Top 10 Ways to Be a WomanThese days, women are bombarded by media images telling us what it means to be women. If popular culture is to be believed, we are supposed to look like super-models, put 60 hours a week into a successful, upwardly mobile career, and have stripper poles in our bedrooms. But what does it really mean to be a woman these days? Does it mean having the most highly-sought after handbag the latest hair style and shoes to die for? Or is there something more that makes us women?
Here's a newsflash: no matter how much you diet, no matter how many hours you spend in spinning class, no matter how many things you have waxed, spray-tanned, and buffed, you are never, NEVER going to look like the woman on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Why? Because the woman on the cover of Cosmopolitan doesn't even look like that. In a world where women are constantly bombarded with the media's idea of what is beautiful, photoshopping, airbrushing, and computer magic have conspired to create images of women so thin, long, lean, and perfect that not even the model herself can live up to the photograph she posed for. Beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes and skin tones. And, women know only too well, true beauty shines from the inside out. Rather than spending all out time primping, plucking, and fasting, women need to focus on letting the inner beauty that comes from loving yourself, body and soul, shine through. There's not a makeover in the world that can compete with that.
As biologists know, the most dangerous sex in many species of animals is the female. Particularly when protecting her young, females can often be deadly. While women probably have less reason to be deadly than the females of other species, women have an incredible strength that we should not hesitate to draw on when necessary. When it comes to defending yourself, your loved ones, your friends, or simply what it yours, there's nothing more feminine than drawing yourself up and standing your ground. Whether it's physical, emotional, or psychological strength, that helps you attain your goals, being strong is a huge part of who women are.
In case you missed the memo, we're women, not men. As an increasingly stressful external environment, that's sometimes hard to remember. Some women have climbed the corporate ladder by being tough as nails at work. Others have found themselves taking on the role of both mother AND father as single mothers. Still others have spent lifetimes full of pain and have learned toughness as a form of emotional self-defense. But in refusing to acknowledge the softer, more feminine sides of our psyches, we deny that part of ourselves that makes us different from men. No one would suggest that women turn themselves into doormats and allow the world to walk all over them. But there is nothing wrong with, when circumstances permit, being gentle, nurturing, or feminine.
There's nothing more attractive to than a women with a great sense of humor. Even if you've already found Mr. (or Mrs.) Right or aren't looking, the benefits of laughter are many. Laughter has been shown to reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure, increase muscle flexion, and boost immunity, not to mention that it's a killer workout for your abs. As the external stressors on women increase, whether from trying to juggle a career and family or just trying to balance life in general, there has never been a time when it's been more important for women to laugh. Most importantly, laughing reminds us, and teaches our daughters, not to take life, or ourselves, too seriously. What better gift could we pass on to the next generation of women?
I love to laugh. Ha!
Who says men should be the only ones with a "bucket list?" Just because you might have domestic or career responsibilities shouldn't stop you from taking time out to fulfill your wildest dreams. After all, men who have climbed Mount Everest are a dime a dozen. Women who have reached thesummit are much more rare and interesting. So take that scuba diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef, jump out of an airplane, take part in that community theater play, or even work on that book of short stories you've been meaning to start. Take chances that you would regret not taking later. Remember that you only get one chance to show everyone how fabulous you really are.
No one knows how to kick back and relax like men. Observe them sometime while golfing, working on a car, watching sports on television, or playing a game of flag football in the back yard. When men let go, their worries seem to be millions of miles away. Women could learn a lot from men, who seem more adept at turning off their brains during recreation than we are. Part of being a woman is recognizing our weaknesses, and being able to let go of our daily worries and lose ourselves in the moment is definitely one of them. By spending some time with the men our life, we just might learn a thing or two about unplugging and recharging our batteries.
Women have too often been taught to view other women as rivals; rivals for men, rivals for career positions, rivals for our children's affection. Thinking back to high school and college, it's amazing how much pain was inflicted on girls by other girls. In a world that discriminates against women when it comes to everything from equal pay to health care, do we really need to be attacking each other? Lowering ourselves to call other women "bitches" and "whores" only gives men permission to use those same words against us. Make a promise to yourself not to look upon other women with jealousy and not to use gender-specific slurs against your own sex. After all, how can we expect the rest of the world to respect us when we don't show that same respect to each other?
From breast cancer to being a new mom, there are certain issues out there that only other women can understand. Though those issues may not affect you, chances are that they will touch your life or the life of a woman you love in the future. With so many challenges facing women today, we need each other's support more than ever. So help out a neighbor who needs and hour of babysitting every once in a while, mentor a young woman just starting out in your chosen job field, stand up for other women when you hear them being torn down. After all, there is strength in numbers, and it's only together that we can rise to meet the challenges that face us each and every day.
No, it's not about having dinner on the table at 5:00 like June Cleaver. Nor is it about being able to get (or keep) a husband with your culinary skills. It's about getting off the fast food merry-go-round and learning to make nutritious meals that will a) save you loads of money and b) give you enough energy to deal with the daily challenges of being a woman. Whether you're a true epicurean taking cooking lessons or someone who just has a favorite show on the Food Network, learning quick and easy ways to get nutrients essential for women into you system is one way to ensure that you'll live a long and healthy life.
I can't cook for the life of me! I alway burn myself or fear I will mess up the recipe. Girls, don't worry if you can't cook or do all the things on this list. We are all diffrent. Go and get em'!
Whether it's the usual struggles at work, running the daily carpool, or the constant ups and downs of dating and managing a relationship, one thing women can agree on is that we all have far too much stress in their lives. Besides making you feel run down and anxious, stress affects a woman's body physically, and has been linked to heart disease, obesity, and a decreased immune system. Taking time out to do something you enjoy, be it exercise, reading, yoga, or even writing in a journal, can help you unwind and beat the daily stressors that wear you down.