Opnions and Ramblings

the natural woman (a discussion)

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Photography by Julia Hetta

Currently my school is going on a rampage to stop girls from wearing ‘too much make-up’ and wearing short skirts. They are doing this by publicly shaming girls infront of their peers and considering anyone who wears a lot of make up/a short skirt to be an unintelligent, dumb slut who is not worth employing. My evidence for this? Well firstly, they completely overlook girls such as myself who they would never expect to even try to look beautiful (even though I contour and wear glittery eye shadow every single day) but focus on those they expect to conform to the stereotypes they are looking for and unfairly target them instead. Which shows that their search is biased and does not comply with the school’s ethos of equality. They don’t seem to think of make up as an art form of self empowerment, but only a way to attract boys. They say that we have no pride, but what exactly is pride? Your definition of pride is different from mine and you should not be able to define my values and ethics, as I should not be able to define yours.

I understand that my school wants to prepare us for the adult world. They want to make us look like mini business women who are ready to employed; but if a company judges someone on their appearance over their skill set, doesn’t that reflect society itself? How do we expect to make changes when we shove these ideas of being a ‘slut’ down girls throats? How do we expect to create an equal society, when in adolescence we  watch girls being publicly shamed for the lengths of the skirts and the make up on their faces? Makeup has nothing to do with education, it should be part of a personal philosophy and pride to present oneself the way one wants to be seen. Make up is not separate from someone, it is part of them entirely if they wish for it to be. The way a man or a woman does their make-up or wears their clothes is part of their identity and it shouldn’t be stripped away from them in the name of the oversexualization of the human body. High School should be a time for self expression and self discovery and I believe that suppressing this can be detrimental to a teenager’s mental health.

A girl in my year has really bad acne and thus wears a lot of makeup, but she was forced to take it off. One of the male teachers told her she looks more ‘natural’ without it. Does he mean she was less natural before? Was she impure? Dirty? Was she too far away from his own definition of a woman? Did she make him feel uncomfortable? If she does make him feel this way, then that  is still irrelevant, because the only person who should be able to define one’s beauty is oneself.

What are your opinions on this? I have been talking (maybe ranting) about this a lot recently so I would love to hear some different/similar points of views/ideas.

Thank you so much for reading,

Alex

 

(really super sorry for being so infrequent posting and for not reading your posts as often as I should. I’m super busy right now and I just haven’t had time. I hope you are all well though and I hope you enjoyed this little post. I’m going to go back on catching up with posts/revising)

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67 thoughts on “the natural woman (a discussion)

  1. And it was the most aggravating judgemental thing ever like how dare you judge CHILDREN by their appearances I think it’s disgusting that teachers adults people in a place of power send the message that nothing about your appearance is your own…school is a place to learn not to be judged for how you decided to look that day

    Liked by 5 people

  2. My school has gone to an extreme! No make up, no jewelery and no skirt except the one they want you to wear. My friend wore the skirt that they were meant to wear and she got told of for it and it was a skirt from the school shop under our school name. And we’re not allowed to role our sleeves up. Our teachers go mental. I feel like our school is now a prison and treat us like we’re worthless. Honestly, I need you to come to our school and explain this to our teachers.

    Great post as always! Sorry for the long comment😅

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I don’t mind long comments haha! And that’s just horrible! I would come, but I don’t think they would let me and I really don’t know about anything at all. I totally agree about feeling worthless. It make you feel ashamed and ‘slutty’ it’s such a terrible knock on someone’s self esteem and I really think it creates a divide between teachers and students

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I agree! Everything they tell us not to do, the teachers do. So they are telling us that these rules (not wearing makeup etc) will help our appearance for future jobs. But they prove themselves wrong because the teachers are breaking the rules themselves so the students go mental because they argue with the teacher about it

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, teachers wear a lot of make up too, but because they’re older it’s okay??? Is that saying that make up makes someone ‘impure’ and there are obvious sexual connotations. As if make up is a dirty thing that you’re only allowed to wear during adulthood it’s such a ridiculously old fashioned mindset

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  3. I agree high school is not a business school where you have to be dressed as a professional every day you are kids for crying out loud! They should let kids dress the way they want and be themselves. When kids grow into adults they will know if they need to dress more professional for the jobs when they are adults. Kids should get to enjoy the experience of being a kid and not have someone try to force you into being something you don’t want to be or can’t be. These people need to realize what they are running a high school not a business school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it feels as if we are mini business men/women. The clothes are uncomfortable and alien. It’s not that I’m an incompetent child who can’t be professional, it’s how no one should feel like they need to fit a mould from such a young age. It as if they’re manufacturing women. It’s horrible. Thank you for reading my post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem yea I was going to say that like they manufacture children into adults during childhood years. Sorry its so brutal but try not to pay attention its their problem. If I was running a school I wouldn’t run it that way. I’d just let the kids enjoy their years. They shouldn’t judge people any school that does that is out of whack.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree that things like this should be personal choice and there is far too much policing these days.

    I remember back when I was at school, they told girls not to wear short skirts in case they ‘made the male teachers feel uncomfortable’. I remember one particularly annoying member of staff even stalked the halls with a ruler and stopped girls to measure their skirts. By doing this they implied that the men would automatically sexualise young girls, which is an insult to both parties. Essentially by trying to police how the girls dressed, THEY were the ones creating a problem of over-sexualisation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they said that to us once too, but they have seemed to have forgotten they ever said anything and have moved onto themes of so called ‘pride’ instead. You’re right in saying it’s disrespectful for both parties, I really hate when people don’t like a male teacher so they just instantly assume he’s a ‘pervert’ or whatever. I completely understand if the claim is genuine, but people just fling it around and I can’t imagine how the teacher can feel. This over sexualisation of girls as young as 11 (even though it’s wrong for everyone) is completely sickening and uncomfortable for everyone. Thank you for joining in with the discussion, I appreciate it very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a really interesting post, Alex! It’s funny because it’s different everywhere you go. In my high school, I think people kind of looked down on me at times because I didn’t wear make-up. I didn’t not wear it because I thought if I did it would make me look “slutty”, I’m just not really into wearing makeup and I never really got into it.

    I think you’re right. If a person wants to makeup, they should. If a person prefers not to wear makeup, they shouldn’t. It should be their choice! While I understand how in a professional setting, makeup shouldn’t be gaudy, I also don’t think that it’s right to shame people who wear a lot (or little to no) makeup.

    I feel awful for the girl in your school who has acne and was forced to take off her makeup. Whatever makes her feel good about herself is what she should do! Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes I agree, it should totally be there choice! We shouldn’t single out any group of people for what they wear or how they look, high school is such an important time and I feel like people’s minds are being damaged by either being mocked for wearing make up/ or not wearing make up. It’s trivial and old fashioned, but has dangerous implications. Thank you so so so much for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for bringing this up Alex. I think a lot of secondary schools have this going on, but I think mine has also come down on it quite hard over the past number of weeks. It’s unfair, but I am half and half on this and in some situations I do get it, especially when you then get all the year 10’s absolutely caked in make-up, when their skin is actually absolutely flawless underneath. Not sure if everyone will have the same view, but that is mine 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine has too. In terms of make up, I think it’s lovely how you think they look flawless but I think those girls may where make up because they don’t feel that way themselves, or they might just enjoy it. Changing up the way you look can be artistic and exciting.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Amazing post Alex, seriously. I wore shorts to school yesterday, and was told that I can’t wear them because they are not appropriate for a schooling environment. The teacher was basically saying, you’re a girl, if you wear a crop top or shorts, you will get in trouble. But why? Why can boys wear singlet tops that show off their chest and nobody cares? But why can’t girls wear shorts and literally everyone cares? It shows how closed minded and sexually associated (do those two words make any sense?) some people are. I feel like makeup for a lots of women and girls makes them feel beautiful. Why are they taking the right from us to feel beautiful, to feel accepted?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re totally right about the sexual association. It shows complete disrespect to a woman’s body and a girl’s sense of pride and self confidence. Thank you for joining in with the discussion, it means a lot

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for bringing this topic up for discussion. This is a serious issue! In my country we have school uniforms and when I was in high school, the school being a “convent” school had a rule against piercings as they made us look LESS “LADYLIKE” and makeup was strict NO. Those who wore makeup were forced to remove it and if they keep on repeating , the school imposed fine!!
    Also, even outside school people call names like wannabe or too desperate just because you live your life on your own terms * which fail to match with others* . Just because I live differently does not mean that I am committing a sin. It is a matter of personal choice! Nobody has the right to interfere in someone’s personal choices. Just live and let live!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so terrible? Ladylike? Who defines what ladylike is? Sometimes it feels like girls are processed through high schools as if they are in a factory and they’re just getting modelled into our society’s version of a woman. I am truly shocked about your story and I’m really grateful that you listened to mine.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree, it’s a pretty messed up world. I feel stupid saying and ‘I want to do something about it’ but I just really want to talk to people about this stuff, because so many young people feel powerless

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is line from the movie The Breakfast Club that perfectly sums up being a female in general; “If you haven’t you’re a prude, if you have you’re a slut. It’s a trap.” And that’s just what we are; trapped no matter what we do.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. What I really hate are double standards, especially when it comes to clothing. I hate it when I read something where a girl is being told off by some male teacher because her collarbone is showing or whatnot. There’s so much pressure on us girls to look our best and dress a certain way but what about men? No one could care less. Where did that saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” go? Normally when we say that, we think about how we shouldn’t judge someone for being ugly, but what about judging someone for being “too pretty” by wearing makeup? If a girl wants to wear makeup, let her. Besides, makeup isn’t a way to attract boys, it’s a way to make girls feel more confident and even a form of art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’s so annoying and I couldn’t agree more. It’s also the idea that ‘boys will be boys’ whilst girls are meant to be respectful and sophisticated. These double standards are pointless and old fashioned, people need to realise what’s happening, but it’s difficult when the majority of parents share the same beliefs of the teachers etc because of their environment and generation

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally agree. If you wanna wear makeup, cool. If don’t wanna wear makeup, cool. If you are confident, that’s awesome. And gosh, the frickin skirts. My school’s skirts and dresses have to be below the knees. No short shorts on free dress days. Is a girl who wears short clothes stupid or setting a bad example? Is a girl who wears short clothes ‘asking for it’ or looking for attention? But then again, some girls who wear longer clothes get called prude and stuff like that. Jeez, people just don’t get it and that’s a real shame. It is your choice what you wear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, the labelling of young girls and boys is terrible. People are constantly judging because they live in a society where others are constantly judging and it’s just an awful cycle that we need to break out of. Talking about issues such as this should hopefully help

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There’s a lot wrong with a school if they feel going after how people dress is the area they need to focus on. Clothing is a form of expression – are we stifling this in our kids now? It’s bad enough that lessons themselves seem bent on making every child conform (right now my daughter is nearly 6 and school is a creative experience – it won’t be when she reaches junior school), but to fret over dress codes when there’s far more important things to focus on…

    It also sends the wrong message to girls and boys. It tells them ‘dress a certain way, and be perceived a certain way’. It reinforces stereotypes about women in the minds of kids. There’s so much wrong with this that I don’t know where to start!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree, setting these mindsets now will only lead to yet another sexist generation. I think school should always be a creative experience. I value academic education and believe in the future of maths and science, but every child and adult has the right to express themselves how they want and it should never be anyone’s place to judge how they do this. Childhood and adolescence is such a crucial time in a person’s development and stifling this sense of pride in one’s own beliefs and ethics in terms of how they present themselves, in whatever way, is evil and irresponsible. Thank you so much for talking the time to read my post, it means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think if we want to wear make up or not that should be our choice. Maybe in school there should be guidelines like there would be in certain jobs. I get what you are saying about the world shouldn’t judge us on what our make up looks like butt we are humans and we judge al the time. It is compulsive

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes as humans we make judgements constantly, but these judgements don’t always have to be negative. A judgement can be anything, a complement is also a judgement on someone’s character. I hope that one day we will not judge, as you said, the amount of make up on someone’s face. The world is changing, it is imperfect, but it is changing and hopefully for the better. We have come so far in terms of equality, I just hope that history doesn’t repeat itself (as it always seems to do)

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  13. This is such a wrong way to settle discipline! I can’t imagine how bad these girls might feel, how insecure they might get! It’s such a shame that people target these stereotypes and stop looking beneath the surface… Someone’s feelings are always at stake and sometimes the damage can be irreversible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this public ridicule is disgraceful and if it happened to me, I think I would just burst into tears. Honestly, it’s horrible how they target girls for completely unjustifiable reasons. I really don’t think that they are considering the implications this could have on someone’s self esteem, instead they are just prioritising the image of the school. An image that is based on sexist expectations an one that needs to change. Thank you for reading, it means a lot xx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! I have not heard of this at schools! Yes I def. agree that’s a personal decision on how someone wants to view their own beauty! I get that our society should put less weight on looks and I see how they would want to promote less makeup. However we can’t blanket rules for everyone just like you said because one girl’s issues varies from another. The girl with the acne shouldn’t have to suffer or be shamed for wanting to cover her blemishes. That’s pretty normal. I hope that girl find another remedy for acne. My brother had a huge issue with that. Luckily for him it was just an allergic reaction to milk’s hormones. Once we cut that out his acne went away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad your brother’s acne went away. And yes I agree, it’s a really destructive and impersonal way of dealing with things. They don’t listen to the girls or try to understand how this is making them feel, they only seem to care about the image of the school. It’s irresponsible and is going to have impacts on that girl’s self esteem. Hopefully things will change. Thank you for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I love makeup. And tbh, I use it because I ENJOY it. I like the process of applying it, then observing it in the mirror. For some people though, it’s a way for them to boost their self-esteem. And what’s wrong with that? Girls who were short clothes, too much makeup and do their nails and stuff: WHY are they viewed as sluts or attention seekers or unintelligent? Sometimes, people just don’t make the EFFORT to understand, ugh -_-
    I totally agree with your views on this topic and I hope that your school tries to understand the OTHER side to the presumably ‘fake’ people

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so ingrained in to our Society that ‘good’ people are making subconscious judgments on these girls without even realising. It’s a careless and robotic way of dealing with things and shaming these girls sets such a dreadful example to the ‘next generation’ thank you for reading selfie xxx

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  16. It’s refreshing to read an account of a young person who is clearly very self aware. That is a fantastic quality that many people don’t have into their adult years. Great read!
    P.S a good business woman doesn’t conform she makes a difference 😉 x

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