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.
Since she was a child, she dragged herself and began with the mother: You have to do everything that I couldn’t. Resilience is expected.
Women live for others, and that creates stress and anxiety for them. They have been educated to meet unrealistic expectations that society has imposed on them from an early age. 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 into depression.
Here are some of the general pressures girls face in society. When these expectations are written down, it becomes more apparent 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 the news about school dress codes, especially about girls. Girls are being told not to wear shirts that show their bra straps or 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, clean, play a musical instrument, and sing… the list goes on. Even today, I feel that is true. Although our mindset toward this is getting better, there is 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 always expected to 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, many would call her derogatory terms.
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 entirely content? To not be completely happy is OK. To be satisfied 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 flawed thinking.