In a recent interview, Priscilla Presley admitted she never let Elvis see her makeup-free. Despite being married for six years (all while Priscilla was in her 20’s), she further revealed, “He (Elvis) never wanted to see me getting dressed. He wanted to see the result of getting dressed, and I still to this day believe that. Men don’t want to see what a woman has to go through to get where she is, they want to see the product, the result.”
Rachel Bender from Yahoo! reached out to me to see what my take was on this.
What I shared with her was not judgment, but rather my clinical perspective.
Here’s what I said to Rachel during our interview:
“It’s an all-or-nothing mentality: Look perfect or don’t be seen — or look perfect, or I don’t want to see you.”
Perfectionism is rooted in what’s known as conditional self-worth. Conditional self-worth means you believe in yourself if certain external conditions are present. In this case, it may have been “I believe in myself if I look perfect/am put together” or “I feel good about myself if my wife looks perfectly put together.”
Sure, you want to look good for your partner. But having the pressure of needing to look perfect all the time can cause stress. And that stress can lead to emotional overwhelm, relationship tension and even wrinkles (although Priscilla certainly doesn’t seem to have many!)
What if, instead of perfection, you focused on being Better Than Perfect? Better Than Perfect means you strive for excellence, while at the same time embracing your humanness.
When it comes to looking good for your partner, being Better Than Perfect might include trying to look your best at times, while at others being comfortable in your own skin- to show only your own skin.
After all, true confidence is sexy!