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Women are told from a young age, that their worth is equal to their beauty.
“You look so pretty,”
“I hate that actress, she’s so ugly,”
“You’re the hottest girl in school,”
“She's such a butter face,”
Recently I saw a male youtuber talking about how absurd it was that women could draw perfect eyebrows on their face, but can’t properly cook chicken.
His words struck me.
We are moving away from traditional feminism. You know the bra-burning, protesting kind. And we’re moving into an age where feminism can mean A LOT of things to different people.
Some people, for example, might say that sexy Halloween costumes aren´t feminist. That showing off your body in sexual ways is exactly the opposite of feminist.
Others however might say that feminism is the freedom to show off your lady parts freely. It’s just a body after all!
For me, it comes down to self-esteem.
You see I grew up much like any normal American girl, believing that my worth rested mostly in how I looked (maybe a little in my ability to think), and my ability to find and keep a boyfriend.
Fast forward to the teen years, when we were all discovering what it meant to be an adult in our society…and what kind of Halloween costumes do you think I put on?
Sexy…they were sexy.
For related reading see Gloria Steinem's "My Life on the Road"
Because I was proud of the way I could look by doing my hair, applying makeup, and putting on fishnet stockings.
But the truth is…I was proud of it because I thought that’s what was valuable to other people.
If I wore this stuff at a party, and guys hit on me…then I had value.
But truthfully it was only a temporary fix.
My self-esteem…the REAL self-esteem where I actually trust in my abilities as a human and not as an object of sexuality began later, and is still forming.
It’s something I work on every day…and my sexuality IS part of my self-esteem. For me, however, it has changed. My sexuality is more of a private thing now. I choose when and where I feel most comfortable being sexual.
For related reading check out: Self-Control Over Halloween Weekend - Make Healthy Choices and Stop Cravings
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On the opposite side of the coin. Women’s sexuality is routinely hidden or shamed in many religions.
Something that is distinctly unfeminist and can destroy a woman’s self-esteem in similar ways to being peddled for her overt sexuality.
So, is there a happy middle ground?
For me there is. And that middle ground is that every woman gets to decide for herself. Every woman should have the chance to educate herself about the different ways in which they are being oppressed, and their self-esteem crushed. And every woman should have the final say in what she thinks is right for her.
For me, sexy Halloween costumes are not bad. There was a time in my life that I would wear them, because I wanted to. I found that I felt special when I wore them, and that I was getting more male attention, a valuable commodity for 18-year-old me.
Now, I want to focus on Halloween costumes that are funny, of famous people, or people that I admire.
Because to ME, Halloween is about letting loose. Allowing yourself moments of freedom and fun with your friends, and about creating magic for the children in my life.
I’m not completely cured of my belief that my value lies in how other people view me. But I’m making steps in the right direction, and I’m happy to be on this path.
Hopefully this post helps you onto or along the path to self-esteem.
Please remember that the advice and opinions given on this website and in correspondence with correlated email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org are anecdotal and unprofessional. I am not a doctor, I am not a therapist, and I am not a healthcare professional. Consult a doctor before doing any of the recommended activities on this blog.