From gender-stereotyping a girl’s toys to shades of pink or, at a push, lilac. For how could a girl be expected to play with toys in primary colours?! It might give her delusions of a right to the same diversity of choices as male babies.
We absolutely must look a certain way. Can’t be fat – it’s gross. Can’t be slim – you must be anorexic. Can’t have muscle – you look like a bloke. Can’t be voluptuous – you look slutty. And who are these expert critics? Other women.
Don’t forget, we must all become mothers, and perfect ones at that. But we shouldn’t talk about anything icky like our periods. And we certainly shouldn’t be using our breasts to breastfeed those babies lest it make others feel uncomfortable. We must also have a career. But we must not expect to be paid on a par with our male counterparts. We must still be marriage material for when Mr. Right sweeps in on his trusty steed. We must have sex with our husbands but not overtly have a sexual appetite of our own. I do hope you are all sticking to the rules.
I am a firm believer that we are who we are and that should be enough. We should be proud of that. But then again, it’s not always easy.
For example, the idea that our legs, armpits, bikini line should be smooth and hair-free at all times is utterly ridiculous. The only way to change perceptions of normality is to re-establish an appreciation of what IS normal. Easy – let’s all stop shaving, waxing, fake tanning ourselves into oblivion and pretty soon society will stop being shocked by “Paris Jackson’s Armpit Hair”, and other headlines in the gutter press. But I can’t do it. I like my legs to be smooth. I don’t like them stubbly, fluffy, or forested.
Yes, that’s kinda the point. A woman’s right to choose for herself. But it won’t go changing perceptions now will it?
And then there is one of the greatest minefields going – ageing. I find myself teetering on the brink, only to notice it is no longer the very edge but that I am a short way in to No Man’s Land already!
I have grey hairs. Bleurgh. I don’t want to give a shit. Yes, I’m 39 and my hair is naturally losing its brown colour. Of course it is. As Miley Cyrus so eloquently puts it, “Change is a thing you can count on”. My grey hairs come as no surprise. And yet, I can’t not dye them away. Brush them under the proverbial carpet. But if I keep dying my hair back to brunette (or whichever shade I decide to experiment with!), how will perceptions ever change? Do I just carry on blindly and leave it to my daughter’s generation to fix society?
A wise woman once said, “It’s only hair; it’ll grow back”.
Or should I be brave (!) and dye it all grey? The equivalent of flipping the bird to ageing, society, and my fucking hair!
#ageing #grey #feminism #equality #genderstereotyping #fuckpink