— WRITTEN BY CHEYANNE MUMPHREY AND RACHEL DEXTER
We only hope that one day women will see themselves for who they are — beautiful and endearing human beings. Each and every one.
Look in the mirror and you will see you — inevitably, undeniably and uniquely you.
With that being said, don’t compare yourselves to anyone else. Not Marilyn Monroe, not Audrey Hepburn, not Beyonce and not the Kardashians. You don’t need a thigh gap to feel beautiful, you don’t need push-up bras to get the attention of men and you don’t need contouring to look like anyone other than yourself.
It has really become a societal problem. The Kylie Jenner Lip challenge is just one of the examples that distorts the idea of beauty.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book We Should All Be Feminists speaks on the issue by saying, “We teach girls to shrink themselves to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”
She talks about marriage as a goal, but it is also one of the many reasons females fight with each other. It goes back to the beginning of time. Women were used as a bargaining chip between families. We fought for men’s attention and over time we have tailored our appearance, our behavior and sometimes our morals for them.
Now, we’ve gone so far as to call each other out — slut, whore, b**** and c*** — and it needs to stop. It should not be a “girl thing” to talk behind each other’s backs. It should not be a “girl thing” to gossip.
We should be accepting of ourselves and not comparing and competing. We should be embracing friendships, and not clawing at each other. We should be building each other up, not bringing each other down.
Being a female should not be the shallow, deceiving thing that it is stereotyped to be.
Women, stand up for yourselves.
Prove that we are stronger than what we are perceived to be.
The Opinion Editors
About A Pen & A Dress
A Pen & A Dress is a column by Cheyanne Mumphrey (and often features Rachel Dexter). Created in December 2015, A Pen & A Dress started publishing in The Lumberjack. Mumphrey's goal is to strike conversation about issues women face on a day-to-day basis and challenge the social norms for females across the globe.