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Society's Standards

What is it with people and standards? It is like we need to have a standard in every single thing and if we fail to reach that standard that we set ourselves, we are considered as a total and utter failure. Now we have a lot of standards, like how a female should look like, how a male should act, etc. But is it really necessary? I personally feel like it does us more harm than good.

For one, what society considers as 'beautiful' for a female is a slender fit body, long hair, acne-free skin, and really the list will go on, creating this perfect image that is honestly impossible to achieve. As a result of this, we now have what we know as eating disorders. People, especially females, starve themselves in order to have the body that the society approves of. Some people actually die because of this, what does that make the society?

Second of all, I for one don't believe that a certain gender should act a certain way. I don't believe that a guy should be macho, and they have to know how to fight and all. If by fighting you mean the skills that a person should have in order to defend himself or herself then yes, it is needed. However it applies to both genders, not just males. Female then needs to learn to fight too, I mean they are the ones who are usually the victim.

Some people might claim that it is a biological trait, but I believe otherwise. A child is a product of their parents, both physically and their minds also. George Herbert Mead argued that the behavior of an individual is influenced by two kinds of self-awareness. The first one is what he calls the "I" in which is more of a spontaneous action and the second one is "me" to which is the actions that the individual thinks he or she is expected to do at any given situation.

What that theory is telling me is that the child is first born as his or her true self, or what Mead considers as "I". However, along with the socialization process, the child learns what the society wants him or her to do, and everything turns into "me".

It still gets more complicated than that. Every society has its own set of standard. So say a child grows up in a western society, they grow up trying to please that particular society. However, if for some reason they had to move to a new environment, with a different set of standards. How do you think they will feel?

I personally feel these standards are useless. They are designed to create a perfect image that is otherwise impossible to reach. What I do believe in is that every single individual is unique; therefore trying to generalize people is something that is unethical.

by nikenafifah



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