The Social Construction of Being a White GIrl

Historically, having two ovaries, a uterus, and/or a vagina has presented more setbacks than opportunities. Even today in the 21st century, people with penises are generally more privileged than those with vaginas. Although America has come a long way since Seneca Falls, it is clear that men and women are still not regarded as equals in the classroom, workplace, or in the eyes of the law. The female home-maker image that began in the Colonial Period and continues through today portrays females as obedient, soft-spoken wives and mothers whose primary purposes are to make sure their husbands and children are happy and their houses clean and well organized. Thankfully, many women are breaking this archaic stereotype and achieving dreams once thought to be impossible.  Female scientists and mathematicians may be extremely rare compared to the abundance of their male counterparts; however, universities, organizations, and businesses alike are taking the initiative to allow women to become more involved in research and work that was once dominated by men.

            Women are supposed to be the epitome of beauty, dainty flowers that should be primped and pampered. Our hair should be well-kept, eyebrows perfectly arched, eye lashes long and curled, lips red and full, skin smooth and flawless. We should not be too tall or too short, too skinny or too curvy, too muscular or too frail. Our clothes should be sexy but not vulgar, revealing but leave something to the imagination. It is annoying if our voices are too high pitched but manly if they are too low. We must always use proper grammar and speak eloquently without sounding pretentious. If we fail to meet these various demanding standards, we are deemed unfeminine and looked down upon when standing next to others who more closely meet them. Women must find the delicate balance between many traits in order to be successful. If we appear too done up, we are not taken seriously. If we appear too unkempt, we are not given a second thought.

            The aforementioned characteristics can be used as a general rule of thumb to determine a woman’s level of “beauty” according to most societies. However, different cultures have different versions of beauty. For example, in Japan, pale skin, dark shiny hair, and a very slim build are considered beautiful. In Mauritania, on the other hand, extreme curviness is the highest form of beauty. One of the most recent stereotypes that has developed as a result of social media is the “white girl and Starbucks.” It is true that plenty of Caucasian females upload pictures of themselves drinking coffee from Starbucks onto Instagram. These same girls are usually associated with Ugg boots and a love for being tan. Girls of different races do not seem to value being tan nearly as much as we do. Additionally, white females are believed to be conceited due to their constant correcting of other people’s grammar. There are countless stereotypes and characteristics associated with every gender and race, and this was just a glimpse into what it is like to be a Caucasian female in the 21st century.

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