What does the perfect woman look like? It’s the age-old question that has tortured every woman who has ever experienced puberty. Does she have Blake Lively’s mile-long legs, Michelle Obama’s arms + Jessica Alba’s face? Yeah, she probably does.
After years of reinforcement from the media + pop culture, we’ve been conditioned to believe that somewhere out there, there’s an “ideal woman” that we must somehow become through whatever means possible. Whether it’s something as miniscule as the coveted 90’s Jennifer Aniston haircut or as drastic as plastic surgery, all women have experienced the pressures to conform. To imitate. To try harder. To wear more makeup + less clothing. To become something, even if it’s not who they want to be.
Because it was expected of them. We all know about that ideal, + we’ve all probably tried to reach it in some way or another. But, we all know that the Blake Lively//Michelle Obama//Jessica Alba hybrid isn’t real.
But something is changing: we’re starting to see society’s obsession with this “ideal” female body transform into the recognition + appreciation of STRONG as the new beautiful [thanks to movements like CHAARG ; )].
Strength. It’s so much more than being physically fit//capable. It’s not about being able to lift the most weight or to run the fastest. It’s about the ability to withstand adversity, to face each challenge with determination, to give 100 percent of yourself in everything that you do, inside + outside of the gym. There’s a lot to be said for women who are strong in the sense that they are independent, confident + innovative.
Women like Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift + Emma Watson are showing everyone what it means to be a real, strong woman in this world. It means standing up for what you believe in, having the courage to speak up about issues that matter to you + being fearless in stating your opinions. It means doing whatever you want to do + being whoever you want to be.
These leading ladies are devoted activists in a world that makes it hard to be one. Whether they’re fighting for the media to stop fat-shaming perfectly healthy women, for music artists to be rightfully paid for the work they produce, or for women to be completely + undeniably equal to men, JLaw, TSwift + Emma are kicking butt + taking names. They’re strong women who deal with real issues + don’t care what people think of them. That’s what we all should strive to be.
The ideal woman is no longer a 5’7’’ blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie doll with Kim Kardashian’s butt + Beyonce’s… well, everything [I mean, she is Beyonce ; )]. The new ideal woman is confidently + unapologetically herself – quirks, imperfections + all. Loving yourself + doing your own thang is what’s in, now. How amazing is that? From this new wave of celebrity role models to Always’ Like A Girl campaign — which encouraging girls to believe that they’re #UNSTOPPABLE — the media might be starting to get something right about this “ideal” woman: she’s real.
++ she’s you.
+ Christina [@christi_inchaarg], OSU CHAARG