Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pressured to be pretty.

Yesterday I was eating an ice-cream at a bar, when I saw two stick-thin girls standing in front of me.
They were discussing about how many calories they had eaten today, and in the end they decided to to take a sugar-free diet ice-cream. They were wearing skinny jeans, tons of make-up and lots of jewellery.
What's so strange about that? You may ask. Well, nothing, if you exclude the fact that these girls must have been about 10 years old, if not less.

And the problem is, they are not the only children who spend their days trying to be as sexy as possible.
When I was in 5th grade I used to spend all my break time reading or playing tag or fairies. I didn't wear make-up, didn't read celebrity mags, didn't follow fashion. And that didn't make me very popular.
Once, a popular girl was excluded from the group because she liked too many boys. Evidently, that wasn't acceptable. I offered myself to be her friend, and she immediatly got on my case. I think she was trying to help, but I didn't appreciate it much. She wanted to make me fashionable, she said that with her help I'd no longer be an outcast. I hadn't even realized I was an outcast, actually, since I didn't care to be part of the popular group. Anyway, in her opinion changing me was easy. She had elaborated the 5-step plan below.

1. Straighten your hair. Curls are no longer fashionable.
2. Stop eating apples. They aren't fashonable at all. Chips are much better.
3. Every girl should have a bracelet.
4. Wear make-up. No-one wants to be a friend of a make up-less girl.
5. Act fashionable. Say hi with a sweet voice and look while leaning slighty back and twisting just a bit. That's very sexy. Speak sexily in a girly way. Don't read. Don't play with barbies.Wear cooler clothes and shoes.

She tried to "better" me in every way. I thought about it for a day then decided that I didn't want to become like one of the mean girls in the movies. So I stopped hanging out with her.

That was when I was ten. However, my decision to not spend my life being sexy couldn't last long. By the time I was twelve, I was desperate to earn the approval of the popular gals. I wanted to be pretty. But it was useless. Sexy girliness simply isn't in my DNA. I can't act sexy all the time. I can't style my hair each morning.

So I got kind of depressed and gave up, while all my friends- who previously liked playing with me in the woods- all started hanging out at the mall talking about boys, make-up, clothes and their wish to wear high heels. I didn't like it. I desperately tried to find a way out of it. I still wanted to be a kid.

Then I realized that the boys still played as much as they wanted. They always had. So I started playing with them instead, together with another girl who felt alienated from the rest. We played football. As girls, we had never played football before, while the boys had spent their entire lives doing so. Thus, we lost every time at first, but after a couple of months we learned. That made us feel very proud.

But it was hard, resisting the "you have to be pretty" expectation. I always had relapses, months in which I decided I would become "cool". I still do, even now, even after understanding all that was going on.

But the fact is, not everyone is as lucky as me.  I have always had the deep conviction since childhood that appearences don't matter. It has faltered at times, but it was always there.
Other girls don't. My sister is in 4th grade and has two girls in her class who refuse to eat because they are afraid of becoming fat. I saw her once staring sadly at the mirror and when I asked her what was making her sad she said she thought she was ugly.
I have tried to convince her that she is very beautiful, and that anyway wasn't what really mattered. I hope the point got across.

umm, no, not appropriate.

 It is sad enough when adult women spend all their time trying to be pretty and feel insecure about their appereance. But it just isn't fair to force it on little girls too.

How can the world understand that women are not just pretty sexual objects if women themselves don't understand it?
And how can they understand it, when the world is forcing them to believe that they are?
It's a sad circle. =(

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My computer works again!!!

After days of almost total cutoff from technology, I feel pure joy when using a computer. MY computer, which now work again!! It works!! And does more than displaying porn!!