Tell a woman that she looks beautiful and she won’t believe you. An extremely small yet negative comment, though, will stay with her forever. The negative things are easier to believe anyway. A woman will never feel satisfied when it comes to her appearance. It’s like there is a voice inside her head always telling her that she is not good enough. What is the reason behind this?
Well, there is a part of our brain that may be responsible for this. The anterior cingulate cortex is more influential and large in women as they have been built to immediately understand and respond to the needs of their babies.
The rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone make the female brain more sensitive emotionally. While negative responses can encourage them on some days of the month, it can destroy them on others.
We can put a part of the blame on biological reasons but social and cultural factors play a huge role.
It starts when a girl hits puberty. Instead of teaching young girls to embrace the change, they are taught to hide and loathe it. Boys are taught to appreciate their changes- body hair growth, change of voice, increase in strength -as it brings them closer to being more masculine. Girls, on the other hand, learn to hide. Oh, your breasts are growing? Here’s an extra piece of cloth to hide it. Look at all that body hair. You need to go through the various painful process of hair removal or be ridiculed by your friends. At an important event and you’ve stained your clothes? Go home, now! No one needs to see that you bleed once a month, that’s disgusting.
Movies, sitcoms, advertisements, pornography– the perfect woman shown always has the unattainable figure. Women never feel thin enough or curvy enough to be worthy. They are always too tall or too short. Either too dark or too pale. Turn the television on for an hour, one can see the advertisement of at least 3 different brands trying to promote their skin lightening cream. Women who put on make up are trying way too hard while women who are not are not feminine enough.
Why do women care so much about their appearance anyway? Their appearance is central to how they are evaluated by others. A woman is supposed to be pretty to look at. Her personality, sense of humor, qualifications- everything else is overshadowed by her appearance.