After having an entire class about this topic last night, I thought it would be good to bring up. Why are girls pretty, and boys smart? We watched a video that was about male athletes getting asked the questions that are typically asked to female athletes. They asked them questions about the clothes they were wearing, their dating life, but nothing about the actual sport (Link to video). The male athletes were either confused, or refused to answer the questions because they thought the reporters were being ridiculous. Then at the end of the video they showed one girl answering one of the same questions they had just asked a male athlete who completely freaked out. Why was she okay with answering it, but he was not?
We live in a society today that is based around girl’s looks, and boy’s performance. I’m not talking about just when we grow up either (look at the pictures). Everything you read, or hear about girls is related to beauty, physique, and body image. Things you read about boys are related to education, and ability. As a girl, yes I care about how I look, and I enjoy wearing makeup, but is part of that because of the society I was raised in? I’m not really sure.
So many girls now a days are reposting Facebook articles with titles like, “What it’s like Dealing with Anxiety,” or “Words of a Sad Girl,” all having to deal with depression, anxiety, and body issues. I very rarely see men sharing these types are articles. Yes, sometimes I read them too, and feel that I can relate. It so common.
When everything is focused on how we look as women, what our weight is, if we do or don’t wear make-up, how do we escape from it? Can we completely escape from it? No, but we can fight against it. I don’t do this much anymore, but I used to find myself looking at someone I would deem as very pretty, and usually very skinny, and think to myself, “Wow, it must be a nice life looking that good. You wouldn’t have to worry about your looks at all.” Having a good life, has nothing to do with how you look, but thats what I thought.
With men, when they gain weight, no one has anything to say about it. Unless you’re Rob Kardashian, than you’re posted on the front cover of a magazine. The “dad bod” is considered hot, but the “mom bod” from ACTUALLY carrying, and birthing a baby is not.
As a woman who struggles with body image issues, I want to fight to move away from this. Lets focus on accomplishments, rather than aesthetic. It’s okay if you want to work on the way you look, and wear pretty dresses, and bright red lipstick, but that’s not everything you are. You are smart, you are funny, you are athletic, you are you, and you just so happen to look great while doing it! The best thing I could have done for myself was start listening to the Paleo Women Podcast. These ladies will fight against the social norm, and let you know that it is completely okay to love yourself for exactly who you are.
In my class a few weeks ago, we did an activity where you would step over the line if you identified with a certain word. So as the leader said, “you identify with overweight,” let me just clarify that this was not just about looks, and weight, but this was just one word on the list, out of the 35 students in my class, I would say 15 stepped over the line. I think it was all girls too. When we had discussion afterwards, one of the girls in my class talked about how she considers herself beautiful, and would not want to change the way she looks. When she saw some of the people who crossed the line, she almost felt guilty, and as if she should have stepped over the line because she was bigger than those individuals. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty for loving the way we look, even if others think differently.
So ladies, and men too, just love yourself, love the way you look, and just remember, you are so much more than an outer appearance. Whatever you chose to do, just rock it, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!