by Em_A7X on September 15, 2014 - 9:11pm
As citizens of the western world, we have expectations to live up to. No one really knows when – or by whom – these were enforced. The importance is not on how they came to be, but the fact that these are harmful – and in some cases life-threatening issues. Thousands of people intentionally bring harm to themselves as they covet their ideal of perfection. Ask anyone with an eating disorder, and they’ll tell you that one of their symptoms is the pursuit of perfection. We’re told constantly that everyone feels these ideals as a weight on their shoulders, that – yes – everyone deals with this garbage. No one asked for this, yet it’s something we’re all burdened with? What logic. We covet what we’re subliminally instructed to desire; hot body, lots of money, sexy boyfriend/girlfriend, great clothes, and all the newest products. However there’s a difference between desire, and obsession. Where do we draw the line? Probably when your desire can be diagnosed as a mental illness. We all have individual ideals for our how we’d like to be, chances are they don’t correlate with how we actually are, but that hasn’t stopped us yet. Irregardless of one’s gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, no one is exempt from the pursuit of our stereotypes. For example; an FTM transgendered person is more likely to exhibit masculine stereotypes to cover up physical gender. Another example is a dancer; male dancers are pressured into body regulations, a body that is tall, lean, and cut. The dancer should be able to jump higher than the women, but also lift them with ease. Whereas female dancers are expected to be thin, yet muscular; light as a feather. We enforce ideals upon ourselves, and each other simultaneously. A term thrown around so carelessly with no regards to its catastrophic meaning is “real women”, or “real men”. Ever heard “Real men like curves, bones are for the dog”, or “Remember, any idiot can draw a straight line, but it takes an expert to handle curves?”, these are harmful stereotypes we perpetuate to make some people feel better, while bringing others down, no better than what we’re fed by the media.