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Being a Woman

What is a woman? A question that seems so simple yet can be answered differently by everyone. The Oxford dictionary defines the word woman as someone’s wife or someone’s girlfriend. The true definition of a woman is a powerful, independent, hard worker who was created equal. In today’s society not only is a woman expected to act a certain way but we are also told humans have to look a certain way. The idea that everyone is going to look the same physically is like saying we are all going to function the same mentally…crazy right? Just like how our minds are all made differently, so are our bodies. The most detrimental thing a woman can do to herself is to be convinced there is a level of perfection she will reach in this lifetime. If humans were meant to be perfect, wouldn’t one feel accomplished and “perfect” in that case after losing a hundred pounds?

The ugly truth is that you can’t hate yourself into someone you love. Erika Schnure says “​​There's a part to weight loss that people don't tell you about: It's that you aren't going to look like a supermodel afterward. You may have skin issues that you wouldn't really think about.” This being said, the idea of weight loss has been glorified and encouraged. Don’t get me wrong, of course, weight loss is beneficial and healthy if you do it correctly. Behavioralnutrition.org says that 35% of women will develop eating disorders from trying to lose weight.

Many people associate being a woman with being powerless objects. In my mind, being a woman means the exact opposite. The idea that there is a superior gender has shaped the sexist world we live in today. Payscale.com says “In 2021, women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.” This being said, women work just as hard as most men yet equality is ignored and disregarded. Being a woman means having to prove yourself 10 times more than any other man in the work industry. women have become labeled as powerless, and are told we are less important to society than a man. In every way possible this is just not accurate. Without a woman, you can't create another life. This being said, the idea that a woman is less deserving than a man is a mindset, not a reality. As a society, we have set a limit for ourselves and what we are capable of achieving. We are all guilty of doing this whether or not we realize it. We tear each other apart and bring each other down for being imperfect whether it’s about our physical appearance, or our mental appearance. The term “girls support girls' ' has long been broken apart. This phrase used to actually mean something and created a positive impact on people’s lives. Now, It has become so contradicting. It’s girls support girls until the girl doesn’t fit society's unrealistic beauty standards. We are supposed to be encouraging others to accept who they are and love themselves without having to change. However, social media has ruined us and taught us to believe that no one is considered pretty unless they look a certain way from the outside. Whatever happened to beauty is on the inside? I can tell you with certainty that anyone who truly believes that beauty is only on the outside isn’t satisfied with how they look and feel about themselves.

Looking through social media is never easy. If I’m being completely honest I don’t know why I have given Instagram so much time of my life. Seeing all these girls post pictures of themselves in skin-tight bikinis, then going into the comment section and seeing comments like “body goals” and “I wish I looked like you” creates both insecurity and judgment. . In comparison if you look on a plus-size person’s post, you see nothing. Not one comment on how good they look in their new workout set. There seems to be a double standard going back to the girls support girls movement. If girls were truly supporting each other, there wouldn’t be such a drastic change in comments that a size 2 gets as opposed to a size 20. We all need to do some eternal thinking and ask ourselves why we choose to think less of those who don’t look like us; because I can guarantee you that the person who is a size 2 isn’t fully accepting of themselves.

Social media is fake, everything you see on people like the Kardashians pages is fake. Nothing is authentic or real about platforms like Instagram. As a woman, it’s so hard to not compare ourselves to people we don’t know, or even those that we do know in that case. It’s frustrating knowing that I was built differently than what modern-day beauty standards are. However, being a woman means being brave. And being brave means learning not to compare yourself to someone else. It takes a lot of courage and will not to look at someone else and wish you looked like them, but it’s not impossible.

Being a woman means having to carry pepper spray on you wherever you go, not being able to walk your dog alone at night, and not having the power to say no. But there is so much more to being a woman than these things. We are powerful and strong no matter the situation life throws at us. The idea that a woman is weak is wrong. There is no other way to put it than wrong. Growing another human inside of your body for nine months is not weak. We were created equal. So, when asked the question of what being a woman to me means, my answer is simple. Being a woman means having control over my life, being able to fight my own battles, and uplifting others. Own your power and strive to lift others up. That is what being a woman means to me.

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