As seen on Her Campus
There is no denying the media and societal pressure that is put on girls growing up as well as women in the workforce. But, what pressure are we putting on ourselves to meet these impossible standards, and how do we move forward from that? You can blame the pressures on Vogue magazine’s photo shopping, and endless sex tips that encourage us to please our man, and the importance placed on our ability to marry but there is a need to look closer and focus in on the smaller parts. How does your everyday life reinforce these stereotypes and more importantly do they make you happy?
If you haven’t stumbled across Mary Lambert’s song Body Love, then it’s time to update your Pandora stations! This song inspires the hidden feminist in me and could do the same for you. With lyrics like “love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet” and “I know girls who are fleeing bombs from the mosques of their skin” it is impossible not to reflect on where these pressures come from. Women are being encouraged more and more to embrace being bossy and to love whom they are, but it isn’t enough. It is important to continue this growth by encouraging body love in your everyday life. It doesn’t start with a big feminist rally and it doesn’t start with manifestos it starts with yourself. Body love needs to be encouraged not only towards ourselves but also towards our friends, families, and strangers.
Here are ways to accomplish this change:
· Encourage women around you whether they are struggling or succeeding. There is a stigma that only one woman can be successful and we are fearful of encouraging someone who is our potential competitor. But I urge you to shift that thinking and try to be the girl who has mentors and wants everyone to succeed.
· Stop slut shaming. There is no need to be the girl who makes fun of someone’s outfit choices or choices in another woman’s own sex life. Chances are, you will seem like this person to someone else.
· Be part of a team! Nothing helps women to grow than when they are apart of something together. Look into on campus and local opportunities. This semester, the University of Utah held their annual Women’s Leadership Summit, which focused being imperfect and embracing all of our flaws to make us stronger women. It is a powerful thing to be surrounded by many successful women.
· Speak out! Now no one is asking for you to attack people, but feel free to speak your piece and let your voice be heard.
· Know the facts. Keep up with what is happening in the news locally, nationally, and globally. Because the best way for you to encourage body love and see change is to know where change needs to occur!
It is important to stand together and believe that we can be the girls who Mary Lambert never knew instead of the “girls who wonder if they’re disaster and sexy enough to fit in”.