#181 Is Your “Perfect” Daughter Hiding Something From You? (Caralena Peterson)
October 21 2022
“My junior year [of college], I was struggling with anxiety attacks, and [in] my senior year I had a major depressive episode,” says Caralena Peterson. The reason? “It’s essentially this expectation that you’re supposed to have the perfect grades, perfect body, perfect future plans, perfect everything,” she explains, “but of course, it doesn’t take any visible effort.” Peterson, knows this struggle is real for so many young college-aged women. At her alma mater, Duke University, the term “effortless perfection” was coined to describe the struggle that leads to these experiences. Peterson decided this was such an important topic that she authored the new book, The Effortless Perfection Myth. Peterson went on to research effortless perfection and interview countless young adults, pouring all of her findings into her new book. Listen to her conversation with CoveyClub founder Lesley Jane Seymour to understand how this race with perfection is causing a heartbreaking mental and emotional health struggle in our younger generations and how your daughter/niece/friend might be hiding it. Pass this conversation on to your peers, your daughters, your granddaughters, your sisters, and help end the effortless perfection cycle.
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Caralena Peterson is the author of the forthcoming book The Effortless Perfection Myth (release date September 20, 2022) about the gender issues today’s women run into in college. She graduated from Duke University in 2015 with majors in Women’s Studies and Public Policy. She has published articles with Inside Higher Ed, The Week, She Knows Media, Ms. Magazine, Rewire News, Bustle, Garnet News, Women’s E-News, and Elite Daily. She is also a mixed-medium artist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Washington Life Magazine. Check out more of her work and sign up for her newsletter at www.caralenapeterson.com. Follow her on Instagram at @effortlessperfectionmyth.
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