As I was sitting in Starbucks reading a new issue of Glow Magazine, I came across an article that I found to be interesting. It spoke of women being seen as Pretty or Smart…. Yes OR not both but only one. It has become a society standard to judge women in those terms, that is crazy you might think. But TRUE!
She may look like she has it all, but when a woman sports good looks and a great mind, she's often forced to fight a very lonely battle.Can a woman be beautiful and brainy? More and more, it's seeming like a taboo twosome. But the ugly reality is that it's not just the media machine or the views of sexist men that are creating and perpetuating stereotypes that hold brainy beauties back; it's the rest of us "normal" girls with our delicate egos who are also embracing these embarrassing outdated messages.
Personally, I can completely relate to this story…I have always been the one to be too ashamed to admit to having good marks in high school because I was afraid that I would no longer be seen as “cool” by my friends and was going to be teased for being a “goody-two-shoe”. Girls acted stupid in high school and so did... that is until grade 12, that’s when I came to realize that there’s nothing wrong to being seen as attractive and intelligent.I finally, felt proud to admit that I had an early acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.Yup, that there quite a few who were surprised...as I never spoke of my mark and still don't.
I was proud to be who I am! University has given me an opportunity to explore the side of me that I was too ashamed to socially reveal before. I was a rebel in high school and now in university I am a “goody-two-shoe” … the best part is, I love having the balance of both worlds.
However, I must admit that I still am judged based on my appearance by most… Strangers judge me based on the appearance and then change their mind once we have a conversation going. Actually, recently…I was introduced to a new group of people and we were discussing politics, and one of the girls (of all people) said jokingly, “well, she’s not just a pretty face…” I was shocked at first but then smiled politely, and thought to myself “such a smart girl, with such dumb ideas.” I think that in the back of my head I know how I am seen, and often times it discourages me from pursuing certain things (“well, who’s going to take me seriously”) but despite the fear , I have yet to give up on anything. I don’t believe that success or intelligence should have a face or a designer to it… I believe that it is one of the most beautiful parts in people, no matter who you are, what you look like and how you dress!
Being seen as attractive and intelligent is not a crime... and it is a standard that women modern days should embrace. Just because a woman cares about her appearance does not mean that she's un-intelligent, and just because you care about your studies/work does not mean that you should give up on taking care of yourself. To be beautiful and intelligent is attainable for everyone, it is just a matter of embracing both sides :)
Now...as for the article, I think that it describes both sides beautifully and I would love to share it with you…as it really did get me thinking.
"Pretty Smart" by Karen Robock from Glow Magazine (November 09 issue)
Women, in particular, play a role in keeping the pretty-versus-smart cliche alive," says Noemi Soucy-Girard, a public relations specialist for Lise Watier Cosmetics. " We secretly wish that there was a natural fairness about it. There's a notion that nobody is supposed to be perfect." Dr. Karen Abrams, an assistant psychiatry professor at the University of Toronto and staff psychiatrist at the Women's Mental Health Clinic at Toronto General Hospital says," Women are almost always grouped into either the ' pretty' or 'smart' category," she says. "They're rarely though of as both." This leaves pretty and intelligent women doing a balancing act: In some situations, they're drawing attention away from their attractiveness; at other times, they're playing down their smarts to fit in.
Some women caught in this pretty-versus-smart Catch-22 find themselves playing down their intelligence to be successful-it's a phenomenon that's often echoed in popular culture.The "dumb blonde" stereotype is rampant among actresses, but according to Dr.Sheila O'Byrne, a registered psychologist in Calgary, acting may be the key factor. "For many of these women playing dumb is just part of the gig."
Abrams is troubled by this trend of celebrities playing dumb. "It's not encouraging young women to achieve their potential when their role models are getting ahead by acting stupid, " she says. Young women get the message that it literally pays to play dumb. By supporting these stunned starlets, we may be helping to perpetuate the idea that attractive women must also be airheads.
Playing It Smart
... It's not only beautiful celebrities who have people doubting their intellect ( think Natalie Portman). Real women encounter skepticism about their abilities, too-particularly in the workplace...As a young and attractive professional, it can be difficult to prove yourself at the office-especially when your co-workers are convinced that your good looks got you hired. Many brainy beauties keep bosses and co-workers from doubting their competence at work by drawing attention away from their attractiveness.
Having It All
The instinct to find fault with a woman who seems to have it all can be hard to resist. But according to O'Byrne, we need to be careful about how we fling judgment around, she says. " It's coming from a place of ego and jealousy." It's very hard to overcome all of these messages, but as women we have to try to build each other up, not tear each other down.
I have always wondered as to why women follow and farther build such misconceptions, instead of continuously working together to farther our wellness we are doing the opposite. As history has shown when we join in, we get much farther...
So now the questions goes out to you darlings... Can you relate to this article in one way or another? Would you say that you agree with it?What are your thoughts/ideas related to this topic?
I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts....please do feel free to express your honest opinions.
I wish you all a beautiful weekend!
Sources: Glow Magazine; fashion gone rouge; jak&jil