Every day, we self-sabotage by using words like “slut”, “whore” and “skank” to describe other women we subjectively determine to be promiscuous. We don’t know this for a fact, but we can totes just tell because “those heels are only for hookers” or “that dress is way too tight”.
We teach our daughters and sons that being fat is unhealthy, gross, disgusting, and being beautiful means having a thigh gap and a flat belly. In turn, those kids go to school and they relay that message along. They team up with other kids with the same misguided notions. We turn our children into bullies and tormentors.
We have no problem telling skinny girls that they need to “eat a cheeseburger and some fries”. It’s okay to make comments like that because we have good intentions, right? We come up with sayings like, “bones are for dogs, meat is for men” and “once you go thick, you won’t want a stick”. We decided that all these “sticks” have eating disorders, because being naturally thin is completely outside the realm of possibility.
We perceive women who like to wear bright, bold makeup as “attention whores” and we look at women who go all natural as “letting themselves go”.
We make assumptions about women and their character by calling those who dress conservatively “bores” and “prudes”, and those who dress more revealingly, “sluts” and “hookers”.
We complain when we’re single. We complain when we’re married. We complain about EVERYTHING.
But we’re doing a huge disservice to ourselves. Women are so much more than thighs and breasts. We’re not just body parts that could come in a KFC bucket. We can change opinions with our minds. We can be genuine in our love of ourselves and others.
We like to put the blame of unrealistic expectations of beauty and perfection on the backs of men, but we’re just as guilty, if not more so, than the guys. We wonder why some men only see us as sexual objects? It’s because we haven’t loved ourselves enough to stop them. Instead of empowering other women with uplifting words and thoughts, we joined the ranks of chauvinists by turning on each other. We have one sided opinions about what we perceive as pretty, because our culture’s given us a sense of entitlement that our perceptions are the reality, that what we judge to be ugly is ugly to everyone else in the world as well. We don’t acknowledge how the media forces their own convoluted versions of beauty down our throats and we blindly eat it up. We became passive and hypocritical when it comes to negativity. We see and hear attacks on women, by women, every day without batting an eye, but we rage hard and set the town on fire if a man makes a similar remark because that’s “misogynistic”. Whether you’re a man or a woman, making crude remarks about another person’s appearance, beliefs, or preferences is immature and ignorant. We’re not in preschool. This is where the big kids play, and big kids are fully capable of understanding the consequences of words. Words are dynamic, they compel and inspire people to act. Whether venom or goodwill comes to fruition is up to us. We’ve objectified ourselves by focusing on our own insignificant imperfections, magnifying them, and mistakenly allowing our insecurities to become the basis of spite against other women. We set ourselves up for our own destruction. We trip each other on purpose, stab each other in the back, and discourage other women from being individuals who are happy, confident, and self-loving.
New plan, and it’s a damn good one.
Let’s make an active effort to make other women feel like the flaws they fixate on are nonexistent and irrelevant.
Let’s appreciate the women with curves as equally as those without any curves at all. We don’t have to be curvy or skinny to be pretty. Beauty is subjective. It’s not a number or a size, and saying one body shape is better than another is arbitrary and hurtful. We’re beautiful through thoughtful deeds and humane language.
Let’s focus on our overall health. Maintaining our health is so much more important than losing weight to fit into a bikini. It’s about encouraging ourselves and other women to engage in activities that strengthen our bodies and minds. Don’t exercise because you hate your love handles, exercise because you love and care about your entire body, mind and well being enough to want it to be in optimal shape. The same goes for healthy eating. Don’t crash diet, yo-yo diet, or any diet at all. We need to take ourselves out of the mindset that food with nutritional value is gross, every calorie eaten goes to our butts, and that one slice of cheesecake will put us back a week and cause us to regain five pounds. One bad meal doesn’t make you a pig, and one good meal doesn’t make you a health guru. Healthy living is a constant and consistent process. Nourish your body by staying hydrated, eating smaller portions regardless of what you’re eating, and stopping once you’re full. Eat for the sake of nourishing your body, and devour the entire damn cupcake because you deserve all the wonderful things in life. You don’t have to starve yourself to be beautiful, and binge eating is an imaginary concept for the irresponsible. Take accountability for your health habits. Learn to have a healthy opinion of your body, maintain a symbiotic relationship with food, and your overall attitude will change. Women, and people in general, who are happy with themselves don’t purposely seek out flaws in others.
Let’s admire the diversity of personal expression instead of making snap judgments on the amount of clothing a woman chooses to wear, or not wear. Our clothes don’t define us in our entirety. Judging other women on their fashion choices, be it shoes or a dress, dehumanizes us all. Our fashion choices might give off little bits of insight into our personalities, but focusing on one small detail in an attempt to define an entire person, who in reality, has a million more quirks and complexities is lazy and disrespectful. Women have personalities, opinions, and beliefs, and those can’t be expressed by our clothes alone.
Let’s be grateful for our freedom to sleep with whomever we want, whenever we want, because it’s our choice, and not one single damn soul has a right to decide for us. What we do in bed is our business. Sex isn’t a contest; it’s not black or white and laid out in an instruction manual with a recipe for success every time. We have different preferences, different limits and boundaries. We don’t need to justify our experience or inexperience. We don’t have to explain ourselves. We can do whatever the hell we want in our bed because it’s all up to us individually. Our sexuality is in no way related to moral ambiguity, despite what people with insecurities will tell us. We’re not bad/evil/filthy/self-loathing/selfish for sleeping with more than one person in our lifetimes. The number of people we’ve had in our beds shouldn’t embarrass us or make us feel guilty, and it’s not necessary for us to make assumptions or pass arbitrary judgment about other women for any choices they make regarding their own sexuality. Make your own boundaries, stick to them, and leave the others alone.
Let’s come to terms with the fact that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single, just like there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being separated, divorced or married. It’s fine to hibernate in a cave of solitude and Netflix, it’s also fine to play the field, and it’s fine to date one person seriously if that’s what you want to do. Where in the hell is the rule book that says you can’t do one or all of those things and be content? We all move at a different pace. If you’re here and you’re happy, just be. Be confident, positive, open minded, humble, and above all, be conscientious of your thoughts, words, and actions.
We’ve come a long way to backtrack on our progress now. Men might dominate this culture but we can slowly change that. It takes time for our habits to change, we’re known to be set in our ways. But if we can actively make choices to love ourselves and each other on a daily basis, positivity can be a reality. We’re women with worthy opinions, sound minds and beautiful bodies, worthy of ONLY admiration. We deserve to be treated with respect because we have the ability to command it. We have the ability to make an impact with our thoughts and actions. Let’s not make an impact unless it’s a positive one.
We live in a male dominated culture because women attack women.