Does it happen with you that someone compliments you, genuinely, and it makes you squirm in discomfort? Is it difficult for you to acknowledge that you are good at something and rightly deserve a mention for it? Do you believe that something that hasn’t been created with your complete heart and soul in it cannot be good?
If you answer any of the above questions in affirmative, you have yours truly for company. My answer will be a resounding ‘Yes’ for all of them, and no, I’m not exactly happy about it. I don’t do it deliberately; it has somehow become a part of my nature. I try to find lame excuses to prove that it really isn’t my forte and people are probably overestimating me. Continued opinionated behaviour can do this to us. 😦
For reasons beyond, and within, my contemplation I always felt inconsequential. I lacked the confidence to stand with my head held high and willingly let others overshadow me and my existence. Being surrounded by friends who pulled me down at every possible instance only dispirited me further. It is not easy to let that negativity not affect you, believe me!
I wasn’t spared before, but the most indiscreet judgements I faced in my life came after I got married. My complexion, weight, dressing sense, length of hair and even the colour of my lipsticks and nail colours became a point of debate. Approval wasn’t necessary to me, yet whenever I got dressed, I had to routinely go through the head-to-toe scrutiny by anyone and everyone.
Expecting the daughter-in-laws in our society to follow stereotypes, for our family’s prestige, is quite common. Whether it is right or not is a subject for another post, though. Isn’t it better if I decide for myself whether my jeans makes me look fat or that a tattoo is painful to get and doesn’t look good on a married lady? ( FYI, I have two tattoos!) After all, I have my opinion too!
I’m a well-educated woman, a caring wife, a stay-at-home-mom of two lovely kids and a part-time freelance writer. I always have a jam-packed schedule but manage to squeeze out time for myself and pursue my interests. I read to my kids, whip up experimental dishes in my kitchen and also hang out with a bunch of my girlfriends whenever I can. So, does the gender stereotype apply to me?
I’m a determined person and cannot be easily told to simply follow rules. I surrender to peoples’ expectations at times, but don’t choose to give up on my preferences for them entirely. Having a husband who lets me be, is also a blessing. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so to see our beauty we just need to find a person with an eye for it. 🙂
In our society, outward appearances are given supreme importance. Someone might be extremely good at singing, painting, writing or any other form of art, but we will comment on their looks before complimenting them on their achievements. Looking good is a good thing, but is that everything we need to see in a person?
Not just experience, but even statistics say the same. Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.