Artwork featured by Diana Stoyanova
Women have had it tough since the beginning of time.
Constantly dehumanized, underestimated, shunned, mocked, and belittled. Whether it be in their workplace and or homes, women have constantly struggled with appearing acceptable to the eyes of others, specifically men, because they were coerced into pleasing everyone but themselves.
All of this starting from early childhood to adulthood. But how about the one in between those phases, however? Also known as one’s grand adolescence.
For teenage girls though, I wouldn’t say it’s that grand.
Specific standards and ideals have been projected upon women especially as they enter their teenage years, with people dictating what the average teenage girl should look and act like.
What a teenage girl should be interested in, what they should stay away from, and what they should or shouldn’t do in order to become a woman worth respecting in the future.
As if being a woman, a human being in general isn’t enough for one to be respected.
You see, I’ve noticed a recurring theme lately, specifically around teenage girls and their interests, whether it be music, shows, movies, books, and so on, everyone seems to have an opinion on whether these interests are worth taking seriously.
If an artist, for instance, has a fanbase that’s made up predominantly of teenage girls, said artist is instantly questioned for their talent based on their core audience alone.
As well as how teenage girls are merely scoffed at for liking boy bands because they CLEARLY only took an interest in that group because of their appearance.
Or how films and shows that they like are assumed to be of low quality because it’s probably centered around attractive men and cliche plot lines that’ll appease the average teenage girl’s unrealistic fantasies.
Not because they saw something in the media that they consume as intellectually stimulating and or have great depth. No, young girls aren’t allowed to take interest in anything that has meaningful substance, they only like things because it probably has UNREALISTIC, SWOON-WORTHY MEN and ROMANCE (and apparently because lesbians don’t exist)
But you know, based on the way society tends to mistreat and or insult young girls, I don’t understand how it comes as a shock how they resort to consuming media that has those particular elements a.k.a men who actually treat women with respect and healthy romances as their daily dose of entertainment. Because judging by the way this world works, that’s the only place women are more likely ever gonna gain such things. Respect and healthy love.
In the world of fantasy.
This is why it also baffles me how people keep questioning this ongoing behavior with women and young girls that soon turned into a running joke about how unhealthy relationships in the media are mostly consumed by young women.
Saying how this is the reason why they get into unhealthy relationships when they grow up and are attracted to toxic men and have poor taste in romantic partners overall. How they would much rather choose the bad boy over the good guy, and how people keep going on and on about how this is the starting point of young girls slash women having bad taste in men and how society makes fun of them for it… instead of taking this as something to be worried about.
You insult young girls for enjoying media that includes so-called unrealistic men who prioritize their partners above anything else as well as healthy relationships, but then you also judge them when they romanticize toxic men and abusive relationships?
Make it make sense.
You judge them for wanting something good but also judge them when they resort to something bad, almost as if implying that they can never have it both ways because either is too good to be true or how the other is clearly unhealthy but treat it as some sort of lighthearted joke.
People scrutinize all forms of media as long as young girls take an interest in it, mainly because of how feminine attributes are seen as inferior.
You like something or someone young girls also like, you’re either seen as having bad taste, or if you’re a woman who’s in her early or late thirties to forties, you’re seen as too old to be liking such a thing, or if you’re a guy. You’re immediately assumed to be gay.
All because young girls like it.
This includes everything, and due to this stigma surrounding young girls and their interests, developed the notorious group of people we now know as The Not Like Other Girls cult.
You know, the ones who try hard to separate themselves from other women and dislike what other women like because they are seen as tacky and obnoxious.
All for the sole purpose of appeasing men, and we’ve even gone to the extent of also making fun of these girls (not criticize, make FUN of) for attempting to appear different, when how they behave stems from how society tends to judge girls and their overall femininity.
But also judge them when they don’t conform to these feminine ideals, such as being demure, soft-spoken, and submissive. They’re seen as loud, abrasive, and unappealing.
Something a lady shouldn’t be.
As if identifying as a woman isn’t enough to be considered as a woman.
But people judge them nonetheless, whether they conform to these standards or not. Not because either route is bad, but because at the end of the day, what’s associated with femininity is always shunned.
Because women have always been at the bottom of the food chain, everything that makes a woman a woman is seen as subservient or worthy of mockery.
For they are seen as incompetent just because they were pressured into situations society forced them to be in, something that was out of their own reach, but when they accept said circumstances they were coerced to accommodate, you mock them for it.
Telling them they’re weak and incapable when they’re not. Because women have so much potential as much as they have hearts and minds and strength and courage.
But you don’t allow them to embody any of those things because you limit who they should be and what they should like that’ll help them grow as individuals.
From the day they were born to adolescence until they finally reach adulthood.
And that needs to stop, right now. Whether it’s something unrealistic or harmful, for you to either roll your eyes at or be appalled by, and instead to see it as something you need to allow them to like because that’s what makes them happy, or for you to explain to them why this specific thing is harmful and disgusting so that they could learn.
Because this way of making fun of them for everything that they like isn’t gonna solve anything nor will it do them any good.
People either need to mind their own business or to be empathetic enough to actually look at an issue and find ways to try and solve it, instead of just pointing at a burning house and declaring that it’s on fire but not making a move to try and call the fire department.
All because you’re too obsessed with the idea of something burning down in flames.