The Gender, Race, and Class Dynamics of “Effortless Perfection”

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4 Responses

  1. amanda says:

    For anyone interested, here’s the url for my last post about Secret’s deodorant line, which I should have linked to in this intro:

  2. Ashleigh says:

    This is a FANTASTIC post! I don’t think the “effortless perfection” ideal ever hit home for me so much as right after I had my son. Where is the movement to show off our stretchmarks with pride? I carried a person inside of me, it wasn’t effortless, my belly will never be “perfect” again, and that’s the way it should be!

  3. ALEX says:

    This is an awesome piece. It touches upon so many layers; I love the ubiquity of the idea because so many people can relate, yet it is nuanced enough that each individual’s interpretation is their own.

    Moreover, it also reminds me of Brene Brown’s research at the University of Houston on shame/vulnerability/guilt/fear and their relation to courage/connection/trust/intimacy. Brene has kind of taken her work to the mainstream audience lately (since her TEDtalks exploded and she’s been on the NYTimes bestsellers and Oprah- which is awesome btw); but I remember her saying the exact same thing in an interview. Paraphrasing, “What brings women to their knees are the messages and expectations to: Do it all, do it perfectly, and make it look effortless”.

    Subsequently, Brene also mentioned that the analogous suffocating expectation for men is: Do not be precieved as weak. Ever. Period.

    Anyways, thanks for the read. I will look into your recommended further readings. Cheers!

  1. 13th April 2016

    […] prominent among middle class, privileged women. As my colleague Cecilia Tomori pointed out to me, the mandate to be “effortlessly perfect” is especially prominent among white middle-clas…. I remember agonizing over parenting books filled with acronyms and regimens, desperate to provide […]

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