One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say that it’s much harder being a girl than it is to be a boy. I understand where they’re coming from, however; once upon a time, I too believed the same thing. I was told that girls take more time to get ready in the morning, girls have too many options for clothing choice, girls have to watch their weight, and more importantly, girls have to be like this and that just because someone SAID so.
For a brief time, I absolutely despised being a girl for three major reasons. One, I actually have the WORST case of facial hair. One of my classmates in kindergarten pointed it out before I was even aware of it, and by the next year, my mother was waxing my ‘stache and eyebrows every week. I know that other girls suffer from it too, but I hated being an unlucky one. Number two:I was so insecure about my voice. It was too deep to be your typical girl’s voice but it was too high to be your typical guy’s voice. This fourth grader actually came up to me when I was about eleven years-old and said that I sounded like a guy. At the time I made a joke about it, but inside, it really stung me too. Lastly, which I’ve mentioned before, I became overweight at the PERFECT time: the #thighgapthinspiration era. FANTASTIC.
I wanted to be a filmmaker when I was a kid but I was told that it would be difficult to make a good profit because I was female. Luckily, I grew out of that desire naturally, but I know so many girls who have to give up their dreams just because society tells them that only boys can strive for the same things. Fast forward five years later and I would rather die than switch into a boy’s body. With all the changes I’ve made in my life, I’ve also gained so much confidence in my gender and I’m so proud as to how it’s shaped me. Being a girl is more than just something that’s biological. It is a testament of what I can accomplish and do despite my hardships.
And I’m not excluding men out of this argument because it happens to them too–if men find interest in something that might be more feminine, then I don’t see why they shouldn’t be discouraged from pursuing it! I find it so stupid for people to expect men and women to react so distinctively. Men suffer from body image, eating disorders, domestic violence and sexual assault just as much as women do, yet why is it taken more lightly if a man were to fall victim to any of these than it is for a girl to? Is it because they’re expected to “suck it up and not cry”? Is it because people think girls aren’t as strong and need more emotional support? Why do we choose to target certain issues towards a certain gender?
Sure, it can be because women care more about dieting and fashion while men care more about sports and cars. Sometimes it’s a part of nature. I hate watching a sports game and getting my hands dirty as much as any girl does. But at the same time, I hate shaving my legs and shopping for shoes as much as any guy does (that is, do guys actually shave their legs?). We’re all different, and we have to embrace that. I’ve learned that wasting my time on trying to fit into certain stereotypes imposed towards females can be put towards better use. Why spend so much money on clothing when I can save up for things I’m actually interested in–such as Whole Foods and the farmers market? Why avoid the weight rack just because it’s less common for girls to lift? The reason why I love health and fitness so much is because I didn’t have to worry about gender stereotypes for a while. Once I adapted that, I realized I didn’t have to worry about them at all. Man or woman, everybody could relate to me somehow. If I were to write down anything that I look for in a friend, I wouldn’t write down “male” or “female”! Would you?
It is only harder to be a girl if you make it that way. If you obsess over crossing your legs whenever you sit and not leaving the house without red lipstick on, then yes, it will be hard. But it’s all about taking matters into your own hands and creating your own reality. Stop conforming to the BS of physical obsession if it’s stressing you out. Have that goddamn piece of cake. Don’t shave your legs if you don’t want to. Nobody’s stopping you except yourself.