Rachel Hartdegen, Campus Carrier staff writer
Over the years, society has defined the perfect woman. Whether through our celebrity role models or our favorite movies and TV shows, it has been made abundantly clear what a successful woman looks like. With the #MeToo movement and campaigns made for women by women, this ideal has become flexible, but women are still under scrutiny by society. From the housewife to the businesswoman, the models of female success have expanded over the years, but it wasn’t an easy ride.
Starting as stay at home moms and housewives, women had to fight to work and continued to fight to be seen as equals, but through all this fighting one thing has stayed the same. Women have to be perfect. When they were quarantined to the house; they had to be great cooks, loving mothers and devoted wives. When they started working, they had to excel as employees and outwork their counterparts to make any ground, and today, women have to do it all.
As a woman, I grew up with the biggest dreams. I was going to go to school and become a doctor, and then I was going to find a good man and have a big family. Everything seemed so simple. As I grew up I felt such pressure to always do better. I had to be the smartest, the kindest and the bravest to get anywhere. It was exhausting, but it’s what I had to do. I had to be the best because that’s what was expected. I was certain that if I didn’t become a great success then I wasn’t good enough and the pressure was too much to bear. But one day, I realized I didn’t have to carry this burden.
It took 20 years of my life for me to realize that I didn’t have to do it all. I didn’t have to go to medical school, get married and have a cookie-cutter life. What I had to do was learn to fail. I had to learn that I decide how my life will go, not the world around me. I had to learn that its ok to not be perfect, I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s ok.
For a long time, women have had to fight for their place in the world and after years of fighting it feels like there is finally some peace, but there is still work to be done. Although women have reached a new place in society, there are still stereotypes and expectations that are holding us back.
It feels like women have to do it all to be recognized as a success, but that is far from the truth. Perfection is unattainable and we shouldn’t have to fight for it.
With all of the growth in the last 100 years, women should be able to fall without the fear of not being enough. These high expectations are suffocating and unbearable. A woman isn’t measured by her success or failures; she’s measured by her ability to stand up after falling down.