I was about to have a shower when I looked at myself in the mirror and realised how much I don’t hate myself. I finally feel comfortable in my own body with is quite an achievement for me because a year or so ago I would sometimes feel physically sick looking myself. It seemed to me that I was total failing as a girl because I was not a size 8 or because I had body hair. I constantly worried about what people would think of me if they saw a roll of my fat or some stuble from shaving my underarms. I know now that people just don’t really care if I am a size smaller or if I don’t wax my bikini line, all that matters is how I feel about my self. Of course there are always times when I dont feel as confident and and sometimes I have a little breakdown but I have amazing friends and the feminist community helps me through it.
The problem is, most girls my age feel how I used to feel. Should we feel this way? Why do we feel this way? And most importantly, how can I make it stop? This is why I am a feminist. I want to be allowed to love myself for who I am. Why are we made to feel ashamed of natural, normal? My answer is that we are getting these messages from a society that is a partiarchy. Patriarchy is the idea that the social system we live in is dominated by men. Men are the primary and automatic authority figure, they decide what is normal and what should be expected. This is a better explaination of patriarchy, have a look at this
Of course feminism and oppression by the patriarchy is not just about body image (although that is important). Women are marginalized and oppressed in so many different ways, for example the pay gap. Despite the (easy to get around in the UK) legislation, women still earn on average 30% LESS than men doing the same job with the same qualifications for the same amount of time. This means when me and my little sister grow up we will have an automatic disadvantage, something extra holding us back. No matter how hard we try it will not get better still the patriarchy is smashed.
Well now we have established that I am a feminist and why! Now that I am a feminist, I have found a great community of feminists on Twitter and through the London Student Feminist Network. Of course I could not talk about my feminism without talking about the Twitter Youth Feminist Army, I would not be the same without them. I have meet so many amazing friends, learnt so much and been given so many amazing oppertunities because of the Twitter Youth Feminist Army. This is why I am trying to spread the word of feminism, it has given me some life changing personal experiences and is working towards a better world for everyone, hope for the future.