I think part of the problem with the image of permaculture is that it is complicated. Most people are very busy. Raising kids, working long hours, taking care of parents, etc.
I think we need to do a better job of inviting people in and saying, "Great, you're growing a tomato plant." I was always interested in foraging and growing food, riding bicycles and recycling.
What really got me excited about permaculture was seeing the more in depth ways in which it helps us, helps nature, and could continue to help MANY people. If people can feel ok about taking little baby steps, I think they
will feel positive about gradually learning more and experimenting more with it.
Some of the very complex, "I'm more sustainable than you are!", and arguments can make permaculture seem not worthwhile given limited time. Make permaculture fun again.