I’ve never been much of a girl. Yes, I have all the required parts, and I care far more than I should. But I’ve always felt removed from certain feminine aspects of life. I’ve never had a manicure. I rarely do anything with my hair. I’d rather watch the Baltimore Ravens’ defense than Pretty Little Liars. And yet I still fall prey to the singular downfall of the female mind: our idea that we are worthless.
This concept was never so evident as in Communications 107 today. Comm is reputed to be a joke of a class. For mature humans, communication is unconscious and intuitive; why should we study a process we can already do so easily? At least, that’s the theory.
However, rumor has it that college freshmen have been wrong before, and that proved to be true today. We separated into groups by gender and created four lists: what we like and don’t like about our own sex, and what we like and don’t like for the opposite sex. These mostly summarized stereotypes; the men were labeled as laid-back but cocky and the women as compassionate but emotional. Yet then we were asked which list was the most difficult to generate. The boys predictably boasted of their problems coming up with things they didn’t like about themselves. We, in contrast, admitted that it was hard to reiterate what we liked about ourselves.
After decades of female recognition and achievement, it’s truly sad that women still feel inferior and even useless. But that’s just it. It’s only been decades. Less than 100 years have passed since the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. In the U.S., women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man according to the National Committee on Pay Equity. Women whom men admire tend to be physically attractive rather than powerful or intelligent. It’s no wonder we feel ugly if we are not the size of supermodels or out of place in male-dominated careers such as engineering.
At this point of reflection, I felt a little depressed. I’d already been overwhelmed with class, work, articles, exercise, social shenanigans and attempting to become involved in other clubs and groups. Then I stumbled upon a Facebook event called “Tell Her She’s Beautiful.” It was created by a guy trying to make his best friend (a girl) feel more comfortable with herself. Spanning the whole month of February, the event encourages anyone and everyone to simply tell someone how beautiful you think they really are. Chances are, they need it.
Almost 150,000 people are “attending” on Facebook. By merely creating this event, “Josh,” whoever he is, has brightened countless days and caused endless smiles. He is solid proof that one small gesture can make a difference.
So take a moment. Turn to the person next to you and tell them why they are beautiful to you. Even if that person is a guy. You may get a few strange looks. But there’s enough hate and chaos in the world. It’s time to spread the love.
Tell her she’s beautiful. She’s worth it.