This painting narrates the story of Natalie. Natalie is a ballet dancer and all of her life she has
felt the extreme pressure for the to strive for perfection. The endless quest for perfection is
unrealistic for anyone, but Natalie was also born with scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the
spine). This is symbolized by her crown of vertebrae. Perhaps the best symbol of perfection is
the Madonna, the mother of Jesus. The lilies on her ballet dress and head symbolize Madonna’s
perfection and Natalie’s Christian faith. The symbol on her chest of the moon in a triangle
represents the sacred feminine and is another symbol of perfection. Lilies also happen to be her
favorite flower along with pink as her favorite color. The lilies however, are only outlines, or
façades of perfection. Just as her classical ballet dress used to squeeze her body and pierce
her ribs so tightly that she would have to purge, the dress of lilies is squeezing her body and
spine into “perfection” and her headdress of lilies symbolizes the weight of perfection that she
carries. However, Natalie is learning to let go of these unrealistic expectations and letting go of
control. This is symbolized by the pink dripping from her finger and her pose. She is relaxed and
Striving for perfection has led her to have an extreme amount of stress, anxiety and has led to psychological troubles including eating disorders. After being assessed for a variety of physical problems and all of the results coming back normal, she realized that her ailments were caused by spiritual and psychological issues relating to perfectionism. Instead of continuing to bottle them up, she is starting to talk about her problems, heal, express herself unrelentingly and know her feelings are valid.
Oil Painting on Wood.
Created : 2016