If girls can gain new metrics for self-worth – not based on the number of likes and followers but also not based on the success of other girls her age, she puts herself in a healthier and happier position of self-competition. If she is on the quieter side, she may want to start using her voice by talking to the teacher in private. If she is feeling unhealthy, she may want to eat more nutritious foods – at least most of the time. These goals are hers, based on what she wants and needs, not what others around her are doing. Without comparisons, she is liberated to define good enough on her own terms.
What's perplexing about this trend is that this generation of girls has the most choices and potential than any other generation before them. It's natural to assume that this expansive freedom of choice should lead to greater happiness, yet girls today seem to be unhappier than ever. This paradox begins to make sense when we consider the impact of our fast-paced, hyper-stimulating culture and the role of social media, which has been proven to promote low self-worth and negative body image. We need to understand both the causes of perfectionism, and how to navigate it in a healthier way.