The pursuit of perfection

Last night I felt like I looked good, so I asked my boyfriend to take some photos of me to post here. I was wearing a dress that I really like, my hair was done, my makeup looked nice, and I just wanted to show off a little bit. He snapped a few photos, then gave me his phone to look at.
"Ew, these are terrible."
"What do you mean? You look great."
"No, I don't like them. I deleted them, take some more."
He took some more, and I still wasn't very happy with them.
"Why do I always look so weird in the photos you take of me? I look so much better in selfies."

It's true I like the photos that I take of myself much more than I typically like the ones that others take of me, even if the person taking the photo thinks it looks good. It's because I don't see myself the way that other people see me. I look in the mirror, and immediately tilt my head to find the most flattering angle, shift my body so that I look thinner or taller or curvier or whatever. I have this image of myself in my head that's not wrong, exactly; it just doesn't necessarily reflect what I look like in the wild, if you will. Other people see me in a way that is, literally, impossible for me, and I don't always love the glimpses of that that photos can give.
Not a selfie.
It can be frustrating sometimes. I like to read fashion and beauty blogs, look at magazines, check out other women on the street. I struggle a little bit with envy, with the feeling that I am somehow in competition with them. My eyeliner is never as well done, my hair never looks as good, my waist is never as small, my outfit is never as perfectly put together. It's not even that I feel unattractive - most of the time, I actually have a pretty positive self image - I just feel lacking, disappointed in how much better other people can seem.
I know that I'm not alone in struggling with that. When you're surrounded by images of "perfection", it can be hard to remember that there isn't one right way to look or be. I know some really amazing people, people that are beautiful inside and out. I don't look at them and think they look dumb when they make a funny face or wear an outfit that they've just thrown on because it's the only thing that's clean. They're cool, funny, smart, kind, generous, and engaging; often they're also stylish, and they possess a flair for presenting themselves that has nothing to do with what they're wearing.