The Effortless Perfection Myth

Effortless Perfection, Mental Health, and the Female Collegiate Experience
In this course, students will explore numerous gendered issues including self-esteem, confidence, assertiveness, body image and disordered eating, hook-up culture and sexual power dynamics, mental health, and identity. They will examine these issues through the lens of “Effortless Perfection” – a term coined by the 2003 Duke University Women’s Initiative to describe the “expectation” that female undergrads “be smart, accomplished, fit, beautiful, and popular, and that all this would happen without visible effort.” The class will be structured in accordance with the instructor’s recently released book, The Effortless Perfection Myth. Assignments will include a series of reflections and a final paper wherein students will use their personal experiences to write the chapter they feel is missing from the book.

Cara Peterson graduated from the Bread Loaf School of English in 2023.
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GSFS 1012

All Sections in Winter 2024

Winter 2024

GSFS1012A-W24 Lecture (Peterson)