As a woman, I find I come up against certain struggles that are unique to my gender. And before you get ALL hasty because I know that’s what you do, this doesn’t mean I’m disregarding the struggles of others, or downplaying them in any capacity. (I do know that men have struggles unique to themselves, yes.) There are certain things that are unique to the experience of being female. (Consciously keeping an open space for gender queer/trans etc.) I could go on endlessly about the dysfunctionalities of our modern culture, about how women are portrayed in the media – yes that’s including porn – and the pressures that women put on themselves created and perpetuated by a billion dollar a year beauty industry. (Darling the money you’re spending on products is, too much. I promise.) But, that’s not what this is about. This is about my personal struggles and how, if by some very common happening you find yourself struggling with these things too, you ought to be free of them.
Let’s start with the first one: it’s 2017 people! It’s super normal for your vagina to grow hair. I struggled with this for SO long. I constantly wanted to be hairless, but I always ended up with an angry, red, burning vah-hine-yah. One that was obviously pissed I just took away it’s favourite sweater. I harbour no judgment if you decide to rock the bald, clean cut look, but personally I’m all for falling in love with da bush again. While there isn’t a ton of consensus on it’s original purpose, pubic hair provides some benefits. For one, it acts as a protective barrier between your lady bits and your clothes and whatever else it might come into contact with like for example, your lover. Can someone say rug burn? Yyyouch!
Which leads me to my second issue. Every vagina is different. I would be lying if I said I didn’t fall prey to high-production porn as the leading example in how to loathe the size, shape and colour of your own vagina. But now I know better. Look at the picture below – look at that… row upon row of B-E-A-UTIFULLY cast vaginas…all telling a different story. Where do you think they lived? Do you think they preferred lace or cotton? (Someone stop me before I recite The Vagina Monologues word for word) In another life I’ll write a Dr.Suess-esque book about vaginas. Welcome to vaginas! Some have flaps, and some have the clap. Some are thin and some fit perfectly on your chin. (OH SNAP) Seriously though, it’s a biologically determined thing – your vaginal appearance – are we gonna judge ourselves for how it looks?! ARE WE? Damn right we’re not.
THIRDLY: Everyone has body things that they think are weird but are actually super normal. Including but not limited to: stretch marks, belly rolls, cellulite, nipple hair, boogers, scalp flakes, dimples, freckles, toe hair, black heads, acne – on your back, butt and face! The list could go on and on. These things are a part of being a human, even more so, a female human. We’re sacks of skin, muscle and water with bones holding us up. We produce hormones and sweat – these things are a by product of human-ness, and don’t let anyone make you feel less than for it. (INCLUDING yourself) Stretch marks? That’s what happens when skin, WAIT FOR IT, stretches! Black heads? That’s cause you walk around in a smog infested city every day of your life and the shitty air is getting trapped in your wide open pores. Belly rolls? Even the fittest people have them when they’re sitting the fuck down – that’s gravity bitch! Don’t hate yourself for GRAVITY.
Which leads me into a tirade about the following: Don’t allow anyone, especially yourself, to use the fact that you’re female against you. More specifically, the fact that you have a lot of unmanageable ’emotions’ that deem you lesser than. The fact that females are often more socially conditioned to be open about their feelings where as men are conditioned to bury them deep down in a dark, scary place isn’t our problem, it’s yours. I’m the type of person that exists in a very emotional place, this means I’m touched easily by ‘the feels’, I explode into tears over Tim Horton’s commercials ALL the time and I really can’t hide how I’m feeling. I have a terrible poker face. You would think this kind of emotional honesty would be celebrated (because lets be honest, I’m always cause for celebration)… however I encounter subtle gestures towards my ’emotional-ness’ as the reason for my perceived incompetence. Then all of a sudden ‘navigating’ my complex female emotions becomes a full-fledged barrier for the other person, resulting in high levels of irritation for me. Don’t be the guy that ridicules people for having emotions, and don’t hate yourself for it either. It’s something that comes along with having a brain, and experiences. Another part of … wait for it … being human.
Lastly, lets stop with ALL the competition against other women. When you look at a fellow woman, one who no doubt, has all the insecurities, doubts and stress that YOU do… lets look at her with admiration instead of judgment. I’m ALL for being momentarily pissed that someone has a better ass than you, can contour better than you (I don’t wear make up so I don’t actually even know, but from what I understand it’s the apex of makeup-fancy-ness) or works with more blind kids than you do. Being a chick is hard in this world, making your way is hard and being a strong, independent sassy woman is hard. So why the fuck are we trying to make it harder on each other? Can’t we just realize that we’re unstoppable as a collective instead of being determined to stay segregated into perverted categories of woman-ness? In case no one has told you today: you are not better because you work out more, or because you wear less make up, or because you got promoted or because you eat kale like it’s literally going out of style (which it will, soon, hopefully… cause fuck that shit). You are not better. You are equal. Equal in your pain, equal in your triumph. Equal in your ‘woman-ness’, and that is the real cause for celebration. Because haven’t we been through fucking, ENOUGH. Haven’t our mothers and our grandmothers been through enough that we’re at a point where we celebrate instead of hate? (Note to self: Don’t quit day job to become slam poet) You have a job as an ambassador of our gender, and as a role model for our girls: lift each other up instead of keeping each other down. We have so much potential; potential that needs support. So do whatever you have to do, put on your war paint, go to a rally, be an available ear, give out compliments. Do whatever needs to be done to make this place, our place, a safe and supportive place for each other. Because really, who would we be stuck with if we didn’t have each other? Men? HA.