It’s difficult to look at women in the public eye these days without noticing the odd tuck here and the odd injection there.

However much we condemn people for altering their faces and appearance, can we really stand here and criticise what we have created. We are encouraged by countless magazines, beauty books and doctors that the way to happiness is perfection. We must eat a balance diet - everything in moderation- we much have a balanced life, we must exercise, (but not too much and not too little.) We must be dedicated to our children; but not too much as we’ll se seen as overbearing but too little or we’ll be seen to neglect. We must strive for the perfect figure, we must have just enough fat, but we can’t have too little. If we are dedicated to work then we are seen to be cold, heartless joyless, yet we take the time to step out of the rat race and there are another set of disparaging labels.

It sounds very much like our society has been struck with a Goldilocks syndrome; nothing’s right unless it’s perfect and balanced; nothings acceptable unless it’s bench marked against the “blueprint of life”. But there is no blueprint, there’s no template; there’s life, and there’s living. Goldilocks had it easy! Unfortunately for us striving to get it right isn’t laid out in front of us so easily, we can’t pick and choose which suits us best as we spend our whole lives looking for perfection which really isn’t there and criticising those who get it wrong.

Although this is an epidemic which affects men & women, in my experience women fight with the “shoulds” constantly; should she be a good mother or a business woman; should she be a sensual goddess or a shrinking violent, should she be a pear shape or boyish physique.

I find that woman’s physique is judged and condemned on a daily basis yet we do nothing to stop it. It pales in comparison to the torture, abuse and violence which is inflicted on women around the world, we condemn the perpetrators, fight for justice shed tears for those in pain; and so we should. We also need to fight for those who are trapped in a life of perfection; I feel pain and sadness for those who live in a bubble where their body is tortured by diets and excessive exercise. I hope for the day the penny drops and we all realise that the search for the “not too much and not too little” lifestyle belongs firmly in the story books.


We, as a society, produces a life where we are in constant struggle to create a perfect image forgetting to ignore our personal goals but one that is made up by our peers and the media. We need to focus on ourselves and figure that being healthy, mentally, emotionally, and physically is what is important. Thanks for bringing this up because it effects all of us!

With gratitude, Carri Pence

Thanks Carri, I'm always grateful for your comments and support. I find myself in a quandry, I feel that this is important to us and should be brought to this forum, but at the same time I feel that it really shouldn't be a subject of importance. There are so many issues for women to deal with & to resolve, this shouldn't be one of them. But it's becoming an epidemic in Britain where women are marred by self hatred and the external pressure which follows them everyday.

I don't think this is an issue we should ignore. It creates depression and the inability to have a happy life for so many women. We should put weight on this issue because it is not only hurting women in the global north it is also having a negative consequence on the global south. The concept that we can define beauty and what life is supposed to be is not only frustrating to us (and that is 99.9 percent of the population) who can't achieve it but it'll also have a negative effect on the other aspects of our life. This is because we put too much importance on these issues because we are, through the media, supposed to perfect, that we forget what is really important to us and the world.