Society has always wanted me to believe so many things about the perfect woman.
She was busty with a slim waist in the 50s. Strong muscles and long legs in the 80s. Now she has a big butt and natural hair. Make up your minds people. Do we lose weight to look like Twiggy or do we get implants till we puff up like Kim Kardashian? Either way, I am none of those things and probably will never be.
I have been made to believe that I had to be flawless. No one marries women who cuss. Breaking down is the sign of a weak woman. Showing your emotions at the workplace will not get you a promotion. If you don’t join the church choir and wear skirts that go up to your heels, people won’t respect you. You can’t eat too much, drink too much, ask too many questions in front of the boy you like. It scares them off. If God were male, He would probably have created women with a beer dispenser and a mute button.
All my brother had to suffer through in those long lectures? “Make sure that you work hard in school, get a good job. Make a lot of money.” That was simple enough. You can figure out how to get decent grades if you scavenge through those bulky books with blind zeal. Money is tangible – 100 shillings can buy you two loaves of bread, 10 shillings can’t. Easy. But what does it mean when you are told: “Be more beautiful?” How many kgs of beauty do I have to go and where can I purchase it?
I have always been good at the school stuff and the making money stuff but never good at the eating vegetables and running 5 km a day. Once in a while, a stubborn pimple will show up on my face and refuse to leave no matter how many pounds of toothpaste or concealer I dab on it. The other day I engaged my crush in a heated discussion about traditional gender roles. Needless to say, We don’t talk anymore. That’s the tricky part for me. How to be the ‘perfect woman’.
Who made the rules? Is it a case study that was done in the biblical times? Is it a village of perfect women that was discovered in the prehistoric period – who could cook while executing the Kamasutra in bed jogging while brewing beer and giving birth to smart healthy talented babies – that set the standard for everyone who lived from there on after? Is it God himself who included a note for Moses on the Ten Commandments? “Thy women shall have to be perfect. Thy men shall just try thy best.”
Listen, I am far from who I want to be tomorrow but at least I am not who I was yesterday. Not that there was anything catastrophically wrong with who I was. That’s where I was in my journey and the process needed me to be who I was at that exact time. I have a sarcasm to me. Sometimes I burn food because I can’t put an interesting book down long enough to flip the pancake. Some parts of me jiggle when I walk. I can be emotional at times. I break down when I am hurt and I probably could eat less fried chicken. However, no matter how much I work on myself. No matter how many books I read on leadership, feminism, fitness, love, and self-discovery… I will never be perfect. And the beautiful thing about it? I don’t ever have to be. Especially not to become someone’s type. I may cuss like a sailor and drink like a fish but society does not have a right to give me a list of must-haves for me to be worthy of love. True and quality love. Let your heart be pure and your soul be happy. Let your focus shift from finding somebody to becoming somebody. You’ll never regret investing in your inner qualities and abilities.
Society will never be satisfied. Jesus himself came from heaven, came to do the most saintly things – give sight to the blind and feed the hungry and look what they did to him. I stand no chance at impressing these people. Ultimately, there is no formula on how to become the perfect woman. There’s nothing sexier on a person than constant improvement – progress. You are a mess that’s worth all the love and goodness the world has to offer even in your worst. We should Love ourselves so fiercely that when others meet us they know exactly how it should be done. Despite what I’ve grown up believing, now I know that the best woman is the one who shows her truest self and allows others to do the same without strife or judgment. Be. Let Be.