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3 Contradicting Standards Women Face on a Daily Basis

I see it, or should I say her, all of the time. On Instagram and in my favorite television show “Sex and the City.” And, did I mention her constant appearance plastered on advertisements across Manhattan? Living in this city, I feel as if every corner I turn I’m reminded of this it girl. She’s perfect, cool, effortless, and entirely fictional. Who is this it girl we love so much? We idolize her to the point where we often alter who we really are in order to get closer to being her doppelganger. Yes, we often see her racking up “likes” on Instagram and in Hollywood films, but you’ll never catch her on the street in the flesh because she’s a walking contradiction.

She can be found inhaling cheeseburgers, yet she has cheese-grater abs

I can’t recall a single episode where Carrie Bradshaw isn’t ingesting copious amounts of cupcakes, fries, and lattes, yet is subsequently strutting around Manhattan in a tube top and mini skirt showing off her tight, petite bod. Because of this portrayal of women in the media, it has become an expectation for us to have our cake and wear a size two. Despite the fact that some girls may be able to achieve this lifestyle naturally, others are pressured to showcase a questionably unhealthy diet and somehow lose weight simultaneously. This is an unrealistic expectation forced upon women. Instead of conforming to the unrealistic ideal of society, we should all happily eat pizza and embrace the pounds with pride or proudly order that salad and defy pop culture’s pizza trend.

She is expected to politely go home with men but doesn’t bear the weight of a so-called slut status

Slut shaming is a thing. But, when you think about it, prude shaming is equally relevant. Society wants women to either veil their sexual experiences in guilt and shame or not have any experiences at all. But, on the contrary, men are offended and shocked when we don’t easily submit to sleeping with them even if we hold no desire to do so. It seems as if men obsess over virgins for the sake of their own egos. That being said, society shames us for owning our natural sexual desires while simultaneously shaming us for being a prude. Why do men inflict guilt on women in public, but expect us to be the sexual goddess of their dreams behind closed doors? Instead of subconsciously doubting the relationship with your womanhood, own who you are and what you want.

She will look like a glowing 20-year-old girl till the day she dies without getting any work done

If you read Kylie Jenner’s Instagram comments, you’ll quickly find a collagen-hate cult. At the same time, if you turn on the television, I guarantee you’ll see a commercial promoting a magical remedy to hide any sign of aging, whether it’s gray hairs or crows-feet. Our society values youth and natural beauty – although these two values very rarely can go hand-in-hand. Can women attain society’s depiction of natural beauty while also looking youthful as they grow older? Wrinkles are shamed, but so are the surgeon’s solutions. It seems as though the only possible answer is to get work done in secrecy and insist we were blessed with good genes. If we paid less attention to these faulty expectations, and geared our focus toward what we want to do with our bodies, our values can change from youth and natural beauty to confidence and honesty.

It’s time we revolutionize our standards of the it girl. The model we look up to for inspiration today has been meticulously curated by the media and is nearly impossible to replicate. Society needs to redefine “her” and stop emphasizing unattainable and unhealthy goals for women. Instead of perpetually failing at being this unrealistic it girl, let’s win at being the best versions of ourselves.

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Morgan Lopez

New School

Morgan Lopez is a freshman studying Journalism and Design at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School in New York City. She enjoys dancing, yoga, and binge watching television shows.
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