The cost of approval
I read a rather sad article today about a woman who died after attempting self surgery. She injected Vaseline into her breasts to enlarge them. As women we are under enormous pressure to look ‘right’. Pressure is loaded onto us every day from magazines and TV ads that portray these so-called perfect women. I read the comments under the article (as I always must!) and many of the comments referred to the pressure to feel wanted by men, with many men commenting that us women should stop feeling that pressure because they want natural women, etc etc.
Then I read one comment, which I think is the one I was actually hoping to find as it follows my point of view, which is that it is not really men who put pressure on us women. No, it isn’t. How many women will ask a man what he thinks of how she is dressed, how her hair is done, what her makeup looks like, etc, and then totally ignore whatever he said? Or get angry and then totally ignore whatever he said! The reason is because most men actually don’t have a clue when it comes to us and most of us know that (Okay, I am generalising a bit for the sake of MY argument. I know there are women who constantly seek the approval of men!).
So if most women don’t really seek a man’s approval, then why are we getting all flustered about external ‘beauty’? Because of other women. Women can be extraordinarily judgmental. They judge each others clothing: not the latest fashion, not branded, too revealing, too closed, too tight, too loose, too frumpy, too young or too old. They judge each other on hair: too thin, too wild, too short, too plain, wrong colour, unwashed, left to dry on its own (yes I actually overheard someone say that about a woman with wet hair who walked past her one morning). They judge each other on makeup: too much, not enough, skin too yellow or too orange, so fake, makes her look old.
And where a man would make a throw away comment like ‘She looks fat in that’ or ‘god, could that skirt get any shorter?’, they are generalised (still hurtful if the person heard)comments but a woman would analyse every bit of another woman she noticed. ‘Her legs are bumpy, gross’ or ‘shame, she is quite flat-chested, maybe her friend with the boobs falling out her top can help’ (yes, I have heard both those things being said).
What we women really need to be doing is standing up for each other instead of running each other down. Maybe if we stopped being so judgmental about each other, the magazines and TV ads would stop Photoshopping the hell out of their models (Here is a short video about magazine retouching (thanks to HLN TV)). And maybe we would actually start to grow in confidence and really become the fairer sex.
I know men do it to men too, with bigger muscles, more hair, larger other things. Maybe a man can do a post about that one 😉
Copyright © 260314 by Karen Payze