I have been taught to hate myself. As a female I have been taught to hold myself to unreachable standards out of fear of being judged, different, not lady-like, or not good enough. Just last month, I went to the pool with my family. While standing in line for a water slide, my little brother made me feel insecure in more ways than one. First he bellowed that my nose looked hairy because I had many black heads covering it. After quickly realizing he was right, I felt the need to look down. Fearful and shameful of being judged, I turned away from him. Moments later I spun back around to converse with him and he immediately interrupted me with an intense whisper, “Your boob is hanging out!!!” I understand as a brother he may feel protective of me, but I can assure him I was not only covered but also far more covered than him! As if that was not embarrassing enough, he also felt the need to pull my arms down while I stretched. I supposedly forgot to shave my underarms that day. By the end of the line I was upset with him for pointing out all of my insecurities.
In reality, it was not completely his fault. Society has taught both girls AND boys that I have to look and act a specific way. Society tells everyone that female nipples cannot be shown but male nipples are just fine. Society teaches that females cannot forget to groom themselves, but males are intended to. Society teaches that a female has to have a clear face but males can get away with whatever they have time for.
Many people liked and shared this post via Facebook expressing that they agreed with it. First of all, why were the pants given a gender? Does this mean that only girls are not allowed to wear loose fitting pants? Are boys not allowed to wear tight fitting pants? What makes the pants so different? Why does it matter? I just do not understand why we feel the need to judge one another over the size/type pants we choose to wear. On top of that, categorize these sizes/types by gender! In a way I feel like it is a gender discriminatory action. As previously stated, if I do not wear tight fitting pants I may feel ashamed, embarrassed, etc. Society has fed us these preconceived notions of what the genders look like and how to label them. But when somebody steps outside of the mold they feel intimidated because they no longer can easily identify them as well as treat them the same way.
I’m sick of being told that asking a woman’s age is “rude.” Making a woman feel ashamed of her age because she has to hide it, makes her ashamed of being who she is. It teaches us that the older we become the less beautiful we become, or the less of a person we are. On top of that, I’m sick of hearing people making remarks of women “letting themselves go” or “aging gracefully.” Yes, aging should be “graceful” or natural, but society has nothing to do with that. Society needs to stop labeling and categorizing women on their age and appearance!
No matter what I do, it will not be right. I will always be hated by myself for either conforming to society or being left out of it. But one day, I hope it will not be that way. One day, I hope we will learn to become less reliant of molds, and more free to be who we are, because society has yet to see that.