“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”― Harvey Fierstein
I have come to realize the importance of women helping women. Now, the title of this post may be a bit misleading because I am really just going to rant about the importance of healthy body image, and why you need no one else to validate your confidence etc. Now like every women on the planet I love compliment, like when I get one on a Monday I am happy for a week. In my life, okay so I’m 19 whatever, I may be a titch under qualified since I’m not a celebrity or master’s degree holder, but I have observed young, darling girls who are far too concerned with weight, staying perfectly skinny, and pleasing others etc.
Physical health, as I have said before, is obviously important. It’s obviously good for you since it helps stave of hearth disease, high blood pressure etc. Except I find young women often neglect their personality and their mental health. They often think of being, for lack of a better word, cool as being uber smart and athletic. My issue with this is that they often neglect the several other characteristics they possess. I have seen brilliant girls who are humourous, brave, determined, and ambitious bring themselves down because of what others and themselves think of them. I think young women often forget how badass they are just for being a girl and forget to be the best them for them. I see girls out there at 18 years old itching to get married and have kids, hey if that’s your journey go to it, but I do think every young women out there deserves the opportunity to learn about themselves before delving into serious adult things. I know there is a stigma out there about wasting your 20s on school, finding yourself, etc. There is a delicate balance in that decade, between gaining a career, a significant other, and a family, all while maintaining some semblance of relationships with your already existing friend group.
There is this idea around women that if they wear makeup, its for someone else, or if they dress up, its for someone else, or if they are trying to eat a bit healthier its to lose weight, well you know what maybe I just have a lot of cankers and need to slack off on the sugar! Ever thought of that society? Huh? Did yah? No I didn’t think so.
“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”― Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls
I understand that exercise helps the brain, with producing endorphins which make people happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands…(sorry Elle Woods took over for minute) but sometimes I think doing something that makes your body relax instead of work is good too. Some girls are obsessed with working out every day and think if they don’t they will gain weight. Well girls, when you are young, that is usually not a large issue until you are in your late thirties, early forties. So what if you miss a day or two? Will the world end? Is it so life shattering that you are mad at yourself and think you deserve a punishment?
You know, I really don’t know what the solution is to this stigma around body image, body shaming, girls harping on other girls etc. I feel like it starts in the education system, as youngins in kindergarten, all people, boys and girls alike NEED to be taught respect from the start. NEED to be taught if you don’t like someone just don’t say it, don’t express it to that person or anyone else that person knows. The education system needs to start implementing, again from 4 years old, the importance of spreading love instead of hate, of throwing around compliments instead of insults, to having a “smile at someone day” instead of another themed day. I cannot tell you the countless times my ideas of just those sorts of days were turned down during my time on student council, by none other than a male supervisor. Wake up people, we need to start seeing women bad-assery not as bitchiness or the superiority complex (those women do exist who have the “I’m better than you” attitude, you just ignore them), but that you can be confident in yourself without having to be questioned about why you are so confident, because let’s face, boys get to be confident without being questioned, so why are so many women?
“As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are – what others say is irrelevant.”― Nic Sheff