The social pressures for women
Being a woman is stressful.
Count calories, pull your belly in, hide cellulite, show intelligence, hold your heels, be slim, be well dressed, beat your friends, run away from being single, have children before 30, meet the highest expectations of whom? Of the other women.
Female social pressure towards women is constant, cultural and even historical.
She has been dragging herself since she was a child and begins with the mother: You have to do everything that I couldn’t. Resilience is expected.
Women live for others and that creates stress for them. They have been educated from an early age to meet unrealistic expectations that society has imposed on them. The message is simple: You have to be perfect.
As long as the free market predominates, the influence of the media will continue to be decisive for women to live prey to stereotypes because they are bombarded with messages that drive them to demand perfection. The problem is that when they do not achieve it, they feel bad and some, fall in depression
Here are some of the general pressures girls face in society. When these expectations are written down it becomes more obvious how ridiculous they are.
1. Being “Put Together”
Most girls are expected to be well-dressed and put together. This means less baggy clothes and more “fitting” clothes. Their hair needs to look nice and their makeup must look refreshed and awake. They need to appear as if they had a ton of time to get ready every morning, even when they haven’t. Some might even say girls need to look “pretty” even when they first wake up.
2. Dress Codes
Many of us have seen news about dress codes in schools, especially pertaining to girls. Girls are being told not to wear shirts that show their bra straps or even shoulders because it is “distracting” to boys. Really!? This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, it should be equally acceptable for girls to wear tank tops if guys can too. Second, it teaches us that our bodies are sexualized. This kind of thinking is twisted and unfair to girls.
Even hundreds of years ago this was an expectation. Girls were supposed to know how to cook, be able to clean, play a musical instrument and/or sing… the list goes on. Even today I feel that is true. Although our mindset toward this is getting better, there is definitely room for improvement.
4. Proper, Always
Have you ever seen a guy burp and no one say anything, and then a girl burps and people say “Ew!”? Why is that? Girls are expected to always be proper and have manners. The same goes with girls versus guys having dated many people. In general, it is not that looked down upon if a guy has had many girlfriends, but if a girl has had many boyfriends in her life, many would call her derogatory terms.
In order to have “your life together” and to be considered “normal” you usually need to have a smile on your face. At least, that’s what society tells us. People think it’s strange when you aren’t smiling. If I’m not smiling, people usually ask “Are you OK?” or “What’s wrong?” But what if nothing is wrong? What if I am completely content? To not be completely happy is OK. To be happy is OK. To be sad is OK. To be content is OK. Do not let society tell you any different. Be honest with your feelings. The unveiling of the mental health stigma starts with an honest appraisal of where we’re at.
Here’s to a society that needs to be awakened from its flawed thinking.