I’m a Barbie Girl!

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If you haven’t seen it yet and want to see it, please skip reading this blog!

I went to see the movie on Saturday night and absolutely loved the movie and the message. Number one message is not a spoiler alert as we all know, Barbie has to leave her pristine world of perfection and finds out that the real world is not as she expected.

I loved the other major message in the movie though. The expectations women have held over them in their daily lives. I watched a documentary on Barbie yesterday and it was incredibly eye opening. The message that we can be everything, to everyone, all the time. It’s no wonder so many of us are just exhausted. There’s a commercial where Barbie goes to her full time, office job and then comes home and changes into a gorgeous dress for dinner with of course perfect hair and perfect makeup. Because unless you chopped off Barbies hair like a few of us did? Barbie always had perfect hair and makeup. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I do not get home from work like that. I’m lucky if there’s still any trace of deodorant left. I barely have any energy to take off my workout gear and usually? I want to just plop down in my bed, with my dogs and watch crappy TV. If I can must up the energy to go out? I’m throwing on a baseball cap and hoping for matching clothes. I definitely do not look perfect.

Below is an incredible speech from the movie. If you don’t feel this way as a woman? Consider yourself incredibly lucky!

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow, we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining.

You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.

– America Ferrera as Gloria in ‘Barbie’

I looked around as a tear slid down my cheek. Could I possibly be the only woman this resonated with? It’s tough out there, man! Being everything for everyone is tough. And it’s the reason why I became Unapologetically Mel. Why I created Unapologetically U. The expectations are impossible! And while I have gotten better with knowing and accepting that I will not be able to please everyone? It still gets stressful. Common things I get? “Hush!” “Women don’t cuss”. “Act like a lady”. “Put makeup on every day and do your hair”. “You’re gaining weight”. “Don’t get angry. Ladies always show grace.” “A good daughter takes care of her parents.”

I have twisted myself into knots trying to figure out which mask works best for each person. And I finally reached a place where I am about 99.9% done twisting into knots for others. But there are still times and people I find myself trying to get into a position which resembles a game of Twister! I’ve actually never played Twister, but that seems about right.

Women that claim they don’t do this? I don’t buy it! How many filters are you using with your pictures? We all know why you use them. It’s affirming to hear how amazing you look! For years women have been held to certain standards. Men are seen as more attractive as they age. And I see a few men that post women over forty should just give up on life. It’s absolutely crazy to me! I feel the best I’ve ever felt since entering my forties! And I know I have a lot more to offer someone.

Yes, men face unrealistic expectations as well. But it is different. Many older men still date women 10-15 years younger than them or have affairs with them. Why? Because twenty-year olds are considered to be the most beautiful and have the best bodies. Women are expected to be married by a certain age or they are either called a spinster or asked if they are a lesbian. We are just expected to want to have children and give up our lives to raise that child, while the men go to work, go out with the boys, have fun dinners, play golf etc. Yes. It’s gotten better. But the expectations most certainly are still there. So while men do face a type of what women do? It’s definitely different. I remember a man meeting me and telling me my nails needed to be professionally done or I didn’t look put together! My mom raised me that I was never to leave the house without my hair and makeup done (lol that didn’t work too well, as many of you know!).

I applaud those of you who don’t relate to the above monologue and never have. You are incredibly lucky. Becoming Unapologetically me has freed me from many of the unrealistic expectations. But I definitely can still feel them rear their ugly head from time to time. What I can tell everyone? It’s so much easier when you don’t try to be everything to everyone! And…nobody knows what they are going to get! I do love being completely unpredictable!

So, ladies? I challenge you. Stop following who the world tells you that you should be. Beyou! And be you without apologies! Enjoy the ride, take yourself out of the knots, and let the real you sparkle!

Namaste!

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