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Challenging Gender Norms: Personal Experience

The traditional approach of reinforcing certain gendered norms on people is a common practice in many countries. I plan to wear makeup for the whole day to challenge these commonly accepted gender socialization norms, which also run contrary to the way I perform gender daily. Wearing makeup relates to this issue, as girls are expected to have specific attributes to their gender, which makes them feminine, and one of those attributes is makeup (Balvin, 2017). Usually, I do not wear makeup at all since I find this practice to be very tiring. Additionally, I tend to sweat a lot in the face; therefore, having anything on my face with such conditions makes me incredibly self-conscious of my appearance.

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I wore makeup for a meeting with friends in a local café on the weekend. All of my friends have noticed the change in my appearance and have visibly shown some signs of surprise, but it did not surprise anybody else. It would be a lie to deny the fact that makeup did boost my self-confidence, and I impacted the way I felt about myself the whole day. Nevertheless, it felt heavy and unnatural on my skin, clogged my pores, and since I tend to sweat, it made me anxious and always left me wondering how I look wearing it. Everyone’s focus on my appearance has worsened my experience with my act and has intensified my distaste for it.

While challenging the gendered norms, I have discovered that, as a gendered being, I am expected to behave and look in a certain way that is accepted in society. I am a girl, and wearing makeup is just one of the things I am taught and expected to do. In my reasoning, a sense of “self” is way more important than the traditionally gendered norms, since gender attributes do not usually identify and describe the person as a human being. In conclusion, it is essential to note that the existence of gendered norms is purposefully aimed at the regulation of human behavior, but not targeted at helping a person with their self-consciousness and self-image overall.

Reference

Balvin, N. (2017). What is gender socialization and why does it matter? – Evidence for Action. Evidence for Action.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Challenging Gender Norms: Personal Experience." December 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/challenging-gender-norms-personal-experience/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Challenging Gender Norms: Personal Experience'. 21 December.

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