I learned from the magazines how to be a woman, now it’s time to unlearn it

Published on April 9, 2021 by Cori Grămescu


Learning how to be a woman from magazines is unrealistic and my experience shows why we should seek true and reasonable life models.

In my pursuit of learning what womanhood is all about, magazines played a very important part in my life, especially in my teenage years and in my 20’s. From how to dress and put make-up on to what I should do to get my hands on the man of my dreams and how to keep him interested in me for as long as possible, women’s magazines represented entire universes of do’s and don’ts.

Magazines and the promise of a happy life

What I understood reading these magazines was the fact that as a woman I must take care of everything around me: myself and the others, work and home, keep myself beautiful and slim, be positive and uplifting, always a bundle of joy ready to kick ass on all aspects of life and also be a rock for everyone else.

But, no matter how hard I was trying to be great in all these aspects while striving to be myself too, I wasn’t very successful at being good at everything. Was it my problem of not being able to keep up with everything while magazines were filled with stories of success from women who seemed to juggle it all?

Depressing results in keeping up with the model life

My self-esteem started to get lower and lower because I felt I couldn’t keep up with what was expected of me. I didn’t feel in the mood to look neat every day, sometimes all I wanted was to wear my trainers and a T-shirt and not wear make-up while out in the streets. I didn’t always feel in the mood to eat the healthiest of foods for perfect abs and a round bootie, sometimes all I wanted was to indulge in a huge burger and fries.

I didn’t always feel in the mood to listen to everyone around me complain about their problems and lift their mood up, sometimes all I wanted was to feel sorry for myself while having a glass of wine and watching soap operas on TV. I was caught in between what I thought was expected from me and how I really felt and wanted to be. So, I should have stopped comparing yourself with others and understand myself.

It was late in my 20’s when I finally realized that most women’s magazines are just fantasies pressuring women to look and act in a certain way and that most women around me don’t connect at all with that sort of narrative. I started to ask myself why, instead of talking about real problems women have, these magazines create the image of women who hardly exist in real life.

More questions than answers

Starting to doubt most of what I read in these magazines for so many years, I finally had my eyes open to take notice of my own needs and feelings. What do I think being a woman means? What makes me happy as a woman? When do I feel most comfortable as one?

Giving myself room to answer such questions and many others, I discovered the freedom to be who I really am. Instead of looking outside for the proper way of being a woman, as I read about it in the magazines, I started to look inside myself and reflect on what makes me happy, radiant, powerful, lucid, and balanced. Of course, learning what self-love is all about had many benefits.

Accepting yourself is the key to inner peace

There are so many ideas of how a woman should be and act and they differ from one culture to another. However, if we ever wanted to be ourselves, we must step outside of the box we’re put in, begin to know ourselves with all the assets and flaws, and decide on our own terms who we want to be, what is it that we want to do, and how a life that makes us happy looks like. It’s high time to own ourselves!

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