Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Being Female here

...means that you should have the body frame of a 12 year old that wears a size 0, with Twilight white skin and shiny long black hair. It means that you invest hundreds of dollars in skin regimes and lotions to maintain the photoshop quality of your skin. Being attractive means being demure, cute, shy and quiet. Not sexy. Not dominant. You probably have large, doe-eyes that were constructed with fake double eyelids, capturing a permanent look of innocence. You fully agree that men are better at sports and fixing things, while accepting your role at home, or with the child, as natural and expected. You have no objections or complaints.

Being female here means that your number one priority in life is to find a husband. If you do not have one by the age of 30 you feel useless, and everyone deems you that way too. You are accustomed to reuniting with relatives or friends, and having the first thing they say to you be about your weight. These comments never come from a malicious place, it is just how commonplace and desensitized standards have become. If you are a female, you are always on a diet. And being on a diet in China, for many, means eating only a fruit for dinner. If people are not talking about your weight, they are asking about your boyfriend. The moment you tell someone you have a boyfriend, you are deemed "safe," because people assume that boyfriend=husband. But being single sets off the ticking clock. There is a sense of urgency in everyone who cares about you, because they believe marriage is the only way you can be happy.

I'm tired of the backwards culture China has on women. I'm even more tired of the women who don't seem to have a problem with it. I wish girls who are half my size stopped saying they are dieting. I wish younger generations had role models of girls who are single and happy. I wish older generations didn't whisper and make harsh judgements towards those that aren't married. I don't want everyone to assume I cannot handle my alcohol because I am a girl. The looks of surprise and admiration I receive when I chug a small cup of beer are annoying, not flattering. I wish all marriages in China were born from love and not familial or societal pressure. I don't understand why I seem to be the only one who is mad.

Note: I know that this post makes a lot of generalizations that obviously don't apply to every single female living in China. These are just my own opinions based on observations and interactions. 

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