Just Let Us Be the Woman We Want To Be

I was recently riding the subway and I looked around as I always do (unless I’m around my period and don’t want to look at anyone). I looked at women this time (it rarely happens, but there you are) and it hit me. There were probably thirty of us in the subway car, and none (NONE!) of us looked alike. We all had different skin colors (people who have been in NY know that you get all skin colors in one subway car and that is the best thing about this city), different height, hair, faces, shapes, weights. Everything was different about us. I was the only blonde girl. There were Indian women, Afro-American ones, Latinas, White women, Jewish women. We all looked different. And we all were women. I looked at us and thought – how the hell we’re supposed to fit in that unified trend that media has been creating? How the hell we’re all supposed to look like models who keep being blazed across the magazine covers? How…? Tell me. It’s just impossible. There is no way we all will able to fit in. And yet we – women – are all trying to get this image „right”. We all look in the mirror and think how we can improve ourselves. I recently wrote about fake faces that I see everywhere, but that really was the result of that trend! Namely, that is the result of creating this perfect image in our heads (about “the real beauty”) that we then start fixating over. The more you look in the mirror, the more faults you’d see. That I can guarantee. 

The truth is that we are different. Not only in terms of our look, but with how we are. Some of us are gentle, some are loud, unapologetic, kind, warm, cute, harsh, or sweet. Some are born to be mothers and some are rebels. Some of us want to travel the world, some of us want to stay at home. Some value money, while others value peace and quiet. Some like shopping and some are fine with just the basic look. Some would love to spend hours in the kitchen and some can’t even make scrambled eggs. And I could keep on going with this list forever. And you know what? That’s all fine. We’re all fine just as we are. Don’t feel bad because you don’t „fit in”. Don’t feel bad because you can’t bake and your sister can. Don’t feel bad that you speak your mind and that you can fix everything by yourself, instead of asking for permission or help. You are who you are and don’t you ever try to be someone else.

There are some things that you could change, of course – I believe that everyone should work on themselves, just to get to know oneself better –  but don’t change your core just because you think you „should”.If you’re a rebel, you probably won’t be happy with a stable lifestyle. Whatever! Do what you have to do, girl! If you prefer to spend your time with your kids instead of coming back to work, you shouldn’t feel guilty or less ambitious than other women. Just let yourself be who you are. For a very long time, I thought I had to be what other people expected me to be. I thought that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want the same things that my girlfriends wanted. But now I know that this is who I am. This is what I need. I would never be someone else. And there is nothing wrong with that. I’m opinionated and won’t settle for things that don’t work for me. But I’m also loving and kind. I choose to embrace who I actually am. Your image of me and your expectations of me is none of my business. Let me be myself. I let you be whoever you feel like you want to be. Let’s not try to expect others to be like us because it’s not going to happen. And – for God’s sake – let’s not try to fit in that one box labeled “A Woman”, because it’s just impossible.

Well, if perhaps we do resemble a box, then it’s the box of chocolates Forest Gump was talking about – you just never know what you’ll get. And that’s the beauty of being in the presence of women. We’re walking, constant, joyous surprises – to ourselves and to the world at large.