We live in an age in which women are measuring themselves against ridiculous beauty standards. There are some terrible people out there who think women who are above a size 0 are gross, women who eat anything other than kale smoothies are gross, and women who choose not to shave their lady parts are gross. But it's simply not true!
Our insecurities are rooted in what we see in the media. They are also a product of misogyny. Guys think the fact that women have a period is gross, so we think it's gross and we don't talk about it. There are so many taboos for women, so much we have to live up to and so many things that we can “do wrong”. That's gross in itself.
We need to look past all of those things and move on. It's normal to have natural bodily functions. It's normal for our bodies to change. It's normal to look like a normal person and not some airbrushed image of perfection. We must be comfortable in our own skin and only do what makes us comfortable and not anybody else.
Getting sweaty can feel pretty gross. On a hot day, when you're busy or on the subway you can sweat profusely. This can make you start to worry that you have sweat patches under your arms or on your booty. You're scared to stand up and get off the subway because you might have left a puddle on the seat. But we all sweat, men and women. Even if people don't admit it, we all know what it is like to sweat, it is nothing to be ashamed of. For those of you who are scared to sweat too much at the gym, no one is paying attention to how much you glisten, focus on what is important, your body and health.
Sweating is one of those bodily functions that has a great purpose. It cools your body down when you start to overheat and it helps rid your body of toxins. So rather than seeing it as something gross maybe we should start seeing it as something necessary and worthwhile.
14 Put On Weight
Our bodies continue to change as we grow. Our metabolisms change and so it's quite possible that we'll put on a little weight when our regular routines don't produce the same result as they used to. Or we might put on a little weight because we're super busy with everything we need to do in navigating our twenties – nurturing our budding careers, maintaining our social lives etc. And not all of us have the desire or energy to spend every spare second at the gym, even if we try our hardest.
In the same respect, we might lose weight because of stress or changes in our lifestyles and stress levels are on the rise. It's not about shaming women if our bodies change either way. Essentially, the most important thing is our health. Being healthy is more important than adhering to the parameters of the ideal body image.
13 Eat Junk Food
We're told time and time again by blogs, celebrities on social media, and even our friends who have been influenced by such that we should be eating kale and drinking “fit teas” and the like. For this reason, any time we even sniff a French fry we feel guilty about it. And that's because of all the shaming women receive for eating more than a salad for lunch. It has become ingrained for so many women.
Isn't it better to encourage women to find a healthy balance in what they eat instead of making them feel guilt and shame for not only eating lettuce and vegetables. Those kinds of feelings are what lead to eating disorders and mental health conditions. Women should be encouraged to have a healthy body and mind, not shamed if they eat a packet of chips.
12 Not Bother Shaving
Some of us spend hours grooming ourselves every week. There's the areas you'd expect your average woman to take care of i.e. her legs, her pits and her bits. Some have more hair than others to take care of i.e. snail trails, moustaches, chin hairs and arm hair and more. But why do we even bother? To meet beauty standards. And for some women, keeping up with the idea of 'perfection' is difficult. Some women have faster growing and coarser hair.
Women are hairy sometimes, get over it. If we choose not to shave or remove our body hair in some other way, it has nothing to do with anybody else because it's our body and therefore our choice what we do with it. Hair removal can be painful and bad for you. There's razor burn, rashes, itching, and infection to contend with. I wouldn't blame you if you chose not to bother.
11 Have Thighs That Touch
There are so many ridiculous challenges out there on the net and on social media. Women show off their thigh gaps, their protruding collar bones and the fact that they can balance an iPhone on their knees. Have you seen how many women now show off the space in between their chest and collar bone? This is another instance in which women are setting ridiculous standards and making themselves feel gross and not worthy if they can't achieve said standards. It is difficult to feel good about yourself when your favorite celebs when they are constantly being caught photoshopping their already beautiful selves. These women need to realize what an awful message this sends to girls and women everywhere. Instead of following people who promote unhealthy beauty standards on Instagram, you should try following health/fitness and body positive accounts. Make sure you understand that social media is unrealistic in its portrayal of lives and physical appearance, many people get caught up in the false information
10 Have Less Than Perfect Skin
This is something that lots of women are deeply insecure about. Blemishes, acne, wrinkles, skin conditions and the rest can make women feel like they are disgusting. But at the end of the day, we all have our own insecurities. And there are so many good people out there who will see you for how beautiful you are despite what you think might be flaws. These are the people you want around, those who see you for your wonderful character. You don't want people closest to you judging you for blemishes or for not having naturally airbrushed skin.
And why are women insecure about this? Because the media perpetuates our insecurities by using images of women with clear and glowing, beautiful skin. But you know that crap is all airbrushed and touched up anyway right? Nobody is perfect.
9 Have Cellulite
Cellulite is another giant insecurity for many women, because society has made it that way. It is hard not to react when you have these magazines taking pictures of gorgeous celebrities and enlarging their cellulite in a big red circle and basically calling them disgusting for having it. Have you ever seen a celeb being papped on the beach with cellulite- the header usually reads something super demeaning. It seems so gross to some because they think that only overweight people get cellulite. That is a myth. Most people have it.
We all need to get over this rubbish. According to leading dermatologists, around 98% of women have cellulite, even slim girls. So then why are we bothering about it so much, how did this all start? We all have it. It's a part of our bodies and we've done nothing wrong to make it appear.
8 Talk About That Time Of The Month
Shaming somebody for their period is tantamount to shaming somebody for peeing. It's a natural bodily function. But because periods are something that only women go through, of course we get shamed for it. Most women will admit to feeling as though they need to be secretive about it.
And not only do we get shamed for having periods, we get shamed for talking openly about it. It's something disgusting that should be kept under wraps apparently. But we should be able to talk about anything we want to talk about. It's important for us to share about our common experience so that we can learn about our bodies. Even if we just want to poke fun at our period because it makes us feel better, it should be our right to do that.
7 Have Multiple Partners
We still see women negatively if they are dating or sleeping with multiple people. HOW do we still see women negatively if they are dating or sleeping with multiple people? It's ridiculous. It's misogyny at its finest. Think about how many women have been judged for their personal lives. Everyone has a right to live their life how they want.
There's no reason we shouldn't explore our sexualities and have some fun. If we're doing it for the right reasons, in other words to make ourselves happy and not make someone else happy then sleeping around isn't problematic. It's nobody else's business what we choose to do with our own bodies quite frankly. And if we decide to sleep with other women too that might be seen as gross by hetero dudes. They can't handle the fact that we don't solely exist for their pleasure.
6 Wear Sloppy Clothes
I was watching a TV show recently, which featured a really pretty woman who usually dresses to the nines for work and parties etc. But when she was shopping, she had her hair tied back and was wearing a cardigan, and basically just chill clothes. Then other characters made the joke that she looked like a homeless person more than once. Pfft.
Are women supposed to look their very best at all times, otherwise they're gross? This kind of shaming reinforces the idea that women are nothing but their looks, they are to be put up on a pedestal and admired for their beauty. Slobbing out isn't gross. At the end of the day women should be able to wear what they're comfortable in.
5 Wear Revealing Clothes
At the other end of the spectrum, some people find it abhorrent for women to wear clothes that are “too revealing”. Sl*t shaming is rife, so much so that women are often blamed on account of the outfits they're wearing when they are assaulted. I must reiterate that women should be able to wear whatever they want to and whatever makes them feel happy and comfortable. There is NO excuse whatsoever for assaulting a woman and it certainly isn't her fault or down to the clothes she is wearing.
Females are also told not to wear revealing clothes in places such as schools and their places of work, and the reason that is often given is that it may be distracting to the girls' or women's male counterparts. How gross is that?
4 Feed Babies
There's a social experiment on YouTube called Sexy vs Breastfeeding. In the video you see a lady with an ample bosom sit on a bench in a mall with her cleavage on show. Of course she gets a lot of positive attention from male passers by. Then a woman breastfeeding a baby sits on exactly the same bench which gets a negative reaction with passers by, including men and women, labelling her behavior “disgusting”.
Breastfeeding a baby is the most natural thing in the world. Yet mothers feeding their innocent, little, hungry babies are shamed all the time. This is something that seriously needs to stop!
3 Not Fit The Gender Stereotype
Even in the twenty-first century, some crazy people find the idea of woman who isn't the typical feminine or submissive type hard to stomach. If women are strong and career-driven then they get a lot of hate from those who think women belong in the kitchen. But as long as we continue to support one another we can continue to stand up and be accounted for. Similarly, if women want to be stay-at-home moms then all power to them. Essentially, it's a woman's decision to live her life how she chooses and who are we to judge?
Also, there are women who may wish to adopt a more masculine appearance. Some people either hate that, or at the very least find it hard to understand. But who is it hurting? And shouldn't everybody be free to be who they are?
2 Learn About Our Bodies
It's crazy to think that a lot of women haven't even looked at their lady parts in a mirror. An episode of Orange is the New Black showed us that lots of ladies don't even know the names of the different parts that make up their genitals. The reason being is that, weirdly enough, talking about and even thinking about the make up of our bodies, especially what we've got downstairs is a taboo subject.
It seems strange to me that this is true for some people. How can you not know about the anatomy of your own body or at the very least what it looks like? But thankfully we're getting increasingly better in learning about our bodies. And it really is so important to do so for the purposes of awareness and our health. I once watched a documentary which featured sex positive feminists who are performance artists. As part of a piece, one of the artists allowed people to use a torch to look inside her anatomy and at her cervix. I'm all for it. Unless, you're a doctor, how else are you going to know what a cervix looks like without, well, looking at one?
So many women do everything in their power to try and halt the ageing process. They believe it to be disgusting as they start to gain lines and wrinkles in places that weren't there before. Things start to sag and our bodies begin to change. Plus, ladies of a certain age are seen as more gross than sexy. They don't get the part of the love interest in movies and on TV for this reason. Well, I'm sorry girls but we all have to age. We're not in some fantasy movie where we can drink some elixir to keep us young forever. We need to stop fearing getting older and start appreciating the good things to do with ageing, such as all of that wisdom and experience that you gain along the way.