Proud2Bme | What is Perfectionism?

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionists try to be the best at everything they do in all areas of their lives--from school and extracurricular activities to their relationships with family and friends. People who are perfectionists have unrealistically high expectations of themselves and sometimes of others.

Is it really so bad to try your best? Of course not. Everyone has passions and pursuits they care about. But perfectionists define success in a way that makes it impossible for them to feel satisfied with anything they achieve. No grade is good enough. No amount of praise will stamp out their insecurities.  People with this level of perfectionism have a hard time accepting criticism and they live with an intense fear of failure. You wouldn’t necessarily know it though, because they work very hard to keep up the front that they’ve got it all under control.

What is the link with eating disorders?
Research shows that people who are perfectionists have an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. Anorexics and bulimics put themselves through dangerous diet and exercise regimens in their quest for the “perfect” body. In addition to striving for unattainable perfection in their physical appearance, they also put pressure on themselves to be perfect students, perfect daughters, perfect friends, and perfect girlfriends. There are theories that perfectionists with eating disorders experience a lack of control in their lives and the eating disorder gives them a sense of control. But it’s not long before the eating disorder leads to a downward spiral, where the sufferer feels out of control and unhappy, no matter how much weight she loses.


Sound familiar? Do you push yourself to be perfect? Do you know people who do?

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.