A blog raveled in randomness
My mother shared with me some of her personal hopes with the arrival of 2014. I made some promises with her to live my life to the fullest and change my bad habits. However, the one that stumped me was when she said, “you should act more lady-like this year”.
I understood what she meant. I eat uncontrollably when there’s delicious food on the table, I never wear dresses or skirts, and I never buy high heels and make-up. As a mother, she wanted me to experience what usual female university students do. Many of my mother’s friends told me that when I get older, I would regret not wearing high heels or short skirts when I could. The image of a young woman that they usually portray is:
A young woman should know the fashion trend and should “pretty” herself when she has the chance. Because wearing short skirts/pants with lots of make-up will have their limitations when I am older. In their opinion, experimenting with different make-up products, trying this hairstyle and that, and buying those boots and that are life experiences that is limited only to young women.
Then it got me thinking. What does it mean to be a “woman”? Wearing make-up and wearing high heels are materialistic things that do not define whether a person is a woman or not. However people told me to be more woman-like by doing those exact things. With this confusion and conflict of thought, I considered some of the young women are portrayed in our pop culture:
Before her music video Girlfriend, Avril Lavigne was famous for her tomboy fashion. While other female celebrities and singers were wearing skirts and high heels on stage, the Sk8er Boi singer entered the music industry with a t-shirt, jeans, a tie, and sneakers on the red carpet. The word “mainstream” was not in her diction at the time with a titled hat and spiky bracelets.
Queen B is fierce. The Bootylicious singer can be sexy, the Listen singer can be sensitive, and the Love on Top singer can be bubbly. She really does Run the World because you can feel her passion in her voice and movement–the energy she pours into her live shows and her pure talent are undeniable. She constantly challenges herself as a singer and as a performer.
Miley Cyrus is unpredictable. 2013 was her year and even though there are mixed emotions of rage and adoration, she kept on performing We Can’t Stop. She came in like a Wrecking Ball, and she conquered the music charts worldwide. Her style and her way of speech at music awards are somethings that I can and will never do in public–can’t even think about doing it on national television. So I am always surprised by how she comes back on stage and is able to find a way to “up” her previous performances.
Audrey Hepburn was elegant. She was one of the few women who was able to look casual and elegant at the same time with a napkin on her head. She was a silly, beautiful lady. Even for those who have not watched her movies, Audrey Hepburn somehow holds the epitome of a Fair Lady. Her aura mystically captured in photos is magical and irresistible.
I can go on and on, but even from just looking at these four, I see different styles and ways of living that cannot mold a definition of “woman”. But I see one shared aspect from these different styles of women, which is confidence.
Knowing who they are and being comfortable with themselves made them confident. Don’t mind what other people think about you and how they think you should change to fit the trend. Be you and be comfortable. If make-up is not for you, then don’t do it. If make-up is a tool that makes you comfortable, then utilize it. If you feel comfortable in sneakers, then wear them to school. If you feel comfortable in high heels, then wear them without shame.
Maybe that’s what a “woman” is all about: confidence. There are various armors for a “woman” to choose, but the main weapon to survive in this world is confidence. That is why confidence, or that weapon, should be in balance with the armors. They must “click” like two matching puzzle pieces to feel like a whole person. Avril Lavigne is (or was?) comfortable with her tomboy image. Beyonce is comfortable singing on stage. Miley Cyrus is comfortable (and determined) to erase her Hannah Montana image and be who she wants to be on television. Adurey Hepburn was, well, just being her awesome-self. They each had an armor that they chose (on their own accord) and was able to move freely and comfortably in.
So what am I going to do to be a woman? I’m comfortable eating whatever I like, I’m comfortable wearing sneakers and pants, and I’m comfortable writing on this blog at my own pace. So basically, I’m disregarding the one wish my mother had shared with me. What a horrible daughter I am…