How to discover and recognize yourself among social stereotypes.

Today I am not really writing about weddings, but about those times when women feel insecure, and fear being honest with themselves about that they want, if these desires do not fit with expected social norms. This happens a lot, surprisingly, even though we live in a far less pressuring time today for women, compared to older times when women were socially expected to do such outdated things as quitting their jobs as soon as they got married, for example.

Recently, I was sitting in the waiting office of a dentist next to a man and a little girl about seven years old. The girl was wearing make up, along with bright pink lipstick. When the doctor’s assistant came out to get her, she exclaimed «oh, how pretty you are today!»

For me, these kinds of situations are equivalent of a bullfighter waving a red scarf in front of his bull. I would like to tell such little girls that they are not pretty because they paint their lips, but because they exude happiness and peacefulness with themselves, and because they are choosing exactly how they want to look for themselves (as opposed to doing what society expects of them). A little girl does not need the approval of a random lady just because she painted her lips pink.

Actually, I am not at all against wearing make up. I am also not against little girls experimenting with makeup. But this situation exemplifies a problem that we often see in today’s society. In order to get noticed, complimented, or to be popular, we have to adhere to a certain ideal of appearance. The problem is that no living, breathing woman can genuinely fulfill this ideal.

Going back to weddings  ­– these are events that also bring with them a series of stereotypes. The white dress, the cake, the flying doves, or the fact that the bride and the groom should sleep apart the night before the wedding, or that a wedding should be big and have many guests. You’ve probably assembled an idea of how you want your wedding to look, and how you want to look at your wedding. I am not asking you to reinvent the wheel, but I believe that the most important part of wedding planning is to think about what you actually want, and to develop the self-confidence to make the choice that’s right for you, and not for society.

People don’t often think about the fact that a wedding can serve as a catalyst for the development of your identity. Actually, there is nothing surprising about this. A wedding is a big event representing a major life change, and such big life changes often force us to both evolve, on the one hand, and rediscover ourselves, on the other hand.

If you feel easy and comfortable on your wedding day because you feel yourself and not like a magazine cover girl, you will have a wonderful celebration and you will feel truly beautiful inside yourself.

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