For the majority of my life, I’ve been “one of the boys”. I grew up with two older brothers, so I got their hand-me-downs, I was always bugging them when they were with their friends, and I even learned their hobbies.
So naturally, I was closer to guys. This being said, I’ve gained a clear perspective on how boys have this perception that they have to be sporty, they have to be taller than girls, and that they should never cry.
Most of the guys I knew growing up didn’t really care much for clothes or anything like that until high school, but nowadays, I see 1-year-old boys getting the most fashionable clothes and even wearing designer shoes. I used to know a 3-year-old boy who wore Gucci school shoes and that was the first time that I thought about how kids – no exceptions, both girls and boys – are raised to be fashion forward right off the womb.
I recently saw a video on Facebook from “The Illusionists” about why young girls are sexualized, and needless to say, it’s very true. Raising children to be concerned about how they look and how they dress gives the industry heaps of advantages because opening their eyes to these things at a very young age only means they will treat it as the norm growing up. Children are raised to be consumers.
Going back to that little boy with the Gucci shoes – I then realized how a lot of my guy friends are now very concerned about the clothes and (especially) the shoes they wear. Over time, I’ve had guy friends ask me for fashion advice or send me photos of the clothes they’re trying on in the stores to get a “lady’s opinion”. Today many of my guy friends follow their own fashion icons, male models or celebrities they look at (I’d say look up to, but I know they don’t actually look up to them – they just look at them) for “inspiration”.
This so called “inspiration” is nothing more than fuel for insecurity. YES! It even happens with men and we are all victimised by media and its impossible standards of beauty.
In my honest opinion, we can blame media, marketing and advertising all we want but at the end of the day, we always have a choice whether we’re going to listen to the marketing messages that tells us we’re not good enough until we have ticked all the boxes that society and businesses dictate. The truth is, we’re never going to tick all those boxes because there’s always something new that gets added to the “must-have” list every single day. Satisfaction is a matter of self-awareness and contentment with who we are inside and not what marketing and advertising tell us to be on the outside.