Let me start by acknowledging the fact that a whole lot of women around the world are struggling with things that'll make my issues look like tiny, fractional and even negligible little things. International Women's Day, however, is there to bring every aspect about being female on the radar. Whether it's the bigger picture, like women still having to fight for equal (read that right? Equal, not more) rights compared to men, or the smaller picture. Like the ones I'll be summing up right under here. Because while equal pay and the abominable thing that is being treated as an object and/or the weaker sex are definitely things we should all be mindful and passionate enough to fight for it about, these are not things I regularly have to deal with myself. There are a lot of other things that occupy this female mind of mine, though, and here they are;
There are not enough words to really explain my frustration with this particular subject, but let me try by telling you this for starters: I really love fashion. I love dressing up, choosing a killer outfit and - having worked in a shoe store for more than a year now - have developed an almost outrageous relationship with pretty shoes. Now, if I'd had enough self-confidence you would've already noticed all of that on here. The truth is I can't bear to even try an outfit-of-the-day post, because I already know how it ends. With a dozen deleted pictures and another dent in my persona. I fully realise that this is a tough, silly and sad thing to say, but it's the truth. Now, I'm angry at a lot of people for that. There's Hollywood, where the only part I'd see myself playing is the one of 'the not entirely unpretty but disposable best friend or comic relief'. There's the fashion industry, because while they're slowly (veeeeery slowly) trying their best to let more plus size models have their time in the light (which I applaud! But I would vouch for a midsize (horrible terms, aren't they?) model, however), I feel like it's just too little, too late. And, last but not least. There's myself. I hate that this certain image of perfection - slight but curvy - is rooted so deep inside of me, that the whole open-mindedness of today's mantra "You are beautiful just as you are", while being the only truth out there, just won't catch on anymore. It is important that we keep repeating that mantra to ourselves and all the girls out there, though. It might make you feel a bit hypocritical sometimes, like me, but it's something worth trying as this is still such a huge issue.
THE COMPETITIVE VIBE
Comparison will kill you. That's a fact. And yet it's such an automatic thing with us, isn't it? Be honest; who's caught themselves staring at some other girl's bum not because you're attracted to it/her, but because you know... You wished it was yours? It's a rather funny example because I'm trying to keep things light here, but I simply CANNOT be the only one. It's not only appearances, though, is it? Accomplishments in life are a popular reason for us to get ourselves AND each other down, as well, and I find that it's just so much better to just be happy for that one friend who's got it all. Odds are she actually doesn't and needs the uplift of you congratulating her and giving her a good time. You'll only get it back, doubled in size.
THAT GIRLY LABLE
Or especially the lack of it in my case. I know, guys, you often mean it as a compliment when you call a girl 'one of the guys', but it's not always taken as such. Among other things; I like Star Wars, I like a bit of gaming, I like watching football, I sorta keep up with you when it comes to drinking (although not in the mornings, I recently find) and I like a lot of the same bands you like. But I am a girl and therefore girly. Now that's just about me, don't get me started on toys, or entertainment in general, that are labelled 'for boys' or 'for girls', because that's a discussion that will take us well into the night.
THE WHOLE BABY THING
It's such a cliché, but all the more frustrating to still experience it happening: why, oh why, is having babies still considered top of the list for every woman on this planet? From Youtube adds (the fact that I haven't yet thrown my laptop out of the window is a true accomplishment. It could happen with every next pregnancy test label that tries to catch my attention.) to questions like "Is your clock not ticking yet?". They really strike a chord with me, which you'll be able to tell after the following rant. Despite the fact that questions like the one I just mentioned tend to make me steer clear of babies just to avoid having to answer them, it is safe to say that, sure, I like babies and kids. When they're not crying or shouting. Their smiles and giggles are really precious, but then again: so are my cats. You see, I have enough reasons to back up my currently non-existing wish to have kids. I am single, and would like to experience a bit of love before giving all of it away to a mini-me, for example. I like having money on the side to spend on nobody but myself, and wouldn't even mind working more hours for more of it. I also already have enough reasons to change my mind about the whole thing. You never know, life is weird.
Now don't get me wrong, I do understand that people are simply interested and are mostly just trying to make conversation, but there's always that one person who won't take no for an answer. To that person I would like to say that when it comes to these sort of topics it's almost always safe to assume this next bit: I have already given it way too much thought, and even struggle with it sometimes. I do, however, have a strong enough mind to gather arguments and form my own opinion, and I don't need anyone trying to convince me I'm in the wrong.
That's actually a pretty good conclusion to this post: I am Woman. I am strong enough to form a very own opinion, I am entitled to it, and will vouch for it while respecting yours as long as you do the same. Basic right, right there.
Q: is there something you would like to share on this International Women's Day? Don't hold it in*! ;-)
* Except when you're one of those guys whining about it not being International Men's Day. If you are; these things are probably pretty accurate for you, as well, and that's just the thing. Equal, y'know. Still not satisfied? Do come back on November, 19th and give it your all. Please and thank you.