrayed in the media in an inferior light?  Women are not objects, we are not weak and there is no need for the exploitation of our gender.  How would you men feel, if the roles were reversed?  It is unfair to both genders and is ridiculously accepted in our society.  The air-brushed models and actresses, are not what young women need to be comparing themselves to today.

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As a young girl, at an age where our culture started to define me… I remember the inadequacy I had felt, the inferior complex I developed and the limiting beliefs that I accepted.  Sadly, I never felt “good enough” to be able to be the girl that I thought I was supposed to be and what I perceived as normal in our society.  As young girls we want to be prettier, be slimmer, more curvy, to look different… thinking that would make us more acceptable to others.  Sadly we are never comfortable in our own skin.  To much emphasis is placed on our “looks” and not enough on what true beauty really is.

As a mother, I felt satisfied that I had sons, and not daughters to raise with the unfair burden of sexualised adornment within our society.  But as a woman who has experienced a lot of sadness, judgement and annoyance with an industry that takes advantage of women and their emotions… I have something to say.

After decades of allowing the exploitation of women to affect my own mindset, an inner fight refusing acceptance and the reliance on depression/anxiety medication… I want to educate others with what I have learned.  I now realise that I want to protect the esteem of girls and young women in our society.  I want my nieces and my son’s partners and all young females to not accept and under-value their self-worth because of a culture that is unfair to a women’s sense of self.  Every girl and woman is of value… we are all unique and on our own journey in this world.  We all need to like ourselves and learn to love the person you are.

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I ask you to think about how you would feel if it were your daughter or your sister, being exploited in that magazine or in the movie you are watching.  We need to band together, boosting up the girls and women in our lives, and protecting our loved ones, ensuring their self-esteem is not harmed and they are aware of their self-worth.

When I think about how far women have really come and the obstacles they have incurred, it really is a remarkable achievement in improving the lives of women today.  Don’t let our media culture affect the young women in our society.  They are the future of our country… our future mothers, our future leaders and we need to ensure they develop into confident women of value.  Women are worth no more or no less… we just balance life with our men.  Let the women in your life inspire you and raise your daughters to be those inspiring women.

Take care, Karen.

“A women should be two things:

who and what she wants.”

~ Coco Chanel

(French Fashion Designer & Business Woman)

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