We had fat shaming. Then we had skinny shaming. Now we have make-up shaming. Slut shaming is nothing new either. It seems to me that this generation is very much obsessed with ensuring that other women feel like shit as much as possible. And shaming seems to follow trends as well, just like the media tells us what to like every new season.
Do you remember the fat shaming? Girls who weighed more than models on the runway were told they were too fat. Those lovehandles are not a trend right now, girl, get rid of them. Obviously that was awful. But instead of fighting this with good arguments, fat-shaming was fought with skinny shaming. My facebook timeline for one was filled with pictures that read: “Real Women Have Curves“. I read comments that said things like: “I’d rather be fat than an anorexic skeleton.” All the curvy ladies did not seem to realise that they were effectively doing the same thing: shaming others for the way they look. Not everybody can help it that they are plus-size. Not everybody can help it that they are size zero.
The media don’t need to tell us that we are beautiful just the way we are to cash in on our insecurities. We know that we are beautiful. We know that we are real women. Because when you are born with a vagina, you are classified as a woman. Bravo. (Note: A commenter wisely said that not everybody who is born with a vagina classifies as a woman. This is very true yet for the sake of making the point, I generalised my point. Know that when you are born with a vagina and do not identify as a woman, that is totally cool.)
When we see a girl who has had quite a few sex partners, we are quick to point at her and yell “what a slut!” But only few of us condemn a man of similar behaviour when he tells us he’s slept with over 50 girls. Apparently if a man does it, it is to be applauded. Something with cavemen and shit.
Right now the trend is make-up shaming. “Oh my god, look at how much make-up she is wearing. She must feel very insecure!” or “She only does that to appeal to men.” How about I use make-up because I like experimenting with different looks? How about I do it to please myself? How about you mind your own business? If I like painting my face so much that my pores are crying, then that is my choice. Nobody else’s.
We are dying for equality. We want to be considered as good and as worthy as men. But it are not necessarily men who are stopping us to reach our goals. We are. By continually dragging other women down, we keep ourselves unequal. We should not be jealous of more successful women, we should applaud them because they paved the way for other girls to follow. We should not feel jealous of women who we consider more beautiful than ourselves.
Learn and grow
Let’s look up to them, take their advice and aim to be the best version of ourselves as we possibly can be. We can learn from other women and grow as women by looking at female examples. Women have a hard time already in many parts of the world just for being women. Let’s not make it worse by adding fuel to the fire and making other women ashamed for being happy with who they are. Just because you are not at the place you want to be in your life yet, does not mean you should drag other down.
Know that you are amazing. Know that you are beautiful. And know that you are strong and worthy of being heard. You only have to believe in yourself and fight. Pave the way for girls younger than you. Be proud of yourself and lead by example. Make them proud of themselves. Only then can we truly be equal.