Equality for women has come on in leaps and bounds over the last 100 years, with society changing and accepting women as the equals that they are. However, there are are still restrictions placed on women by both society and, surprisingly enough, other women. Some phrases that are ingrained into our society as compliments and questions are actually negative and add to the pressures on women.
Women should bring each other up, not pull each other down. Check out 10 phrases women should stop saying to each other below.
1. “Forget her — you’re prettier than she is anyway.”
Most women say this with the best intentions. Maybe their friend has just gone through a break-up, or maybe they experienced infidelity. They want to cheer up their friend and put a smile on their face, but they are associating value purely with beauty. This implies that women are in competition with each other, and that beauty is a mark of success for women — but this simply isn’t true.
2. “Have you lost weight? You look great!”
When women say this they are aiming to compliment each other. But unless the other woman is trying to lose weight, compliments shouldn’t be linked to body weight. This can cause women to think their self-worth grows when they lose weight.
3. “You’re so skinny — eat a burger!”
This is also meant as a compliment, but for some women this targets something they are actually very self-concious about. Many women struggle to gain weight, and being told they should alter their weight can be very damaging and upsetting.
4. “Guys prefer this body type.”
No one needs to have their weight justified by anyone, and implying men set the standards of female beauty has damaging effects. The only priority is that you are healthy and happy in your own skin.
5. “When are you getting married?”
Equality for women has vastly improved over recent years, but some societal pressures still remain for some women. Women may ask this question only for the sake of conversation, but marriage is optional and many women are not personally interested in getting married. This can make the woman feel like she needs to justify her decisions.
6. “When do you want to have a baby?”
Like the phrase above, this phrase also assumes women are going to make certain decisions. If you already know they are planning on having a baby, this question is obviously totally fine. However, having a baby is a huge decision and some women are choose not to have children. This is a personal choice that doesn’t require justification.
7. “All women are crazy.”
Most blanket statements are inaccurate and this one is no exception. Women rarely mean this seriously when they say it, but it creates an overall image that women find each other irrational and crazy — which is a negative, inaccurate viewpoint.
8. “Why are you single?”
Whether you are a man or a woman, no one’s self worth is determined by having a partner. There are many excellent reasons to stay single and many excellent reasons to be in a relationship, and no one needs to explain their choice.
9. “Be careful, you might get a reputation.”
A women’s sex life shouldn’t determine her importance. Implying that sleeping with lots of people will decrease someone’s worth is a damaging sentiment that causes other women to openly and freely judge each other for their personal decisions.
10. “Do I look fat in this?”
Every human is equally important, and weight isn’t a deciding factor in your importance. This phrase implies self-worth is linked to being slim; it is important to be healthy, but it isn’t important to be thin.