In today’s world, girls experience constant pressure to look and behave in specific ways. This pressure comes from peers, family, and most notably, the media and internet. The media portrays women to be a certain way and that being anything else makes you an outcast. This often means that a lot of us feel forced to change who we are to fit society’s ideals.
It is hard to resist wanting to change some features about yourself when it seems so easy to do. Countless diet plans, cosmetic surgeries and self help programs—each promising to make us a better—are right at our fingertips.
Even though women recognize how crazy it is to hold ourselves to impossible standards, we often make the problem worse by judging fellow women. Whether secretly or in public, most of us are guilty of having judged another women for not measuring up.
“You’d be so much prettier if you just did your hair up.”
“Are you sure you should be eating pizza for lunch? Why not try a salad?”
“Look how short her skirt is!”
Even well intentioned remarks reinforce the message that women need to be a certain way to be acceptable.
But why should we be so obsessed with changing ourselves? Why should we feel the need to succumb to others to make them happy at the expense of our own happiness and content? The answer is simple—we shouldn’t.
As the independent and strong women that we are, we should resist this pressure because our individuality defines us, not others’ expectations.
For those seeking advice who are feeling the pressure of looking and behaving in a certain way, here is what I can say to you.
Genuine happiness relies on being self-confident and embracing yourself wholly as-you-are, flaws and all. Be the way you truly want to be, the way you would choose to be if it never mattered what others thought.
If you go along with society’s standards, you will look back and regret that you didn’t live your life the way you would have wanted to. Let this life be one where you are true to yourself and look and behave the way you want to do. Don’t mould yourself into what society wants; be who you were born to be.
For those that may be guilty of being judgemental about other women, this is what I can say to you: there is no point in judging other women. We are equal and should be empowering each other, not bringing each other down and making other women feel bad about themselves.
All women, and in fact everyone, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We should be happy to see other women embrace the way they want to be, appearance-wise and behaviour-wise. If we tear down other women for their uniqueness, where will all the individuality go? How will women be diverse and have their own quirks? What makes people individual and special are their ways of living life, and this should be accepted and respected.
So simply put, ladies: let’s stop judging ourselves and each other.
Let’s celebrate uniqueness, let’s honor individual choices, let’s embolden one another to take risks and boldly be our best selves!
Arveen is a young blogger from London who enjoys writing poetry, playing violin, and motivating others to overcome life challenges. She lives by the mantra: Once in a while, blow your own damn mind. Define success on your own merit, achieve it on your own rules and build a life you are proud of and empowered by.