I'm going to be honest with you guys: When I began to write this article, I thought it would be a free-flowing rant about every single effort I make as a female to appease what society's standards and expectations are of me as a woman.
I thought the list of things I HATE doing would come super naturally, and I'd easily rack up 50 things that are awful and symbolically forced down my throat, pointing the finger at The Man for making my daily moment-to-moment such a pain in my ass.
You know, some real good, angry feminist stuff.
To get started, I polled some of my female co-workers to see about their outward physical appearance routine they hated most and was kind of surprised to find there were some discrepancies in all of our opinions.
For example, I LIKE wearing makeup. I think it's a fun, creative way to express yourself and I enjoy the process of putting it on.
Now, would I LIKE makeup if society didn't instill from an early age that women are meant to wear it, and if we don't, we would be called things like "au natural," "lazy" or flat-out unattractive? Hard to say.
It became incredibly difficult to figure out where society's standards ended and my own personal preferences began, and THAT, my friends, is a terrifying thing.
After doing some deep soul-searching over some Skinny Pop popcorn, here is a list of things I can definitively say I would NOT do if it weren't for the pressure and subliminal messages media and westernized culture has so deeply engrained in me.
1. Worry about the shape of my eyebrow arch.
2. Worry about the strength of my eyelashes.
4. Wear Spanx anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
5. Wear bras anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
6. Relentlessly shame myself for enjoying carbs.
7. Wear contacts to work even though they hurt my eyes looking at a computer all day.
8. Straighten my hair if its curly AND/OR curl my hair if its straight.
9. Hide my tampons when I walk to the bathroom.
10. Consider the shape of my nail bed.
11. Apologize to my mom for wearing my hair in a messy bun.
12. Wear any other shoe besides rain boots when it's raining outside.
13. Stand in a position that is totally unnatural and uncomfortable while posing for photos like a weird-ass bird.
14. Insult myself immediately following a compliment instead of just saying "Thank you."
15. Buy any shampoo over the price of $3.
16. Spend money on specific gym clothes when I have perfectly good free T-shirts left over from college IDGAF about sweating in.
17. Compare myself to other women all day, every day, in every way.
18. Describe my body shape as a fruit (I'm an upside down pear!).
19. Worry about how many chins I have when I'm hooking up with my boyfriend.
20. Delete photos of amazing memories because I don't think I look thin enough in them.
21. NOT get a tattoo of my dog, Linda, on my butt when honestly I really, really want to.
Like I said, this is all pretty objective from woman to woman, and one lady's hassle is another's relaxation, so who am I to say there isn't some self-fulfilling elements to agonizing over where your natural waistline is.
All I'm saying is, I could get some MAJOR time back in the mornings if I didn't have to make a checklist of all the ways I could disappoint, IDK everyone?, with how I look that day.
I'M WORKING ON IT, OK!?