I have to be honest and say, it felt great when I read it. It was actually sent to me by some other women, since they all drew similarities between me and the girl in the article. I did relate to it on every level. By the time I got to the end, I was feeling buoyant, almost as if the author secretly knew me and that made me feel really special. Then, wanting to share this article as a post, I went on facebook (technically, this sentence should stop here) and I realized that the article was having a similar effect on hundreds of other women!
And why not?! Times have changed, and so has the ideal woman. The delicate, beautiful, unblemished, housekeeper Cinderella of yesteryears is the boisterous, loud, unkempt, rebel, Merida, of today. While Cinderella’s destiny was to lose her glass shoe only to find royal greatness, Merida challenges her suitors in archery only to prove to her mother that she is much more than the fabled “princess”.
Barbies were great toys for girls born in the 80s and 90s. Today, toys are being designed to promote engineering among girl children.
What was considered chivalry once, is now seen as an insult to a woman’s ability to take care of herself.
The skinny of yesterday is the strong of today.
Idealisms change every generation – and they make no difference whether or not they are about beauty or brains – they are still gross generalizations.
The ideal woman has always been the fad. Everyone wants to be the girl that the world thinks is perfect. A decade back, a girl who goes to work and earns for her living was being written about. Today, a girl who thinks a “boring, day job” is a waste of time, is the real deal. A few years back, songs were being written about women weighing a 120 lbs. Today, movies are being made on women who run marathons.
Here’s my take on all of this and the point to this post, you and I don’t have to be the girl who can be fit inside an idealistic article. We are all survivors in our own way. It may not be “cool” today, according the world, to not have the time to travel. But if a day job is what is going to help you stand on your two feet and feed your family, keep at it girl! We may not always be in a position to pay for our meals, but a sensible girl will not base her independence on money. She knows it’s ok to take help from her loved ones, men inclusive, without feeling a loss of dignity, because she’ll do the same for them, when they’re in need. And we may not always come from a society that is open to individualistic appearances. Or maybe, we simply just want to look good. So what? Take the time to do so. It doesn’t make you any more “shallow” than the girl who is unkempt for idealism’s sake.
As much as it is wonderful to be the girl in the article, it is equally important to be an honest one. One that understands her place, her responsibilities and her duties. I know for a fact that I would respect someone way more for being true to themselves, than try to comply to what the world thinks a woman should be.
However exhilarating the article was to women who had the luxury of choice in life, it must have been equally disheartening to women who have not had the choice of taking that path. Just like how articles about women being beautiful because they were skinny must have been terribly discouraging to women who did not have that time to spend on their bodies.
The world will throw many, many idealisms our way. It will change the way it thinks whenever it pleases. And it will tempt us to change who we are to comply to these ideals. And then when you strive hard and do change, it will dump you for newer and different ideals. But the most desirable woman, according to me, is one who is true to herself and who she is. A woman confident enough to ask for help when she needs it. A woman who’s identity is not threatened by such generalizations. She’s the woman you want to date. And you never need to let her go, because she’ll never let you feel like you can’t keep up. You’ll know that you are the center of her world.
That’s the one you want to be with.