Perfection is a lie – a conversation with my sister

Perfection is a lie –  a conversation with my sister

It’s confidence month on Muffin top mummy, and today I want to highlight that perfection is a lie.

You probably know this already, but as someone who has had/will have/wants to have babies, everything you see, hear and read will try to convince you otherwise. You must lose weight. Your house must be spotless. A hair out of place is a massive fail. It’s not. We both know this. And yet, as we scroll through Insta, or flick through the latest magazine, every image is designed to make you feel inferior. Everyone else’s life looks perfect. And if you could just get your hands on this, or invest in that, yours could be too.

A little while ago, I was having a lovely Jacuzzi with my sister.

We’d got our hands on some free passes to a local gym and were treating ourselves to a nice, long relax in the warm water.

It was bliss.

But I couldn’t shake a feeling that had crept over me from the minute we’d changed into our swimwear. My sister is the sort of girl you’d probably love to hate (I certainly dabble in it). Not because you or I are evil, obvs. Simply because she is beautiful. She’s tall, tanned and slim as anything.

But she couldn’t wrap her towel round herself quick enough on our way out to the pool.Β AndΒ she didn’t want to get out of the jacuzzi because there were people around.

Sorry what!?!

I genuinely couldn’t believe how self-conscious she was. If I looked like her, I thought, I’d probably be parading around naked all the time. Pop to the shops nude. Play a spot of tennis bare. Well, perhaps not, but I certainly wouldn’t be shy about going swimming.

I had to know what was going on

I asked her why she was so worried.

Her answer floored me – “I’m not happy with the way I look”.

There’s me, all hips, wobbly bits and paler than pale skin (and this is before I got pregnant!) wandering about with barely a second thought for all the other pool-goers. Then there’s my gorgeous sister, trying desperately to merge in with the pool-tiles.

I had no idea her insecurities were so crippling. And in all honesty, it made me angry. She’s 6 years younger than me and I think the pressure on her generation in particular is astronomical. You must look like this. You must wear that. You cannot be satisfied with yourself. All because someone wants to sell you the magic ‘get perfect’ solution.

But perfection is a lie

There’s no such thing as perfection. It doesn’t exist – because we are all so completely unique and individual that there is no ‘one size fits all’.

What seems perfect to me could be your worst nightmare.

I tried to explain this to her. I told her how beautiful I think she is. But in her mind, everyone was looking at her and judging. They thought she was too tall, her thighs too large, her face too unattractive.

I wanted to grab her and shake her until she heard me.Β Guess what? No-one is looking at you. Because everyone is too busy worrying about themselves. Everyone is going about with the same insecurities.

The people you’re worrying about are probably thinking the exact same thing. It’s a vicious cycle of fear that has no tangible links to reality. So what if they are thinking you don’t look OK? Will you ever know they think that? In your day-to-day life, do you care that the random passer-by had this crap opinion?

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t value the thoughts of a judgmental-bitch/bastard anyway…

Lie of Perfection to Postpartum Women

What about us postpartum women?

What hope do we have as ladies that have undergone huge changes with our body, when those we deem ‘perfect’ are wracked with insecurity? At the time of this conversation, I wasn’t even pregnant.

In fact, the memory of speaking to my sister about this only recently resurfaced as I came to accept my postpartum body. I hadn’t been happy. I’d believed that I needed to return to my pre-baby body to feel ‘worthy’ of looking good again. Hiding in baggy clothes and tying up unruly hair had become the norm. Not because I didn’t care how I looked, but because I did. And I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone criticising me if I made an effort.

But I’m over that now.

I remembered what I said to my sister and realised it should be as true now as it ever was. More so, in fact. For what sort of person would I be if I didn’t listen to my own advice? (I’ll give you a hint: a stupid one)

The advice I gave her

I told her that I no longer stare dramatically at the floor in the street when I don’t wear make-up. My hair is not straightened daily (hell, I don’t even brush/blow-dry it anymore). I don’t starve myself or fear putting on a swimsuit. I like who I am.

I told her that I’m free from worrying about strangers that are most likely not even worrying about me. There are times I dress up, and just as many times that I don’t. But I don’t do it for anyone else but myself.

When every industry in the world is telling you that you need to purchase the next thing to be satisfied with yourself and your life, it’s almost impossible not to listen. But it isn’t other people’s judgement you need to listen to – it’s your own.Β They can’t help you in your mission to be perfect, because whether you like it or not, you already are. Struggling to achieve perfection is a lie.

Beautiful-Sister

Told you she was a beauty…

So my darling sister, please don’t feel like you need to disguise yourself as a pool tile ever again. To me, you are perfect.

Mummuddlingthrough
Twin Mummy and Daddy
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16 Comments

  1. June 8, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    I have two much younger siblings (I’m old enough to be their Mum) and it has always saddened me how their generation has so much pressure to be supermodel perfect. They are both incredibly beautiful, smart and funny and yet they have such low self esteem. God what I’d give to have my 21 year old bod again!
    Wonderfully uplifting post – thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 8, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      It’s so sad isn’t it? You feel like you want to MAKE them see what everyone else sees somehow! All I can do is share a little love and hope it helps 😊 thank you lovely x

  2. June 9, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    Yup, it’s a huge lie society pushes on us. I have 2 children via adoption, but I do have a body of somebody who gave birth 2x to elephants. I enjoy eating and exercising not so much. That’s me. On most days I am happy with who I am, how I look, but comparison is always there to spoil my day… Thanks for sharing. #ThatFridayLinky

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 9, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      Gave birth to 2 elephants πŸ˜‚ that cracked me up! You’re right – comparison of definitely the thief of joy! (I didn’t write that one myself sadly haha!)

  3. June 9, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Great post and you are so right! I think learning to accept your body is a right of passage for some people as you get older. But younger people these days really are under such pressure. It’s really upsetting and I desperately hope that our children don’t feel it when they are older! #CoolMumClub

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 9, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      Me too – I really hope that we can influence that. My mum was rubbish at it, so I’m aiming to be better, it’s my responsibility to show Moo that I’m happy so she can be too!

  4. June 9, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    This is all totally true! I really need to learn to love myself. I know other mums go through the same things as me, and hide all the bad stuff, they aren’t perfect either. Such a great post πŸ™‚ x

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 9, 2017 / 11:00 pm

      Thank you Emma! I do feel so much better when I just let go of caring or comparing 😊

  5. No
    June 10, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Ironic considering your tag line say misery of love handles, which yes is a joke but………..

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 10, 2017 / 9:03 am

      Not really sure of the point here as you clarify it’s a joke… the post says I’ve struggled – this is part of overcoming that struggle. Thanks for your comment though!

  6. Em
    June 11, 2017 / 4:14 am

    I have no self confidence and its clear that your sister is struggling in that area too. It is made worse when people say “Who cares what other people think?!” We do, we just do. We dont have your confidence so please dont make us feel even worse for not having the self confidence you do. My husband is just like you, he tries to make me feel better and I feel worse. Instead of trying to change her, why dont you accept her, and all her foibles, as she is?

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 11, 2017 / 7:51 am

      Hi Em, if you read this you will see I’ve talked about struggling with self confidence – I’m not trying to make people feel worse, I’m trying to show everyone (myself included) that it doesn’t have to be that way. Because it doesn’t. I’m not trying to change anyone – I don’t even know how that’s possible simply by telling someone how amazing they are. I’m trying to make her feel better, which is surely a good thing? Your husband sounds like a lovely man to me I’m afraid! Good luck with everything 😊

  7. Em
    June 11, 2017 / 4:15 am

    And did you ask her if it was ok before you posted her picture?

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 11, 2017 / 7:52 am

      She’s happy with everything on this post. Thanks for checking.

  8. June 12, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    It’s a funny world we live in. There are some people that worry if they are being talked about while others worry they aren’t being talked about enough (usually the celebs). #coolmumclub

    • muffintopmummyblog
      June 12, 2017 / 7:12 pm

      Very true! For all I say here, I’d hate to be famous in that way – it’s just inviting the negativity really x

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