perfect woman looking at the sea

An Open Letter to the Perfect Woman: Are You for Real?

by Erin Sanchez
Erin Sanchez

To the woman who washes her bra after every wear,

I’m not a hater. It’s just that, well, the rest of us are having a hard time living up.

See, I’ve noticed your impeccable manicure on Snapchat and your perfectly weeded garden on Facebook. I wasn’t aware it was possible to have both. My garden hasn’t been tended in months and still my nails are a wreck.

To the woman who always remembers her reusable grocery bags: Good for you.

I keep forgetting mine and constantly carry the burden of global warming on my shoulders. I’ve also seen your Pinterest-perfect baked goods. I bake, too, but usually only after my bananas have over-ripened because I’ve snacked on chips more than on fruit.

To the woman who actually finishes all her makeup before she leaves the house and doesn’t risk causing a multiple car pileup on the freeway: how do you do it?

No matter how early I set my alarm, I never seem to have enough time to get everything done. By the way, how does your makeup still look flawless at the end of the day? After 20 years of wearing the stuff, I’m still trying to figure that one out.

To the woman who doesn’t have to constantly pull her pants up, her shirt down, or otherwise readjust her clothing a hundred times a day: who’s your tailor?

Not that I’d go even if you told me. After all, “dry clean only” instructions don’t exactly wield much power in my house.

To the woman who has all of her body hair removed on the same day: you get a gold star.

Me? I shave in zones. Partly because I don’t have time to shave all my zones in one session and partly because my hot water heater can’t keep up. Side note: do you have any tips for razer burn? It’s just that when I saw that picture of you in a bikini in Greece, your skin looked like silk. And I could see a lot of skin… Second side note: who’s your personal trainer?

Not that I’d go even if you told me.

To the woman whose husband seems to be highly skilled in the art of Instagram photography: is there a course on this or something?

My husband always kneels down to take my pictures—an angle that captures my extra chin—and I’m running out of usable social media material.

To the woman who answers emails and returns phone calls the same day she receives them: okay, seriously, you’re making the rest of us look bad and you’re contributing to society’s need for instant gratification.

To the woman who frequents the 5am spin class: enough said.

To the woman who’s on time everywhere she goes, whose “woke up like this” selfie looks like my “this took all day” selfie, who volunteers, who shops at the farmer’s market and cooks all organic meals…

I don’t mean to sound bitter. I don’t hold any of this against you. I just need to know if you’re real or if you’re a figment of my imagination imposter syndrome.

I need to know that you aren’t, in fact, actually perfect so I can feel a little more normal.

You have a junk drawer, right?

I mean, we all have junk drawers, don’t we? Where we toss our nearly dried out pens, batteries we’re not sure are charged or dead, keys we don’t know what they unlock, and broken items we have the best of intentions to fix…someday.

It’s where we toss our flaws, our imperfections. Hidden away—out of sight and never to be seen by the likes of house guests.

So what’s it going to be? Are you willing to reveal your junk drawer?

Do it for the sisterhood.

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.


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