Friday, 4 May 2018

Sexism And Self Confidence


Top - Asos (here| Skirt* - Tessies (in store, online soon) | Trainers - Pimkie (similar) | Earrings - Primark

This is a post I first considered writing for International Women's Day so, as you may have gathered from the fact that was at the beginning of March, the idea has been floating around in my head for a while. It's been sat in my drafts, entirely empty bar the post title, for at least three months. There are a couple of reasons I've taken so long to write it I suppose; the usual fear that it's a topic I won't be able to do justice and then a fear I haven't felt before - that I'm somehow not allowed to discuss an issue so huge, despite the fact that I am (if you hadn't noticed) a woman and one who has suffered low self-confidence in the past. On questioning why I felt this fear, all I could assume was that as with writing about any large issue in society, I could face backlash and I came to realise that this was evidence of exactly what I wanted to write about. On writing a post about sexism, I'm most likely to face backlash from people who are, well, sexist obviously and therefore I've spent months putting off writing it because I haven't had the confidence to. Uh-huh.

Last month I had the pleasure of working with Tessies on a lookbook and they've kindly let me shoot for them again this month. The ethos at Tessies is all about female empowerment; they're against societal beauty standards and there are even little notes of confidence in the dressing rooms that you can take away with you. So I thought what better post to tackle this issue than one where I'm styling one of their pieces?





I hadn't thought about how sexism could affect my self confidence until I was walking down the street feeling all sassy in one of my favourite dresses and I was given a proper look up and down by a guy walking past. Here's where some people will argue that maybe he was looking at my dress or possibly even just in a daze, but if you are a woman you just know don't you? That look that lingers for too long on your chest and that somehow makes you feel violated even though you're only being looked at. There is nothing that angers me more (although there are a lot of things that anger me equally as much) than men who seem to think they have the right to look at my body in that way, and how it makes an outfit that I felt amazing and sassy in suddenly feel a little dirty. That's how one simple sexist look can affect my self confidence. Don't even get me started on being in da club (although it's a while since I've been in one of those so you never know, it might have improved?).

I'm definitely under no false illusions that only men can be sexist. Society in general has certain expectations surrounding gender, for both women and men. When it comes to getting married and changing my name, I know it would be seen as some sort of rebellious feminist statement if I didn't, whereas it should be seen purely as a matter of choice and shouldn't actually matter either way. That's just an example (and an irrelevant one in this case because I am changing my name), but in general, anything I do that goes against the expectations of what women 'should' be doing or that is opposite to what we supposedly want does actually affect my confidence. Because completely normal things such as sharing the housework seem like a rebellion against the norm, I feel like I have to justify perfectly rational decisions. And when it feels like your actions are constantly being called into question, it is extremely draining on your self-confidence and means you begin to question yourself.





It's all well and good me mouthing off about sexist men checking me out, but that's actually only part of the problem because in a large part, it's down to me. In essence, I shouldn't let it bother me so much. I'm often worried about coming across as 'too feminist' or that people will just think I'm oversensitive, but I don't think there's even such a thing as being 'too feminist' and the only reason I would ever feel that way is down to other people's reactions. I'm also very much a people pleaser so instead of standing up for myself, I'm much more likely to sit and stew in a casserole of self-doubt (similar to the doubt I'm feeling about that oh-so-hilarious metaphor) and end up scolding myself for being so sensitive or passing it off as a difference of opinion. If it is a difference of opinion, then I need to become better at vocalising mine.

Has sexism ever affected your self-confidence?

Amy x
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10 comments

  1. What a great brand ethos! It's a subject that definitely should be discussed more so thanks for speaking about it!
    Have a lovely weekend :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

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    1. Thanks so much Rosanna, took some guts for me to hit publish on this one! xx

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  2. I relate way too much to this! I've wanted to do a similar post myself but its such a huge, relevant topic that I'm scared I won't do it justice. You've explained it perfectly. And MEN who ogle women in everyday life make me SO bloody angry too! xxx

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    1. Honestly it makes me so angry! Thanks so much lovely, it was a scary one to write/publish but I say go for it! xx

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  3. You're absolutely right in drawing a correlation between talking about sexism and self-confidence. I honestly doubt I'd ever approach the subject with readers and so you deserve a big ol' pat on the back for this Amy!! As always, such wise words babe...

    aglassofice.com x


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    1. It was a tough one, thanks so much lovely! xx

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  4. Great post darling beautifully written, sadly I think every woman has come across sexism that effects them one way or another! But we shouldn’t be afraid to speak up when necessary! Xxx
    katescloset.uk

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    1. We definitely need to be braver when it comes to speaking up I think! xx

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  5. I think you did this topic so well Amy! I know exactly what you mean about 'that look' that you just know as a woman and suddenly makes you feel so self-conscious. There's such a link there and I just cannot deal with ogling men (or gropey ones - the WORST). It also really struck me that I feel exactly the same in terms of being worried about facing backlash with my international womens day post too - its still a post that I hardly ever promote just because I feel a bit nervous about that xxx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

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    1. Thank you so much lovely! It's awful isn't it I hate it! I loved your international womens day post, you should definitely promote it more xx

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