Women – we are all very different, but we all obviously have some similarities.
Some of us are confident, organised, and business-like and can carry off heels and a sleek suit. Some of us are scatter brained, creative, relaxed geniuses with a penchant for offbeat clothing and lifestyles. Some of us are earth mothers, whose world revolves around our children. Some of us are drama queens and expect others to fit into our lifestyles. Some of us are putting everyone else before ourselves and not maximising our existence to its fullest potential. There is no right or wrong, we all have different styles and priorities and most of us are probably a combination of all of the above, depending on the situation, the relationship and the level of emotional stability we are feeling at the time.
Women are given so many double standards and unrealistic role models through the media; it is hard to know whether we are getting it right or not! While one magazine is promoting getting back into skinny jeans after six weeks of giving birth, the TV news may be running a story about the benefits of eating well while breast feeding in order to maintain the health of the baby. Add to these articles about how much sex we should be having, how to keep ourselves looking young, exercising too much or not enough, creating the perfect home and keeping it bacteria free or allowing the housework to lapse in favour of time with our children. We simply cannot win! If we go with one model, we are failing in another and medical and social opinion changes so much that it is impossible to find reliable and consistent guidance.
Even comparison with friends can be less than reassuring (by friends I actually mean acquaintances, people you meet at mother and baby groups, or at work or through a social network. Real and true friends will always accept you as you are and be prepared to be honest about their situations). There are many women who will present a picture of perfection in public yet never divulge what is happening behind closed doors, which may not be so ideal. But these false presentations can lead some of us to feel inadequate in some way.
My personal view is that lately women are starting to be more honest with each other and open up a little bit more about their fears and heartaches, and that it may get easier in time. We have come a long way from the ridiculous restrictions imposed on women in our history, and we are hopefully finding a balance. Women need to support and encourage one another, and make their own rules, using the media as entertainment rather than a role model. I stopped watching the news on a daily basis and reading certain magazines around two years ago, and I feel happier as a result.
What makes a woman is in fact whatever is in YOU. That is what lies in your true self, your true personality, parenting style, personal tastes and fashion preferences. If it works for you then does it really matter what the rest of the world is doing, or what others think? It is time for women to embrace their individuality and express themselves in a way that makes them feel happy and fulfilled.