Women in Their Early Twenties; Are We Really Snowflakes?
When you think of a woman in her early twenties, you think a youthful glow, delicate beauty, a fresh spirit, a head full of dreams, and a heart full of love. Being such a woman myself, I say, what you think about us might not be entirely right. This is a huge shout-out to all young women whose constant struggle and hard-work goes unnoticed. I see you, I acknowledge you.
There’s a high risk of this sounding like a privileged rant, but it’s one I’m willing to take, especially if it sheds light on the challenges of being a young woman in the 21st century.
The spirit with which we step into adulthood begins to diminish the moment we realize it’s not as fun and glamorous as movies make it seem, nor is it even close to the fairy tales we were told as little girls. There aren’t opportunities tailored specifically for us, just waiting for us to grab, a misconception courtesy of chick-flicks. We’re rejected at every other step. Neither is college or job as smooth-sailing as we thought it’d be- Deadlines? Discrimination? Failure? Harassment? You name it. Some of us are too overwhelmed to think about love, while some are having their hearts broken.
Despite it all, we as young women need to realize that any obstacles we encounter in our path is only proof that we’re bringing change. Where there is progress, there is resistance.
As fully bloomed women, we often find ourselves in uncomfortable situations; to be precise, ones in which our bodies are scanned as sexual objects. The gazes of strange men and cat calls no matter what we wear is stomach-churning. Not that perverts have a specific age range to target, they’re very generous in their inclusivity. Nonetheless, we raise awareness, have each other’s backs as women, and do our best to protect ourselves.
Questions that many young women often find themselves looking the answers to are- Am I making the right choices for my career? Will my gender come in the way of my success? My future is going to grow from the seeds I sow today; do I even know what tree I want?
It’s alright to question yourself, ladies. No matter what others say, you’re not over-reacting or dramatizing. You have valid reasons for such doubts.
Our opinions and ideas are very often ignored by pulling against us a card of ‘inexperience’ or using our gender to justify our ‘incorrect judgement’. Seldom are we taken seriously.
We’re expected to look pretty, and speak softly, not show strength, and voice opinions.
It makes me wonder, is the reason for our suppressed voice their belief in our incapability, or does an opinionated, young, woman intimidate them?
Are we nothing but harmless cupcakes, or does our power threaten theirs?
Some glide freely, while some of us are suffocated by the weight of constant struggle to achieve our goals, by the weight of judgement we receive on every aspect of our lives, and by the weight of trying to fit in.
Removing the sugar coating our reality, what we really do is fight to break stereotypes, end gender-based discrimination, fight depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and/or other forms of mental illness, work hard for a secure career, make sacrifices for a better tomorrow, worry about staying safe from rapists, obsess over our appearances based on unreal standards, all while preserving the warmth and compassion we possess. Meanwhile, the rest call us snowflakes, and other metaphors symbolizing fragility.
Is it all really that bad? Perhaps. But the passion and perseverance we’re blessed with is our greatest weapon. It helps us channel our inner Queen, and push forward.
Young women, take a moment to acknowledge every emotion you feel, be it disappointment or sadness, but also stand back up and fix your crowns. There is beauty in that. There is beauty in all of that, in all of you.
Our intellect and capability is nothing less than theirs. We refuse to just sit still, look pretty.