As we grow older, we live life by these so-called checkboxes that we try to fulfill in order to live a complete and bountiful life.
Growing up, I was told to finish school, get a degree, get a job, have a family and settle down. Of course nowadays it doesn’t necessarily go in said order, but for most of us, we proceed with the old-fashioned routine our parents followed and hope to carry on just as well.
As women, we tend to be the type to strive to be people pleasers, especially when it comes to impressing our significant others. From witnessing our own mothers growing up, we come to terms with the fact that in order for us to settle down, we have to do, well, “what every other woman does.” If you take a look at any 50s sitcom, that means housework.
At times I wonder if I will ever get married. I’m a smart girl, ambitious of what my future holds, and I always love a good laugh. What I lack is the ability to cook a decent meal without setting the house on fire, or to put the right amount of laundry detergent in the washing machine without making it overflow. Super easy tasks, right? For me, not so much.
I don’t blame old-fashioned movies or TV shows where you constantly see the woman in the kitchen, waiting for the rest of the family to come home; that's just how things were back then. However, I do blame society for continuing to put this image in women's heads that we fit best in the kitchen or doing household chores.
I also blame current culture on the fact that we aren't taken seriously anymore if we have other dreams and aspirations. Society has established this ideal that before achieving those higher expectations we have of ourselves, we must settle down so that a man can provide for and take care of us financially. After that, all we do is provide emotional stability.
I remember one time I was cooking a piece of chicken on the stove and when it was ready I took a bite out of it and started to cry. It had no taste. However, I mainly cried because the first thing that popped into my head was that no one was going to marry me because I didn't know how to cook a simple piece of chicken.
Then, I thought to myself: Am I really focusing on the one thing I can't and discrediting myself for everything else I can do?
I feel the reason for all this stress over what women are told we should do comes from the simple fact that time is ticking. We're not getting younger, and sooner or later, it will be time for us to settle down. I feel like the only reason men continue to hold onto the ancient stereotype of women is, well, who wouldn’t want a woman to cook you every meal imaginable and do all your laundry? It is, inevitably, a plus.
Yet again, it’s intimidating because these are the men trying to label us as “wifey material.” So what do we do? We try acting like a wife. All these messages are being implemented in our minds that it is still okay for us to accept the fact that we belong in the house, rather than working outside of it.
In Beyoncé's "Drunk in Love" video, she's holding a huge trophy, so what is she exactly implying? What is the difference between a wife and a "trophy wife" ? There is no difference; trophy wives do not exist. It's just a figment of society's imagination that in order to be perfect, we must do it in ways that are not our rules, but rules people have given us.
Being a trophy wife is what we were told to be. It's what we grew up wanting to be. However, I think it's sending the wrong message. Anyone can make their own checkboxes; it's your own life and there are no rules, but don’t allow the pressures of being someone you're not take over your true self.
I've learned to come to terms with the reality that my cooking, cleaning and general pre-housewife status, is mediocre at best and actually quite humorous. I see a bigger picture than spending my time trying to perfect something I am not particularly good at or passionate about. My inability to do said chores is one of my many flaws that completes me.
I know I will get married... some day. I also know that a man will love me, not for what the societal norm is for women, but for what makes me, me.
Photo via We Heart It