I will admit when it comes to staying in tuned with the world, my husband is far better than me. He always knows the latest and most popular trends, YouTube videos, and images to go viral.
So when he called me into his office yesterday to ask if I had seen the Dustin Hoffman interview floating around, I had to laugh.
Silly question… of course not.
Here it is. You’ve probably seen it already, but it’s really touching:
Immediately, the blog post I had intended to write for today was pushed to the sidelines and instead I was inspired to tackle the topic of being a woman.
If being a woman is enough to make Dustin Hoffman cry, then clearly it’s a topic for discussion.
I’ll just say it: Being a woman can suck. It takes some serious survival skills to make it through this rough sexist world.
Now before I go farther, I say “sexist” not in the 1920s man vs. woman sense but in the sense that not only do we continue to fight for equality, but woman are harder on woman more than ever.
The pressures put on us are mammoth. I honestly feel like the battle of the sexes is dying down, yet the “battle of the sex” is rising up.
5 Reasons Why It’s Hard Being A Woman & How To Survive
Hardship 1: Beauty is everything.
As a kid we’re taught that it is what’s in the “inside” that counts. Of course Disney movies teach us these lessons while having gorgeous princesses singing/dancing on the screen.
And while we want this to be true, as we get older, we find out that our appearance means a lot.
It’s hard because we strive for perfection when we look in the mirror. We want to reflect the beautiful models we see on magazine covers. And when a gorgeous co-worker receives a promotion we can’t help but think…
“It’s because she’s prettier” even if deep down you know she deserved the promotion.
And here’s the kicker… we put these pressures on ourselves. We see ourselves in a completely different light than everyone else and most often that light is not what we want.
How to cope: Look At Your Enhancers
I’ve mentioned it before, but I am quite aware that that I – genetically – have a big nose.
There isn’t a YouTube video or a workout graphic that I’ve done where I have not thought… “if I only had a smaller nose.”
Heck, I tell Dan all the time that I want a nose job.
“Please don’t, if you did you would look like every other blonde hair, blue eyed fitness professional. Your nose makes you unique and it’s one of the things I love about you.”
Wow… you mean people do love our imperfections? Or at least what we think are our imperfections.
And that goes for all of us.
It’s those darn magazines writing the occasional article about how being imperfect is great and we should embrace it, but the models in the pictures are our societies definition of picture perfect. (We have to face it… it’s what helps sell the magazine.)
Ask your husband what physical quality he thinks is beautiful about you and chances are it will be something very off the wall. Perhaps he loves the way one ear is lower than the other. Or the way your lip curls when you smile.
It’s the small things that always out do boobs, legs, and butt.
Your imperfections MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL… they’re not imperfections, they’re: Enhancers.
Hardship #2: The Glass Ceiling
Okay, I am a femininist and I’m okay with that. Yes, woman have made huge advances over the past decades in the work force but there is still more work to be done. We still make less than men and more high level positions are still run by the guys.
I’m not upset by this at all, but I am aware.
And yes, it does suck.
How To Cope: You Work Harder
My mom (read below)
It might not be what you want but it’s the truth. If you are going against Mr. Smith for a position, then guess what? You have to stand out… big time.
It might suck having to work double hard simply because Mr. Smith is a Mister, but that’s life. If you want something, go after it. Give it 110%.
My mom did. She is the only woman at her bank that…
- Soesn’t have a college degree and…
- Is a Sr. Vice President. Of a bank!
I am incredibly proud of her. Do you think that when she was a teller she thought that was what she would be forever? No, she knew she had the skills to compete with the “big boys” (or as she calls them the “good ole’ boys”) and she did.
She worked to make herself stand out from every other teller.
Then from every other supervisor.
She continued to work her ass off to get where she is today.
Carry yourself tall, show up early, be a leader, work at 10X levels (because that’s where fulfillment comes from too) and show everyone that being a woman isn’t going to stop you.
Hardship #3: The Urge To Be Skinnier
Oh magazines, commercials, movies, and everything else pushes us to always want to lose weight and be smaller. Even if we don’t need to lose weight.
I don’t know about you, but I feel as if women are suppose to be on a constant diet. If we’re not dieting then something is wrong. Heck! The newest diet is called the Elimination Diet… but what it really is, is testing with your body. Of course the media has to slap the word diet onto it like a steer being branded for slaughter.
I’m sure the books are being written and will be ready for release this Holiday season.
Few of us are ever satsified with our bodies and for good reason. We’re lead to believe through crazy heavy marketing that we’re not good enough. Not skinny enough. Not toned enough. Not enough.
Case and point… the “Skinny Margaritas”. These low-calorie cocktails are suppose to be figure friendly compared to the real deal drinks however, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen someone that isn’t fit, toned and at an ideal weight drink them. Smart marketing.
To me, they’re for the girls that are already skinny.
How To Cope: Step Back
Before heading to my parents’ pool last week, I slipped into a new bathing suite. Dan told he that it looked great but of course I immediately asked:
“Are you sure I don’t have love handles?” While pinching my sides.
What! For crying out loud… I am at the lowest body fat I have ever been at and I feel amazing in my body (aside from the occasional mirror glance)… and yet I am still nit picking at my body.
It’s because being a woman sucks and it’s what we’ve been trained to do. We pick apart our bodies even when there is nothing to pick apart.
How do we stop?
By really focusing on the image in the mirror.
Look at your body, and be thankful for it. Appreciate the womanly curves that makes you… a woman!
Dan reminded me that I’m suppose to have some curves and he doesn’t want to hug on a cement pole. A little softness is actually sexy and is important to being healthy.
End each mirror session by saying something you love about your body as the very last thing… it helps to say it out loud!
Hardship #4: Girls Hate Girls
This is perhaps the hardest part about being a woman.
Women are mean to other women.
I feel like we are the only species like this. We’re competitive, manipulative and all around hurtful when it comes to our own kind.
Of course there are exceptions but you can’t tell me you’ve never looked at someone and judged them IMMEDIATELY? You can’t tell me you haven’t said some snarky comment to a friend about another friend or a co-worker.
We’re women… it’s what we do. And I’m sorry but we all suck. It hurts me just writing this section because I know I am just as guilty. I have caused pain, I have talked rudely of others and yes, I have passed unfair judgements.
How To Cope: Be A Man
This is the one time when wishing to be a man is okay.
The camaraderie that guys have is pretty amazing. They don’t get jealous because Tim dropped 10 pounds, or upset that Gary didn’t call when he said he would.
Guys support one another and even if they go a year without talking, when they are reunited it’s as if nothing changed… most of the time!
Boys will be boys.
Be thankful for the relationships that you have. Call your girlfriends for no reason but to say hey. When you meet someone new, make it a goal to avoid passing judgements. You never know, they may end up being your best friend.
And for crying out loud, if Sandy invited everyone else to her house for dinner and forgot to include you and your husband on the Facebook invite, don’t get upset. It’s okay to call her up and ask if you can come, after all, that’s what guys would do.
Try your best to be thankful for everybody you love in your life no matter what… it’s hard sometimes but I’m constantly working on this too!
Hardship #5: Over Analyzing EVERYTHING
I have had a twitch in my left eye for 3 days now.
I’m serious and it’s okay to laugh.
Some people say it’s because I need to sleep others are suggesting I need to take a chill pill and relax.
I think I need some sugar therapy…
Just kidding, don’t eat your emotions away!
The truth is I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of both stemming from the fact that I over analyze every aspect of my life.
Another curse of having ovaries, I suppose.
When it comes to any situation, we will over analyze it to death. Even if it’s an issue that resolved itself 6 months ago, oh you know there are times when you still go over “what could have happened” if you had it all over again.
And why didn’t my husband sound more chipper on the phone? Is he mad about something? Did the dog mess on the floor again? Is he stressed out? Did something happen with our website? Did he run out of milk for his coffee?
Oh my goodness…
I’m stressing out about stressing out.
I know I am not alone on this one. While we’re great at multi-tasking activities we are really bad about multi-tasking our thoughts. We get something stuck and it will stay on our brain for what seems like forever.
How To Cope: What Can You Do?
When you’re overanalyzing… everything in your life, ask yourself this: what good is it going to do?
What can you do about it? If nothing, then take a deep breath, turn your favorite song on and start singing. To me it’s the best way to get something out of my head and help me to let go.
Because that’s the thing… let go. Let go of the things that are beyond your control. Let go of the things you wish you had done yesterday but didn’t. Let go of trying to figure out why people in your life feel a certain way… you can’t control their emotions.
Stay present. A book my husband just finished – Choose Yourself by James Altucher – calls this time traveling. You time travel in the past thinking about what went wrong even though you can’t do anything about it. You time travel in the future worrying about what might go wrong.
The truth is you can only have in impact on Right Now.
And with that, I am letting go and turning this post over to you:
What’s the hardest part about being a woman?
To be 100% honest, to me the hardest part is being a caregiver. I feel that as a woman, I have a mother-like instinct that makes me have to take care of others. My husband, pets, clients, you name it and I want to take care of them. Sometimes, I forget to take care of myself… hence the crazy eye I am dealing with at this very moment.
Why Just 1 Through 5?
Oh trust me, this post is only half way done. Next week I’ll post the second half. But for today, I feel this is quite enough to take in for all of us! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.