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Being a woman

is a gift

don’t feel


International Women’s Day

By Ivy Maloy

Being a woman is a gift, let’s not forget that every time we look in the mirror judging ourselves, feeling imperfect, we are much more than that reflection.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The event has been observed since the early 1900s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Each year, the day is marked with different themes and this year’s theme was #ChooseToChallange. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements to help create an inclusive world. Let’s talk about body positivity.

Body positivity refers to the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size and appearance and is mostly always associated with women. Body positivity is not just about challenging how society views people based on their physical size and shape, however, it also recognizes that judgement are also based on gender, race, sexuality and disability.

In a world where we’ve been force-fed from a young age a constantly changing from what “normal” or “perfect” should look like, with many of us believing we do not fit into this mould, being ourselves never really stood a chance. Add that to our deep-rooted cultural behavior in being self-depreciating and you are left with a pretty unhealthy mindset. Not only are we convinced that we don’t fit in, but also that we compound the problem by putting ourselves down because of it. Talk about kicking ourselves in the teeth.

As a young woman, I have to say the pressure of looking a particular way can feel like an anchor around one’s neck. It takes experience and confidence to stand in your own skin and realize you can be different things in different environments. The notion that there is a ‘one size fits all’ basis to perfection is quite incredulous really considering how different we all are but it is also so hard not to compare ourselves to others. This has not been helped by images that we see online, nor has it been helped by apps that have been created to airbrush away imperfections.

We all look so different from one another but aim to look like one another. It’s a vicious cycle and it seems that we have this unappeasable need for what other people have. This then begs the question “what about body improvements?” Body improvements shouldn’t ideally be founded upon self-resentment or because you want to look like someone else. The goal is self-acceptance first, then improve.

Your body is a masterpiece. To empower women to be resilient and confident because all bodies are beautiful, we need to stop body shamming. From overt sexualization to body-shaming to policing what girls and women can wear, it seems that everyone has an opinion on female bodies and how they should, and should not, look and behave. #ChooseToChallangeBodyShamming!

Everyone wants to be the best, and want to be liked. So many people change their bodies to become what others see as cool, but it really doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from, your weight or your skin color. We need to practice positive and a loving perspective to ourselves and maybe you will find yourself with a new lifelong friend, your own body. Happy International Women’s Day!

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