This morning on Newsweek and msnbc.com there is a great article in the Health section entitled “The Incredible Shrinking Bride: How the Pressure to Look Perfect on the Big Day Is Leading Some Women to Extremes.” While hardly breaking news (who hasn’t come across a bride-to-be who’s freaking out about her wedding?!), it was interesting to see how the quest for perfection affects people and, in this case, pushes them past any concern for their own well-being.

The article talks of women developing life-threatening eating disorders in order to achieve weight loss, taking up smoking as another method of weight loss, spending enough time in a tanning salon to develop skin cancer, and getting “cheap” plastic surgery to fix blemishes that can result in permanent damage to their bodies. The quest for perfection really only seems to be leading these women closer to some form of destruction. These methods not only fail to bring about the desired result (aka, physical perfection), they actually appear to make things worse.

It’s easy to dismiss such examples of extremism. They are the exception, not the norm, right?! I would argue that this example is, in fact, not unique. The demand for perfection can be found in all of our lives. Some form of it, at least. And while it may not always have such a visible effect, if you look close enough, the devastation is never far behind.

For the full article click here.