Friday, 22 July 2016

THE WEIRD ONE OUT

PHOTO: ONE EQUAL WORLD
Society has defined how the ‘ideal woman’ should look, walk, talk, behave and be interested in. This evolves every once in a while but the core tenets of what society wants from women are basically the same; be pretty, talk less, marry, give birth, support your man and fade into oblivion.

When a woman doesn’t fit into the well laid out specifics of the ‘ideal woman’, she begins to feel odd and worse, she begins to doubt her self-worth. Her difference plagues her and she wonders whether something is wrong with her.

As she battles these thoughts, society sends men and women who fit in to her ‘ideal’ classification to pepper this ‘different woman’ with wandering anecdotes and poisonous sarcasm.

So here is a glimpse of the thoughts that plague women who do not fit into the ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ or ‘true definition of what a true woman should be’ classification.

Let us start off on some of the questions she asks herself about her look:

     ·        Is it weird that she does not know the difference between a hair conditioner and a moisturizer? Or what their uses are?

     ·        Is it weird that she cannot tell between an original human and faux human hair? And that even if she knew, she would NEVER spend over ₦50, 000 just for her hair?

     ·        Should she be worried that she cannot tell the difference between a foundation and a concealer or even a highlighter? Oh! She knows what they are supposed to do but isn’t sure she can tell the difference when placed in front of her

     ·        Why does the sales girl at the lipstick store ask her if she wants merlot, garnet, sangria or currant when all she asked for was red?

     ·        Why did the man at the cosmetic store snicker when she insisted there was really NO difference between a ‘bleaching’ cream and a ‘toning’ cream?

     ·        Should she have been mad when the man at the underwear shop told her she was better off with the push-up bra as she isn’t well endowed?
  
     ·        Is it weird that she is not worried about her belly fat? And why was it acceptable to use waist trainers and give an illusion of a flat tummy when she had anything but?

     ·        Is her natural smell so wrong that she has to douse herself with multiple perfumes, deodorants, sprays and scents?

     ·        Is it wrong to just want to wear something comfortable instead of something trendy? That she wouldn’t spend money on designers who are all the rave now but whose designs would be outdated after a season? That she would rather wear generic clothes because somehow, they never go out of style?

     ·        Should she pretend those heels don’t hurt like hell or should she just stick to her ballet flats and scandals?

And when she is done thinking about how she looks, she also has to ponder on these other questions:

     ·        Why should she be quiet in public places when her voice is a great tool in correcting societal wrongs?

     ·        Why should she catwalk and sway her hips when all she wants to do is to get to where she is going?

     ·        Is it weird that she would rather spend ₦20, 000 on books than on clothes, shoes, bags, makeup or jewelry?
   
     ·        Why do people give her the funny look when she says she NEVER watches ZeeWorld or Telemundo or Africa Magic Epic? Is she so wrong for preferring Discovery Channel and BBC and Super Sport?

     ·        What is so wrong with being interested in The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, CSI, Criminal Minds, Bones, Sherlock and the Marvel series? Why should she have to limit her scope of understanding because girls are 'not supposed to be that intelligent’?

     ·        And where was it written that women are only interested in sports because of their boyfriends or because they want to ogle men? Even when she proves she has been a supporter of Arsenal since they first signed Robert Pires, some men still think she is a supporter because Theo Walcott is fine.

     ·        And why do her female friends keep telling her she ‘sounds like a man’ when she discusses politics and the economy and global happenings? Like, because she is a woman, she SHOULDN’T BE ABLE to understand politics, economics or espionage?

     ·        And talking espionage, is it weird that she would rather cuddle up with a Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum, Steven King, Tom Clancy, Agatha Christie, James Patterson, Sydney Sheldon and John Grisham rather than Complete Fashion, City people, any M & B or eHarlequin?

     ·        Is it weird that she knows about NASA, quantum physics, coding and app creation, DNA sequencing and cloning, artificial intelligence and Einstein’s Gravitational waves theory?


     ·        Why should she have to take the words of ‘spiritual leaders’ as true and infallible when she studies the scriptures herself and sees that, many times, they are just wrong? And why should she not teach the word because she is a woman?

These questions keep her up at night wondering if her difference will negatively affect her life. The worst area for her revolves around her relationships. She wonders:

     ·        if her mind is sexy enough to attract the guy she wants;
  
     ·        if the guy she wants wouldn’t be bothered by her lack of interest in fake nails, caked faces and flamboyant clothes;
   
     ·        if the guy wouldn’t be threatened by her intellect and the quality of her mind;

     ·        if the guy understands that a relationship is a PART OF her life and NOT THE ENTIRE ESSENCE of it and;

     ·        if the guy she wants EVEN EXISTS?

What many people don’t know is that more women are waking up to the realization that there has to be more to life than looking pretty, slaying, wearing the hottest designer clothes, getting married, giving birth and taking care of a family. These women want to change their world in their various fields. They want to leave a legacy for the world.

Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Michelle Obama, Chimamanda Adiechie, Oprah, Uche Pedro, Malala Yousafzai, Angelina Jolie, Madam Curie, Ava Duvernay, Shonda Rhimes, Mildred Okwo, Emem Isong, Tara Durotoye, Mo Abudu, Yolisa Phahle, Serena Williams, Misty Copeland, Debra L. Lee, Hilary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Angela Merkel and SO MANY MORE are examples of women who know their worth and are breaking the stereotypes! They have shown that you can slay and still be more than an ornament, a side piece, or another piece of art in a man’s gallery.

They have asked these questions and told themselves, ‘Forget what is expected of me! I will do me and damn society!’

You see, no one – man or WOMAN – has EVER left a mark in the annals of history by towing the line carefully laid out by society. NO ONE!

So why do we keep trying to force people - women especially - to kowtow to the dictates of society? Why do we make people who are different from us feel like they are the odd one out, wrong or weird? Why can’t we just live and LET LIVE?!

To the women fighting - DAILY – to be the person they NATURALLY are, keep doing you! Refuse to fade into oblivion because the world expects you to fit into what they define as ‘ideal’. You may not be sexy or appealing or attractive by many standards but remember that beauty is transient but intelligence and wit and talent are not!


So ladies… which do you choose? Your spunk or society’s approval?

PHOTO: ALLWOMENSTALK

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