We may have entered the modern era but even today the world expects a lot of things from a woman. Type in the words ‘women need to’ in Google and you will be bombarded with lists on the rules every women must follow in order to become acceptable in society. The millennial women is expected to master her career as well as excel in the traditional female roles i.e. home-maker, mother and more. There are several articles that tell about the roles women must perform but a very low number of posts that encourage women to break free from the shackles forced upon her by society.
There’s a lot of debate revolving around the empowerment of women but I think the real empowerment lies in being true to being yourself.
Here is my list of things which should be completely optional for a woman as to whether to follow or not follow them:
Don’t put on ‘makeup’
Let me begin by saying that I heart makeup and that I have nothing against those who don’t. Women using beauty essentials or not in their daily routine is none of my business. And when it comes to my daily routine, I expect the same. There is an awful lot of advice on internet as to why women should not be using makeup or why women should only aim for a natural looking makeup. Then there are assumptions that women who wear makeup do it to impress boys. Do you really think a woman who owns more than 20 lipsticks is putting on makeup for some guy who can’t even differentiate between two shades of red? Come on, people! There’s a clear difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’. I have a lot of days that go without makeup and my self-esteem does not get affected because of that. Determining a woman’s confidence based upon the number of beauty products used on her face is sheer stupidity.
Explain your choices
Do you want to take a year off from your job and just travel? Do you want to pursue something risky in your life but feel let down by your unsupportive circle of friends and family? Do you want to enroll yourself back to college? Well, then just do it! You need not explain everything to everyone because it’s your damn choice. If you feel that there’s something which will add to your personal growth, you need not seek approval from anyone. However always remember this quote from J.K. Rowling, “The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”
Be in a relationship/Hold on to toxic relationships
“You need someone to complete you.” Why? Because society says so! Society has always shown being alone synonymous with being sad. Never enter in a relationship just for the sake of it. Don’t hold on to toxic relationships as these kinds of relationships only empty you on the inside and you constantly feel the need to recharge yourself. You don’t even need to spend time with people just out of obligation. If you feel that you are better off without them and that your time can be utilized in a much more efficient way by doing something else, do that! Do all of this without any guilt! You don’t have to fear about being labeled by the society.
Be nice all the time
Talk politely. Communicate in a soft tone. Do not argue. Smile all the time. Don’t let your sad emotions land on your face. These are just some of the things a woman is expected to adopt in order to bear a label of being nice. Being kind and well-mannered is different from being nice. You don’t need to be nice all the time.
Keep your emotions in control
Among the many idiotic things a society thrusts upon a woman, one of them is asking women to keep their emotions in check. This directly translates to women not showing their vulnerable side and keeping a tab on their crazy side. There’s no need on your part to fear that and silence yourself. Be the silly person you are without feeling embarrassed. Do not get caught in the spiral of being normal. Normal after all is just an illusion.
Settle down. Have kids.
This is one of the biggest things a society says to do which is not limited to just women but a large percentage of it is! Of course, you really don’t have to do that just for the heck of it. Not everyone needs to marry or have kids. Not having children does not make anyone self-centered and having children doesn’t make anyone benevolent.
Always put others before yourself
Stop saying “yes” to everyone else and stop saying “no” to yourself. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. In fact, it should come high on your priority list. Being in touch with your feelings is extremely crucial. There’s a famous saying which goes as “Take care of yourself first or you will have nothing left to give others.” I hope this rings a bell in your head if you feel ever feel guilty of making “me” time for yourself. Because honestly, when was the last time you took yourself out on a date?
Maintain distance from food
I think more about food than I think about my friends and family. And I have never ever felt guilty about it. However, the hard truth is that we live in a society where women are made to feel super conscious of their looks. The matrimonial ads convey that a woman’s worth lies in her looks. One bite of their favourite cake and they prepare an elaborate dieting plan for the coming week to compensate. Ditch away this habit just because you think that you have to keep up with the standards set up by the society. Savor every sinful bite of that delectable desert.