A lot of people have been posting Jennifer Aniston’s recent article on the Huffington post about how we, as women, get to decide what it is that makes us happy. She makes some really valid points about the pressures we as women receive about only being whole when we are married with kids. I really liked some of the points she had to make, especially about women’s bodies being objectified and how often we are told what makes us desirable…or better yet… acceptable by societies standard.
One of the things that crossed my mind after reading this article was how not only is the media in on this but we as women are as well. Women are often the first people to throw themselves under the bus, to point out not only their own perceived imperfections but also those of other women. To add to it, in the relationship world, more often then not women shy away from owning what they really want when meeting someone because they fear coming across as “crazy.” I can’t tell you how many women come into my counselling practice afraid to share with their dates how eager they are for a serious relationship and that they either do or do not want children. It is a topic that we as women, tend to believe needs easing into – like we have to convince our dates that we are worthy of dating first.
The saddest piece about this is instead of striving for authenticity and owning who we are and what we want (something that is both healthy and important), we try to become what we think others want or what we perceive as desirable. The longer we do this, I believe, the longer the press has the ability to keep the focus on bodies needing to look a certain way and marital status and motherhood being the be all end all of our worth. The longer we do this, the harder it is to find the partner we really want based on what we value and want for ourselves. We, as women, consistently sacrifice our authentic happiness – respecting ourselves, respecting each other, honoring ourselves, and honoring each other – for others.
I agree with Jennifer Aniston that we need to see the world through a more humanized lens. I think what is most important is that as women we start doing this for ourselves and for each other.
What do you think?