Who else than Danish TV would show ‘De perfekte piger’ (the perfect girls), where four girls in their early twenties meet weekly to help each other let go of the mask of the perfect girl? Well, I don’t know any other countries I’ve lived or worked in, who would.
It’s pretty confronting to watch, because it’s not glamour or talk-show or famous-people-surviving-on-an-island: it’s everyday girls. And it’s confronting because most of you reading this would either know the perfect girl from yourselves or have girls or women in your lives who know that role all too well…. They may be 8, 11, 14, 17, 21, 35, 47, 56, 69, 77, 84 or…. They try so hard, and it’s never enough.
Because when we define perfect in our heads, it’s the best-possible-façade that we see others put on during school, work, family gatherings, shopping or on social media. It is based on the little pockets in time, where someone, somewhere has got it all together. It’s NEVER a realistic full-week-in-someone’s-life where you compare your everyday life to their everyday life, with all the ups and downs, disappointments and joys, misunderstandings and glimpses of contentment. It’s a comparison that will never be to your advantage.
So, you may have kept it together, being the good girl (aiming at perfect) at school, in your work, maybe even creating a family and having a go at making that perfect as well (how crazy is that: adding 2+ more people and potential pets into the mix and still pretend spotless is possible??).
The only way out is realising that it’s not possible. And that you need to open up to people you know and trust to share the things that are not ideal. Having places and moments when it’s OK to take off the mask and be YOU. With your vulnerability, your fears, your doubts, your inner critic. Realising, that the more YOU dare showing the full side of you, the more you allow others to be themselves, too.
So, what about making this coming week the matter-of-fact-one? Not pretending to have it all together, but taking it all as it comes, being realistic that it doesn’t have to be glossy and pretty, and look for someone to open up to, so it doesn’t bottle up. Look to find friends in your life you can have a good cry and a laugh with, sharing all the disappointments – of ourselves, our partners, our jobs, our kids, our families, our neighbours….
To realise we DO have a choice. That’s it’s often ourselves creating this idea of trying to do it all ourselves, and do it perfectly. That’s a lot of pressure to put on ourselves.
And to realise, that it’s never too late. The girls on the program are in their early twenties – but even if you’re in the late double digits, why not have a go at shaking her off, the perfect girl? If it’s time for you to shake her off, let’s have a chat. What could life look like instead?