But what defines a woman to be ladylike, and can it be defined as a single type? I believe that standards of beauty have changed, and standing out is what will get you ahead in society today. Stereotypes of the ideal female must be brought down to work on achieving inner beauty and internal happiness. Since the 1950’s, women have been seen as very dainty and sensitive creatures who are meant to be silent partners to their mates. A woman’s place was in the home-cooking, cleaning and watching after her children.
Women were to get up every morning and prepare lunches for their breadwinning husbands, as well as wake and dress the children for school, cook breakfast, do housework and have a hot meal on the table when her husband was to return home. Women have stepped down to their traditional roles as housewife and caretaker, and it has raised many issues in society today. It was considered a woman’s job to be a good cook and be a whiz with a broom, in fact, it is what made them so darn attractive. Times, they are a changing. In fact, the U. S Department of Labor states that in the year 2008, women will make up 48% of the work force.
That means that more women will be going to college and getting and education, as well as heading out into the workforce to make a name for themselves. Being a lady also means dressing like a lady. But since when has the portrait of a woman relied on what she wore? I have been told all my life that high heels are a woman’s best friend, and a true treasure is finding just your shade of lipstick. The pain that women endure for a small amount of vanity will be forever a mystery to me. Hours spent in the bathroom with irons, curlers, pokers, prodders, waxes and powders, and for what? So you can pretend you enjoy it and wake up the next morning and do it all again.
The first test in becoming ladylike lies in a woman’s outer appearance. Not long ago, it was considered beautiful to run around in tightly yanked corsets and ballroom gowns, but now we must wear high heels that look like some sort of torture device? Running late to the market in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt is completely unacceptable, if you a true lady that is. I remember growing up watching reruns of shows like The Brady Bunch and The Wonder Years and in every episode the women were dressed in ridiculous looking dresses and jumpers. They never looked comfortable, and they sure as heck couldn’t throw around the football! To find a woman in a pair of jeans and a do-rag was permitted only while working in the yard or cleaning the house.
I grew up my entire life in a t-shirt, jeans and a pair of softball cleats, and I consider myself very much a lady. I would have much rather scored the winning run than play with my sisters Barbie bake oven, that’s for sure. To be a lady also means to act like a lady. This means no spitting, swearing, farting, cursing, hitting, name-calling or getting dirty. It is completely impossible for any one person to go their entire life without performing at least one, it not all of these acts, repeatedly.
Why hide the fact that you just ate a medium pizza and then drank a 2 liter of Coke? Let out a little belch. And in someone’s unwritten laws of being a woman, it was decided that women must be dainty and sensitive to matters of decorum. I know that most men take comfort in the fact that they must provide for their wives and perform difficult tasks to show their manhood, but what about those few precious women who can get things done by themselves? Men are in charge of manual labor, heavy machinery and getting a little dirt underneath their fingernails. Because, we all know that dirt would never find its way into a lady’s fingernail, or it would just be extremely hard to see under their pastel pink fingernail polish.
To be a lady means to never to be “one of the guys. ” And women participating in sports are completely out of the question. A woman wasn’t allowed to play rough and be tough because they would never find a man, get married and have children (supposedly every woman’s fulfillment in life?) Women are meant to be the cheerleaders standing off to the side at a baseball game, looking adoringly into their little mirrored compact and asking who just scored a touchdown. Do men really find, ditsy, uneducated women attractive? Do they really want a woman to rely on their every move and hang on their every whim? Empowered women, to me, are the epitome of beauty, and if that means ripping a worm in half, sticking it on the hook and catching dinner, then so be it.
Up until just recently, women have been content being looked down upon by powerful men in society, but in my eyes, for gender inequality to go on any longer would be a travesty. Women today need to realize that they no longer need to fit some ridiculous cookie-cutter mold that insecure men have formed for them. It infuriates me that at one time, women weren’t allowed to play professional sports, let alone vote! It all turned around though, just eighty five years ago when women were allowed into the voter’s booth. To think that resources were once unobtainable to the women before me, only motivates me to take advantage of all I can in the time that I have here on earth.