By far the worst idea of the new sacred cows is the idea that you’re perfect just the way you are.
Imagine 2 adults. One of them weighs 80 pounds, eats no more than 200 calories every other day. The other weighs 400 pounds, can’t go an hour without eating. Both see their respective doctors. The doctor tells them, “you’re perfect just the way you are! You’re fine, you know, anorexia, heart failure, nothing to worry about there. Just keep on keepin’ on.” See, the doctor’s response is totally appropriate: ‘you’re perfect just the way you are’ is exactly what you’d tell somebody if you were afraid of telling them something they probably don’t want to hear. Or, you’re a gaslighting, enabling scumbag. It doesn’t take an imaginative genius to think of how many abusive assholes there are who tell their partners that there’s nothing wrong with hurting themselves by undereating or overeating, that they’re “perfect just the way they are.”
Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I find it impossible to be into self-love while espousing this idea. Again, I might be wrong, but it seems to me that a lot of people like this idea because they think ambition = hating yourself, hating other people, or, I don’t know, capitalism. And I think that’s bullshit. You can be ambitious without being a jerk. You can be ambitious and work out and eat right and love yourself and other people. I mean, I can’t think of an example of self-love more grounded in sanity than somebody who’s doing the bare minimum to keep their body and mind healthy.
And to do the bare minimum, to do something about a current state of affairs or a situation you find yourself in, whether that’s depression or obesity, is to believe that, yeah, you’re not perfect just the way you are. You can believe that, and still be grateful and caring and all the other positive psychology stuff.