Have you ever felt reluctant to post that bikini pic on Instagram during Spring Break? Do you feel the need to monitor what type of pictures you post to Facebook because you’re certain your protective and opinionated family members will freak out? I completely understand! As a girl, it’s hard to figure out what to wear and what to post on social media, because there are critics who make women feel badly for showing a little skin. I had to tell myself not to feel uncomfortable posting pictures in my bathing suit. Besides, what else am I supposed to wear to the beach or the pool? If I choose not to post it, it should be for my own reasons and not because I’m afraid of what other people will say or think.
This is an issue that feminists fight for daily. It’s common to see celebrities like comedienne Chelsea Handler or model Chrissy Teigen make efforts to change the way the female body is accepted on social networks such as Instagram. Nude or partially covered photos are uploaded in attempts to “Free the Nipple.” The expression of the female body should definitely not be limited and the “Free the Nipple” campaign is a great start to shutting down double standards. However, what about the feminist issues that take more than a cellphone app to tackle? There are topics that take ample amount of research in order to understand their importance. These topics don’t often have an impact on the majority of women, so they are easily forgotten. It’s time for feminism to be inclusive of all women from all backgrounds and circumstances. Here are three that need some good TLC:
- The scarcity of feminine hygiene products
Have you seen the commercials where young girls have had to miss 3-5 days of school because they didn’t have enough pads or tampons? Imagine missing 3-5 days of classes. If you have a few off days, that’s almost two weeks of school. It’s unfair for young girls and women to miss out on valuable time with their teachers and friends because of a natural cause that they cannot control. A good way to help is to support brands like Kotex that donate their products to the less fortunate once you make a purchase. A little goes a long way, and you’d be doing it in the name of Girl Power.
- The feuds between feminists
There are many people who have yet to understand that feminism includes all women. Because of this, opinions can often be taken the wrong way. This causes arguments between women who forget why they are feminists. Feminism allows you to have strong opinions, yet be able to accept the views of others while having healthy discussions and debates. For example, I was recently disappointed with the way the Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj Twitter situation was handled. Nicki made an effort to discuss how music awards should address all genders and races, and Taylor assumed she was being targeted, instead of asking. We have to learn that we are not against each other, but for each other. We can all win if we learn to express our thoughts appropriately and respect one another.
- Equal pay for women
For some reason, this issue is in and out of the media. I have heard people argue that women should not obtain higher positions in the workplace because they are unable to control their emotions in professional environments. When women express concern over issues, we are often called irrational. A woman should be able to advance in her career while having a substantial salary. She should also have her ideas respected and seen as logical expressions, not emotional. A woman should not be seen as a lesser asset toward a company. Think of it this way: If this certain woman was not valuable to your business, you wouldn’t have hired her in the first place. Employed or not, women deserve the same opportunities as men.
I could go on for days, but these three topics are what I’m hoping to discuss more throughout my involvement with I Am That Girl. I aspire to be the girl who is proud of who she is, yet tolerant and welcoming of all people no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
All the best,