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© 2017 The Strand Magazine

New Year Pressures - That Girl

February 3, 2019

In every party, street and workplace, there is one girl. "That girl". The one that no matter the hustle and bustle of the world around her, remains the whirlwind that lures in all passers-by. She could have had a fresh blow-dry, or she could have been blessed with locks that fall just right. She might have carved out her cheekbones with outrageously priced products, or she may have won the genetic lottery. She could have spent hours tearing through her ever-swelling couture wardrobe, or she might have simply thrown on her t-shirt and jeans combo swiftly as she ran out the house. She is mysterious, with an originality that has survived the ‘wannabe unicorns’ and thrives on the energy that her unique attraction generates. In a chaotic street corner, she is the focus.

 

 Berthe Morisot, Woman at her Toilette, 1875  


But
She's not you.
She is what you aspire to be.
She has what you wish you had.
She looks the way you dream you could.
But here is what you don’t realise - she is no richer, no more talented, and no prettier than you.

 

This girl is a figment of your imagination, an ideology that you have created to prevent yourself from feeling enough to fill your own wine glass.

This girl is the product of countless covers telling you ‘how to get the perfect bod’ and ‘how to be beautiful’ - paired with the image of ‘that girl’. You’ve seen this image so many times that your own inner monologue conforms and bows down to the beauty standards around you. You constantly look, no matter the scene you are in, for ‘that girl’ so she can make you feel inferior. But the only reason you see her as more, the only reason she is ‘that girl’, is because she is the only woman in that space that has the confidence to be content in her skin. She ignores what the media tells her to be. That's why she doesn’t blend in. She doesn’t shy away from her flaws – her look isn’t immaculate – but that is why she is a magnet for the eyes. It’s the lack of perfection, the tousled hair or the rolled-up jeans, that makes her perfect. Her self-assurance, paired with the flaws she wears proudly, contrasts with everything this Fordist world has told you is right. But you don’t have to be another object moulded by the capitalist, commercial culture that you call your home.

 

You can rebel.

 

Show off what society is telling you are your ‘faults’ and wear each one the way you would your most trusted pair of jeans. Walk with ease and acceptance - let them take the lead. Allow no more the influence of magazines to rule the way you present yourself. Don’t fear the judgement that your own self expression may invite and don’t attempt to remake yourself in the hope of fulfilling someone else’s ‘perfect’.

 

To some, a perfect lifestyle is one determined by physical activity and how many times one hits the gym that week, to others it revolves around home comforts like reading and baking. Each individual woman has her own needs, so being submissive to the way society tells you how you should live just hinders your own chance at happiness. 

 

Today, the industry only succeeds when we believe we are failing to reach the standards they have set for us. Create your own bar to aim for and let it be one of confidence – today, confidence is the most powerful revolution.

 

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