I have a friend whose daughter has yet to reach puberty but it’s just around the corner. As we all know, with puberty comes the whole peer pressure, self image, self confidence, identity, etc… crap. It’s the equivalent to the toilet paper that gets stuck on your shoe when you exit a public toilet, except you can’t shake it off.
Something that’s been worrying my friend has been her daughter’s lack of self confidence/esteem. Her daughter is bright, articulate, smart, funny, just all around fantastic. Perhaps my friend has forgotten what it was like at that age.
Everyone would like to think that they’ve outgrown the moments when doubt feels so heavy that it feels like a crushing weight. Hell, I’ve caught myself caring about the ridiculous things I’ve taught myself not to give a hoot about.
The whole “I do what I want and I don’t care about what other’s think” mentality is great IN THEORY. In reality, it doesn’t always work that way. Especially if you don’t plan on living the life of a hermit. As often as we tell ourselves that we don’t need to fit in with others, there’s always that voice in the back, saying, “I wanna be part of them!” The best is when people say, “I don’t your/his/her/their approval but I wouldn’t do/wear/say that because I don’t want to be the weirdo.” If I could slap everyone that has said that, I’d have a very sore hand.
While I know that this sort of pressure is on everyone, I can’t help thinking that perhaps maybe it’s worse on the ovary-baring part of the specie. I probably think that because I have an innie rather than an outie so I have no experiences whatsoever as a guy. I’m sure life is very tough for them as well. But this post is about how it’s not easy to be a girl.
I, personally, wish self esteem/confidence came in a bottle you can buy at the corner store. I’d rent a storage space just to store all the bottles I’d buy. If it was expensive, I’d sell a vital organ to buy it.
Unfortunately at 28, I’m still trying to see that I’m not a pathetic failure. Don’t feel bad tho. I’m getting better at seeing that I’m not a pathetic failure and not allowing minor setbacks feel like I dropped my first born down a flight of stairs.
Anyways. Back to to how it’s not easy to be a female (at whatever age).
These days, the expectations appear to just be continuously piled on relentlessly. Expectations to be a mother, to have a career, to be like Martha Stewart, to be a feminist, to be a sex kitten, to be strong, to be liked… the list goes on. Just as you get a good juggle going, someone tosses you another ball, then a couple more, then they throw the whole bushel of balls at you. It’s mad!
There are also these weird phases that one goes through. Like when your friends start hooking up and suddenly everyone’s paired off like some bizarre debutant ball. You could be left standing without a partner. Children start crawling out from under those giant hoop skirts (stay with me on the debutant ball idea…) Perhaps a dog or a couple of cats come out instead of children. Don’t even get me started on the kind of dresses. I suppose the dresses could represent how successful/unsuccessful you’ve been in life. But the point is that as soon as you’re slightly different from the rest of the crowd, a weight gets added on your shoulders. Thankfully it is possible to shake some of the weights off.
I wish I could mean it 100% when I tell my friend that everything will be honky dory with her daughter. I’m still trying to shake off my weights.