Who Creates the Image of Women?
If you look to the media you could say that there are constant pressures from the world and society as to what a woman should be, what a woman should look like and how a woman should behave. There is constant finger pointing and blame about how women are represented and even sexualised to create the image of the perfect woman, but the question arises to deeply consider and ponder:
Did that image and projection come from men and the media, or is it at all possible that it actually began with women themselves?
As a woman today it is an interesting perception to fathom that we are constantly being governed by what we see around us.
But what if the question gets posed: Are we truly indoctrinated by the outside world, and pressured to be a particular way by men or the media, or is it possible that we are our greatest critics?
Yes, again the question has been posed: Who is actually creating the image that we all are pressured to look up to, but at the same time are repulsed by?
Let me expand on this further. In society we have the images of ‘what a woman is supposed to be’ but for me personally I haven’t given much time to these ideals, and instead just focused on pursuing and shaping the life that I wanted to lead and live as a woman. But even though I can look around me I can say that I have had pivotal role models to teach me what is true, knowing that this is a choice for me to make, I seem to not hold the ‘basic skills’ a woman is meant to have.
Is it possible that a woman means more than what you can ‘do’ or the ‘skill set that you hold.’
Picture this situation: You walk into a fabric store/sewing shop, make up done, heels on and feeling great in yourself, as you walk through the door all the women in the store look you up and down to see what you are wearing, as if an alarm has gone off upon your entrance – not knowing there is a dress code for fabric stores you learn very quickly that heels and tight jeans aren’t the appropriate attire. You proceed to look at the fabric surrounding the store, mountains and mountains of it. But here is the interesting point…
As you ask for help as you would do in a hardware store, a computer store, a clothes store, the moment the words come out of your mouth “Hi Could you help me… I’m not too sure the difference between all the fabrics except for feel”, a look of horror and disgust fills the face of the assistant in front of you. The face that looks at you as though saying:
“OH YOU ARE SERIOUSLY A FAILURE.”
“You are a woman and you don’t even know.”
As you look around the store, suddenly filled with silence, you now see that you are the centre of attention because you sought support from women when unsure. Next, you ask if they could help you carry the heavy rolls of material to the counter. Again it is like you have just sworn really loudly and said something blasphemous, if not discriminatory to offend all around you. We as women complain about when ‘men’ talk down to us, when we don’t get the attention or time we think we deserve when talking about cars or technology for example. We will be the first to complain about the disrespect and stand very comfortably as a victim of society and fight for our rights. But what if we have created this whole situation, could it actually be possible that this whole time women have been complaining they are the victim of society and about the pressure that gets imposed upon them, that it is actually women who are putting the most pressure, women who are setting the standards of ‘what a woman should be’, and it is women who judge and criticise other women for not living up to the ‘basics’ of being a woman.
If you truly think about it, if you are a woman and you can’t cook, can’t sew, can’t iron, couldn’t clean or don’t or can’t have kids... then who are you?
How do you value and appreciate yourself when everything is indicating to you that you have failed?
World wide we have this constant fight for women’s rights and equality for women – which is all vital to ensure that women are treated with respect and they are given the opportunity to make choices and decisions.
But what if part of the way of moving forward for society is for women themselves to begin to look at the image they are holding onto about what a woman actually is, as they too are part of the equation?