REFLECTION

A woman should be able to look at herself in the mirror, without fearing anyone’s judgment, especially not her own – given that both are intrinsically linked.

A woman should be able to look at herself in a mirror, naked, raw, true, without asking herself what value she can assign to her body or in what measure the latter is acceptable and desirable according to reductionist social norms.

A woman should be able to be exactly who she is, who she wants to be, without having to care about the way society gazes at her flesh.

A woman should be able to be hairy or not, slim or curvy, young or old, without having to constantly ask herself whether her body is conforming to the social expectations of the day.

A woman should be able to decide whether she wants to shave or not, dye her grey hair or not, workout or not, and this, on the basis of her free-will and of her own valid reasons. Based on her own history and because she believes that her decision is just and coherent for her.

I am just as skeptical of the social pressures imposed on women’s flesh as I am of trends regarding women’s bodies.

I listen to different voices challenging our obsessions with youth, slimness, waxing and hair dyeing with much interest.

I’ve seen fashion magazines choose anorexic women for their covers. Over the past few years, I’ve also seen a few fashion magazines choose medically obese women for their covers. Both seemed excessive, promoting an unhealthy version of women and stank of foul inclusive marketing in the latter case.

I saw celebrities proudly sporting hairy armpits on none but one Instagram picture, and it seemed excessive, contemptuous of women who have a real opinion on the subject and stank of foul inclusive marketing.

But I have also met and read women who have decided to embrace their authentic personality, their own path, to stop dyeing their hair or shaving. And those women are not partaking in trends or foul marketing techniques, because these choices are the product of reflection, deep reflection, and are manifested and lived with full awareness.

I have also met, read and exchanged with women who shave or dye their hair. Yet these choices are not a reaction to social pressure because they know full-well that they are socio-cultural products, they have reflected upon that, wondered why they performed these rituals and constraints and decided to lose some and keep some, because they would thus be living their inner truth.

A woman should be allowed to be at peace with herself. And with her body, in all simplicity.

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