Historically, women have practically always been put under the power of their male counterparts and that, in every and any spheres of their lives. Whatever their social status, their ethnicity and their age, the role of caregiver has always been expected to be taken on by them and that, as well as the expectation of constantly being accommodating and submissive. As years have gone by, change has occurred, and women have been gaining in freedom and power, but some harmful gender norms have kept on strong and ultimately stayed embedded in our way of living.
When it comes to women’s appearance, it is still subject to restrictions, judgment and unattainable standards and has made more than one feel trapped in a box that did not match their inner-self (The Value of Women, n.d.). Defying the norm would lead one to be looked down upon and not to be appreciated at one’s fair value. This need for approval has recently generated a kind of fear within the population and, ultimately, has led to the arrival of a new beauty-based culture. With skincare routines, laborious regimes and cosmetic surgery evolving and taking over our society, the focus has been put on this rigid idea of ultimate beauty and has led to the creation of a race for who can exceed society’s expectations first. Its rules require one to be cautious not to be too manly or too feminine and to carefully balance every aspect of their looks – because God knows that only one false move, one crooked tooth, can create madness over which everyone will talk about and cause one to reach the bottom podium of the race.
As for society’s expectations of women’s behaviours, it is relatively similar. They are to act in ladylike manners and not to let their emotions take over their decisions – because it is known to all, of course, that women are predisposed to dramatic and irrational personalities. They are, instead, to take care of household chores and to please their husbands’ needs and wants at all times, because that’s what they do best. Everything is based on how one’s family, self and life looks, and not on how one feels. As mentioned before, luckily, those kinds of expectations have slowly died down over the years. Only, the world we live in still refers to those times and refuse to grasp the fundamental idea that women are equal to men and have the same cognitive abilities. Also, I am not stating, per se, that men have it easy compared to women when it comes to social standards, but women are to constantly run after this image of perfection, to carry it even through the roughest of times, all while fighting to get more of that freedom that men have. Yes, change has occurred through the years, but a lot is still to be made if we want, one day, for all to be considered as equals.
The Value of Women. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2017-12-05/study-women-valued-for-physical-attractiveness