Breaking the bias with young minds
Womanhood is an ideology. People make the terminology insignificant by attaching it to inconsequential daily activities. You can be a woman when petting the neighbourhood dog, putting on makeup, or struggling to push yourself up the career ladder. Womanhood is not defined by these daily activities; it is much more than that. The term womanhood is only best defined by ourselves, who we are as human beings and who we strive to be in the future.
For International Women's Day this year, we will be celebrating the hashtag #breakthebias. And at Star Lifestyle, we celebrate the same ideology by speaking to a few teenage ladies to understand their point of view regarding womanhood. Our reason for choosing teenagers? Simple, because they are full of hope and yet to write their stories to define who they want to become.
Marina Khan, 17
To me, being a woman is very special. I can express my femininity by wearing amazing clothes, jewellery and makeup and equally excelling in my studies. I have felt the discrimination right in the early ages, when boys were given preference in schools. For any team building exercises, especially in STEM related subjects, they were given preference and their ideas acknowledged. I made it a point in my life to be 'irritating' and make the teachers listen to my ideas as well. I found strength and empowerment in fighting for my rights, viewpoints and ideas. And that defines womanhood for me.
Lisa Huda, 19
Growing up, I have heard a lot of people say I wasn't beautiful. While I could have made it a point to break my soul, I chose to look otherwise. Today, I am considered a well-known feminist in my college. I write for the yearly schoolbook and make sure there is a story on body positivity in every issue that comes out. Owning my existence, who I actually am, gave me freedom; it gave me a sense of entitlement and introduced me to the world of kindness and womanhood.
Tamishna Khan, 18
I have seen someone close being diagnosed with cancer and after that experience, I have chosen to work in the field of oncology and palliative care to help patients recover and deal with the deadly condition. It is my determination that I mostly rely on and no matter what others think of my preference, I am adamant to stick to it, all because this is me and my willpower defines who I choose to be.
These messages were quite straightforward; they just want the world to recognise them as they are. And maybe that's the first step to breaking the bias.
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha