So HEY! Sorry I’ve been so distant from this blog :'(. College applications are so annoying…BUT I’ll be back at this again soon!
Anyway, here’s an essay I wrote asking me if I could change one thing in this world what would it be and why. Soooo here ya go.
I constantly feel watched. Spied on and followed. There are eyes everywhere, looking up and down. Searching, scanning, comparing, humiliating. I pull my shorts a little lower and hold my head up higher, confidence is key. Welcome to a typical day in the life of a woman. The objectification of women is a term thrown around a lot these days. Feeling helpless in a world held under the impression that they exist solely for sexual pleasure, women attempt to ease their conscience. “All men are sick.” “It’s not my fault.” “That’s just how it is.” They are brushing over a problem assumed unsolvable. If I were able to resolve one issue it would be the objectification of women, for the improvement of society and women everywhere.
The objectification of women has seeped into nearly every aspect of society. At a young age, I found myself in line at the grocery store, my eyes scanning magazine covers, wondering if that was what I would look like when I grew up. When I watched movies, TV, went to the mall, or simply saw a magazine, I was being indoctrinated that that was how I was supposed to look. It is ironic that society expects you to look “perfect,” yet they do not tell you how. They leave out little details like surgery, makeup, unhealthy eating habits, pressure, money—lots of money. In the real world, there is no Photoshop. No two women are the same. Humanity comes in a variety of beautiful shapes, sizes and colors. Nevertheless, girls around the world grow up with the presupposition that there is only one way to look to be considered important.
It saddens me that this world has limited women’s importance to appearance. So much so that women everywhere feel vulnerable in nearly all places. Cultures around the world have attempted to shelter women from objectification. Being part Arabic, I have seen this firsthand. A few months ago as I sat down with my cousin from Saudi Arabia at a coffee shop, I realized to what extreme this “sheltering” has gone. With an innocent smile on her face and in broken English, my cousin told me how lucky I was to be a girl in America. “I cannot even go to the movies back home,” she explained. “I can’t wear my hair down.” I will never forget that conversation. We were two girls from different sides of the world, yet we had the same problem.
I no longer want to feel watched. I do not want to be spied on or followed, scanned or humiliated. I do not want to be objectified. I know there are other girls around the world who feel the same way. Whether you are like my cousin, feeling punished, or like me, feeling violated, you are not helpless. I dream of the day I can walk down the street with neither insecurities nor shame, but with satisfaction both with the world around me and with myself.