Could PDP (Public Display of Perfection) be making us depressed?

I’m pretty sure I’ve just made up a new term ‘PDP’ which stands for Public Display of Perfection and encompasses the perfect persona we put on for the outside world. PDP includes the way many of us girls feel we can only go out in public with a full face of makeup on, otherwise we won’t be accepted or deemed attractive. PDP includes the designer clothes and holidays you buy because you want to live life the way you see it on Instagram. And PDP also includes trying to act like someone you’re not or at least hiding some personality traits, like your anxiety or depression in order to come across as the perfect person.

Snapchat is my favourite outlet for PDP

We all know perfect doesn’t exist, yet we still aspire to it. I know I do! But why on earth would we try so hard to be something that doesn’t exist? I know personally that it’s partly due to the pressures of social media. It makes us feel that if we’re not eating awesome healthy food, spending lots of money and doing a job we love that our lives aren’t perfect. We can’t all be on beaches doing yoga with flawless makeup-free faces. Unfortunately that’s just not the way life is for people like me, a normal twenty-something year old woman who is still trying to find her place in the world and gets way to excited about payday. As stupid as it sounds it can be hard to accept that you can’t make your life into an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Another reason why we’re pressured in our daily lives to perform PDP is because we feel that the more we act perfect the happier we’ll be and the closer we’ll be to the perfect life that we want. It’s a shame that we don’t always appreciate what we have, I know I’m a culprit for this, because I’m always judging myself against what others have. If I walk down the street and see a beautiful girl I automatically think ‘I bet her life is pretty perfect, I mean look at how gorgeous she is’. I know it sounds crazy but it’s almost impossible not to imagine that someone who is prettier than you or has more than you consequently has a better life than you. But that’s not the way life works. I don’t know what that girl has been through or how she lives, she could be miserable!

When your idols are celebrities it’s even more torturing for your soul to try and look or act like them when you know you’ll never have the amazing life that they do. I don’t know about you but I feel mentally drained from having to put on a public persona of perfection. Being mentally drained and always unhappy with how imperfect life is whether that’s your looks, body, job or life circumstances, I think can lead to depression because I feel like I’ve been pretty close at times. Luckily for me I can get myself out of those dark feelings, but if you’re someone who can’t then PDP could spiral into something much worse and take a huge toll on your mental well-being.

I don’t know what the answer to this is except for the fact that we need to learn to be happy with what we have and to not put the Beyoncé’s and Kardashians of the world on such a huge pedestal. We are who we are for a reason and as long as we make the most of life we shouldn’t feel down about not being rich enough, or pretty enough or popular enough. At the end of the day when you take off your makeup and put on your scruffy pyjamas it’s good to sit back and think about everything in your life that you’re grateful for. One day we’ll realise that our lives are already perfect because they make us the awesome flawed people we are. Always remember Beyoncé’s infamous line from Pretty Hurts “perfection is a disease of a nation” and she’s damn right.


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