Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dear Society: You Can Shove Your Standards



I have been different as long as I can remember. From my earliest memories, I wasn't like the other kids. I was incredibly shy and scared of the world, often hiding behind my grandmother's skirts because my fear was so great. As I grew older, my differences from my peers became more pronounced and frustrating. We were incredibly poor, I lived with my great-grandmother, my brothers were separated from me, I never met my dad, my mom was murdered... my life was just so odd. I didn't mind though. These were the cards life dealt me.


As a teenager, it finally hit me that I didn't fit in. I became depressed and struggled with my place in life, desperately wanting to fit in. Finally I attended college where being different was celebrated. I wore what I wanted, said what I felt, and I was "cool." Though being cool was not necessarily what I wanted, I was finally accepted regardless of my differences.

Later, in my career, I became known as the brilliant but quirky one. I joked constantly, but always displayed my professional character when needed. Regardless, promotions at work eluded me. Working hard and knowing my job didn't cut it. Apparently I had to suck up to management and pretend to be someone different. I wasn't cool with that, so I kept working believing that hard work would eventually pay off.

After ten years of working my ass off, I realized that nothing was going to change. It was either conform to my employer's view of who I should be or continue to just be me. I chose me. This led me to think about women's roles in society and the reality of fitting into these roles. We are groomed to conform to society's expectations. Our hair should be perfect, our skin a certain color, and our clothes should be just the right style. If any of these falter, then we are deemed not good enough. That's bullshit. If I want to wear bell bottoms and platform shoes, then that's what I'll do, and it does not reflect on me as a person.

Ladies, never let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough because you don't meet society's standards. As long as you do the best you can and stay true to yourself, you are badass. Do not let anyone tell you differently.


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