the society in which we live is built upon rules. some of these are systematic, enforced, and apply to all. some others, however, are unspoken, implicit, and do not affect us all equally. there are a number of institutions which, while claiming to represent and serve us, perpetuate guidelines which are detrimental to our existence, both within a cultural/societal context and as an individual.
the success of this continued damage is, i think, based on a system of cyclical shame & secrecy.
the fashion industry wants us to feel too fat. the beauty industry wants us to feel too ugly. the internet wants us to know we’re not good enough. and they want us to feel ashamed about it. they want us to think we’re the only ones who feel too fat. or the only ones who feel too ugly. or the only ones who struggle, every single day, under the weight of the expectation so perpetually close to crushing us. that we need to be curvy, but only at our boobs, thighs, butts. that we need to also have flat stomachs, and tiny waists, and no backrolls (if you’re not saying that in alyssa edwards’ voice your homework is to watch rupaul’s drag race seasons 1 through 8 including both all stars editions by tomorrow morning). that we need to be pretty, but not with the help of makeup. just naturally pretty. otherwise we’re cheating or tricking or performing some act of occult deception.
but what if we were just honest? what if we admitted when we feel gross or intimidated or inferior? do you know what would happen?
you would have a frenzied pack of girls climbing over each other to get the chance to tell you how wrong you are. to tell you how pretty you are, or that they’re so jealous of your skin, or that your makeup has inspired their look for the next day. because that’s what girls do. whether it’s those around you, or the friends we somehow, magically, in an unspoken way, make online - no cry for help from any girl about not living up to what’s expected of her goes unnoticed.
and that’s why we’re majestic creatures. that’s why we’re badass. that’s why we’re all rebel girls. every time you revolt against the agenda subliminally pumped into us since childhood - that girls are our competition - whether it’s giving a panicked girl in a public bathroom your spare tampon, or drunkenly crying to a complete stranger in the taxi queue about how much you love her makeup, or indiscriminately liking every selfie you see on your instagram feed, it’s a tiny act that moves us forward. a patriarchal society thrives on keeping women suspicious and wary of one another. when women get together and recognise the power they possess, mountains crumble and seas part.
self-love is a rebellious act. sisterhood is a rebellious act. a random & unprovoked compliment is a rebellious act. promoting another girl’s work is a rebellious act. calling out injustice is a rebellious act. not laughing at rape jokes is a rebellious act. being honest is a rebellious act. telling that girl where you got your skirt from rather than ignoring the comment is a rebellious act. sharing is a rebellious act. asking for a help is a rebellious act. seeing a picture of a girl with crazy bad eyeshadow and deciding not to send it to the group chat is a rebellious act. scrolling past a tweet making fun of a girl’s boobs rather than retweeting it even though they do look a bit weird is a rebellious act. not scowling at the girls looking you up & down scornfully on the train is a rebellious act. unnecessary kindness is a rebellious act.
everything we do that subverts the unwritten agenda we were never consulted on is a revolt. it’s a refusal to have our attitudes, our engagement, our interaction with the world, dictated for us. it’s saying ‘no’. and if that doesn’t make us rebels, then what does?
rebel girls you are the queens of my world.