I’ll just come right out and say it: Being a woman is tough. Now, while I have never been a woman personally, it just looks hard. It doesn’t help that women are under constant pressure from the beauty and fashion industries to “wear that”, and “look like this”. Add in outside factors like social norms, stereotypes, and self-imposed standards, and being a woman is way harder than it looks.
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It’s no wonder that depression rates in women are twice that of men. That’s not postpartum women, that’s women in general. The media and advertisers have create the unrealistic perception of beauty that women fight to obtain, and most of them feel like they never will. In a recent study done by Dove, 60% of women said that they thought that society expected them to enhance their person appearance.
What is unusual is that 58% of the same group of women admitted that “the attributes of female beauty have become very narrowly defined in today’s world.” That’s where the beauty and fashion industries have won. Women know that the modern image of beauty isn’t realistic, but they will still try to achieve it. Watch this short clip from the Dove study, where an FBI sketch artist drew women based on how they described themselves, and then how strangers described them. It’s amazing how different the images were.
Well, ladies, here is what the beauty and fashion industries don’t want you to know:
You are beautiful, exactly the way you are. Amazingly, spectacularly, wonderfully, completely beautiful. Every day. Without fancy make-up, or expensive clothes. Women are incredible creatures without any of that commercial influence.
It broke my heart to hear that only 4% of the women in the study done by Dove thought that they were beautiful. When your idea of “beauty” is based on an unobtainable image, then I can see why that stat would be so low. That’s why it is important to me to point out how beautiful you really are.
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Now we know that women love to get dolled up, but I urge you – do it for you. Do it because YOU want to, and not because someone says it is how you should look. I know there will be women that read this and say “that’s easy for you to say – you are a man”, and you are absolutely correct. I have no experience in dealing what women go through, so I’m not going to try to placate you into thinking that I know how you feel. The truth is, I have no idea what it must be like to be a woman, and deal with social pressures.
What I can tell you, is that from a man’s perspective, nothing is as beautiful as a woman who knows she’s beautiful. If you want to put on make-up and a fancy outfit, we want you to do it because it makes you happy, not because you think we expect it. In reality, we know exactly how beautiful you really are.