There are few things that anger me more than the immense persuasion society has over interpretations of femininity. Socially constructed ideals of womanhood are responsible for a majority of sexist ideals and gender dichotomies, in my opinion, yet I feel as though not a lot of individuals acknowledge just how persuasive social constructions are.
Despite the progress made in recent years in regards to gender equality and the abolishment of gender stereotypes, there is still vast improvement that needs to be made in order to continue moving forward. It is arguable that a key component involved in such progress is recognizing the root of this issue, which as I said earlier is socially constructed perspectives.
Consider something as simple as a woman shaving her legs. It seems as though the fact that women naturally have hair on their bodies has been entirely disregarded in order to correspond with what society has deemed as acceptable female characteristics. If a woman is seen with hair in her armpits or on her legs, she is scrutinized for failing to abide by societal norms that dictate the proper and acceptable properties of being female. Despite body hair being a matter of personal choice and preference, it has become a socially dictated judgment issues towards women. Consider the concept of makeup. If a woman fails to wear makeup, it is probable that she will be accused of being lazy, or sloppy. Since when did makeup become associated with sophistication? Furthermore, when did makeup become and indicator of a woman’s personal life? Aspects of a woman’s life that should remain personal have become aspects that are tremendously influenced by society, and it is incredibly destructive.
It is also essential to note that socially constructed gender norms equally impact males and females. Femininity seems to be more of a target in regards to social ideals than masculinity, but this form of manipulation goes both ways.
I think is is disturbing that gender and identity have become more of a social concern than a personal one, and I question if this issue will progress or deplete in years to come.