Week 14: You Can't Please Everyone
It's week 14 of PowerGirlDance and we are rearing to go after Spring Break! The subject we are addressing this week is along the lines of perfectionism and unrealistic expectations we put on women and girls in our society. Emma Watson puts it perfectly in the quote above: "All I can do is follow my instincts because I'll never please everyone". Can you imagine a world where our females no longer felt pressure to do things that made other people happy at the expense their own success and fulfillment? I sure can but first we must establish a shift in our culture...
One thing that I have learned from being on this planet for a good amount of time is that we are going to disappoint and irk people at some point in our lives whether it is intentional or not. If we never allow this to happen, we are missing out on a key component of life, the part that pushes us all to be authentic in ourselves and a champion for what we believe is right. Being brave, taking chances and listening to our instincts are all courageous acts but with these can come criticism and judgement.
Teaching our daughters to be unafraid of disappointing others is a huge step in pulling them away from feelings of inadequacy/ impossible standards of perfection and people pleasing towards being brave and risk taking, qualities we naturally model for men and boys in society.* To turn this tide, we must teach our daughters that complicity is not the norm but that advocating for ourselves is, as uncomfortable as it may be. Speaking up does not make us adversarial, mean or unfeminine but rather it is an excellent sign we are making an impact by putting ourselves out there and taking chances.
*Please see Week Three blog post and TED Talk, "Teaching Bravery Not Perfection"