Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How do you Define Yourself

Being a woman is damn complicated!  I mean, aside from the obvious physical things like menstruation, child birth and our knockers, we have all sorts of social complexities to try and navigate through every day.
Women, in general seem to be in constant competition with eachother.  I just wrote a comment on my friend Tara's blog about how judgemental people are when you stray from what they define as 'the norm'.  In anything... food consumption, excersise, how you raise your children... if you even have children...
It's difficult for me to relate, because I'm not the type of person that defines myself based on what others do.  I'm one, autonomous woman, in a world of millions of women.  If I was to define myself based on another women, what woman would I choose?  Those air brushed beauties on the cover of magazines?  Celebreties that have to go in the hospital for 'exhaustion' while the rest of us struggle with our real lives?
My sister?  My friends?  My collegues?
The problem is that even tho I am not a woman that is defined by the thoughts and actions of others, it doesn't make me immune to the exchange.  Other women judge me... potentially define parts of themselves by me.  You can always be the 'blond thin one' if I'm the fat one.  You can always be 'the smarter one' as long as you're one course credit ahead of me in your continuing education.  You can always be the 'demure quiet ladylike one' as long as I'm funny and boisterous and kooky.
But herein lies the problem.  Because you're basing your 'definition' on something (me) that is not within your own control, what happens when that changes.  And that's where the judgement comes in.
If I stray off the 'beaten path' of nutrition in order to attempt to better myself, where does that leave you?  If I lose weight and become healthier (than myself now, or even than you), your definition of yourself has got to change.  Either intentionally or unintentionally, women who define themselves based on another person have a tendancy (so it seems) to attempt to derail you.
They make it clear that what you're doing won't work.  That your parenting choices are wrong.  They offer you chocolates and junkfood... maybe not even intentionally. 
The problem with all of this is that my choices of nutrition have little to no impact on anyone else.  My choices of how to parent my fictional kids have little to no impact on anyone else.  And yet we're judged constantly. We're told we're being silly, that we're making poor decisions, that someone else has done it better or more right.  Everyone's 'right' is different... and everyone should be able to choose their 'right' for themselves, free of judgement.
I prefer to surround myself with women that are only interested in my choices so far as it makes me happy.  And I'm only interested in their choices so far as it makes them happy (and they're not harming themselves... think drugs etc...)
We each were given a life to lead.. perhaps those that judge us should spend more time living their own lives and less time worried about how someone else is living theirs.