The Reasons Why Being A Woman Is As Powerful As It Is Difficult

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Women battle impossible standards on a daily basis. They are powerful, beautiful, even magical creatures yet to survive in this world they have to walk a fine line between “just right” and “too much.” It’s not enough to just be a woman.

To survive in this world women constantly feel like they are put against impossible standards, where they have to be different people, in different roles at all times. And yet, because of how powerful they are, they do it, and they do it well.

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Beautiful But Meeting An Unattainable Standard

woman stands in front of bright lights

Ilya Pavlov / Unspalsh

Ilya Pavlov / Unspalsh

​Women are celebrated for their beautiful diverse bodies. From curvy to slim, tall to petite, each size has its perks and special traits that make it desirable. Yet at the time, both men and women are flooded with images of what the ideal body should still look like. Tall like a model, but not taller than a man. Curvy like an hourglass figure but not fat. A woman is expected to wear makeup to look put together but criticized for looking fake, considered to have low self-esteem, or even called a catfish if she puts on too much.

A woman is beautiful. Every woman is beautiful. But her beauty is in her uniqueness, in what makes her happy and in the eyes of those who appreciate her, not based on what a perfume commercial has decided that day.

Independent But Someone To Everyone

three women with eyes closed

Gemma Chua-Tran / Unsplash

Gemma Chua-Tran / Unsplash

Women have fought long and hard for their rights. No longer do they have to stay home, away from their passion, purpose, and jobs. However, there never came a time when women were able to just focus on their lives outside the home as men can. Instead, when they finally became independant and were now able to work or stay home as they pleased, they were still expected to fulfill all other responsibilities as well.

It wasn’t a swap. Now if a woman chooses to pursue a meaningful career, she has to balance it with all her other responsabilites. She is still xpected to stay home with her children, cook and clean for her husband, to do as much inside the home as she does outside of it. A woman is expected to be a caretaker but barely ever gets taken care of herself.

A Mother But At More Risk

mother holding her child by a window

@huanshi / Unsplash

@huanshi / Unsplash

Women are expected to become mothers at some point. It’s like without it they can’t have a purpose. However, more and more women are choosing to go about their lives without bringing a kid into the world and that should be okay and normalized. Having a child is a blessing and rewarding but it’s not for everyone. It also means giving up freedom and finances plus it comes with serious health risks for some women.

In fact, every 90 secоnds, a wоman dies in pregnancy оr due tо childbirth/related cоmplicatiоns. That is mоre than 350,000 deaths each year, 99% оf which оccur in develоping cоuntries.

Successful But Not Equal

woman in red dress sitting at work desk on the phone

Dane Deaner / Unsplash

Dane Deaner / Unsplash

Wоmen work just as hard as their male coworkers. They give just as much time, effort and get the same and sometimes even better results. Women perfоrm 66% оf the wоrld’s wоrk and prоduce 50% оf the fооd. Yet still, they earn оnly 10% оf the incоme and оwn just 1% оf the prоperty. Women are said to not be able to hold positions of power because they get emotional or because they need to take time off if they have a baby.

Rather than have their uniqueness celebrated and taken advantage of as a bonus, it’s perceived as their downfall. Women are still waiting to be seen as equals, for their potential and not for their sex.

Approachable But Not Aggressive

man and woman sit at date table

Cotton Bro / Pexels

Cotton Bro / Pexels

Being a woman in today’s dating and social world is like a balancing act. Women are starting to make the first move and approach the men they like only to be seen as “intimidating” and scaring men away. Women are being honest about their feelings and communicating them only to be told they are “too much” or “too needy.” And if they dare reject a man, they get called all sorts of names. If they chose to be single, they’re regarded as lonely like a man should be their sole source of happiness.

Even socially, if a woman speaks her mind she’s bossy and if she stays quiet, she lacks confidence. There’s no winning.

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Sexy But Not Provacative

woman in red lingerie laying down on the floor

pawel szvmanski / Unspash

pawel szvmanski / Unspash

Let’s not even get started on the emphasis on the way a woman dresses. How come the men’s section in a clothing store is still just in the back corner while the women’s is too confusing to even sort at double the price? Not only is it impossible to keep up with fashion trends and their prices, but the whole beauty industry and representation of what the ideal woman looks like is not consistent.

Women are told to embrace their bodies but still criticized the second they post a “sexy” picture. They need to be open and inviting, but not provocative. To wear heels, but not look like they’re trying too hard. It’s confusing.

Relaxed But Not Letting Herself Go

woman laying down with her hands supporting her head

Max / Unsplash

Max / Unsplash

The biggest critique women seem to get is that they’re too uptight but as soon as they’re relaxed and let out a free spirit that does what she wants when she wants, they’re not taken seriously. They’re told to live their lives but there is a whole standard on how that life should be lived. They need to be conservative but not a prude.

They need to go out, but not stay out late, or walk home alone at night. A woman who likes to stay home is seen as boring but a woman that likes to go out is not wifey material. Nothing is ever good enough.

Try Hard But Not Too Hard

old lady wrapped in a scarf looks sad or tied

Valentin Balan / Unsplash

Valentin Balan / Unsplash

Men don’t like women who try too hard they say. She needs to look young but not fake. She needs to be strong but not emotional. Women live in a world full of contradictions. No matter what choices they make, what they wear, what role they occupy, if they stay home or go out, it’s never just right, so who cares? There’s obviously no point in trying to be it all because there’s always going to be someone that’s not pleased or something that’s too much or not enough.

To all the women reading, you’re doing the best you can and you’re doing amazing. One day you will be too old to care anyway so before you get to that point, live your life the best way you can now.To all the men, take a moment to appreciate the women around you and all they do for you.

Find Yourself, And Just Be You

African Woman in head scarf and purple jewellery close up smiling

Ayo Ogunseinde / Unsplash

Ayo Ogunseinde / Unsplash

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives