What Makes a Perfect Woman?


Via dictionary.com

Brigid Reilly, Reporter

What makes a perfect woman? As girls, society brainwashes us to believe that there are certain qualities a woman must possess. From a young age, we are taught that a woman is to act polite, gentle, and always exercise her good manners. Upon acting with a slightly masculine demeanor, or letting their manners slip, it is not uncommon for girls to face subtle reprimandation. “That wasn’t very ladylike of you”, I’ve often heard adults say when speaking to young girls. But what is “ladylike”?

I grew up watching movies in which the female characters relied on men for support. Movies that portrayed women as frail and feminine beings. It is to no fault of my own that for many years I believed there was only one proper way for a woman to act. Society had convinced me that women must be compliant and polite, forcing me to question if I met the conditions. In my mind, the term “ladylike” came to mean courteous, gentle, and elegant. And although manners and civility are important qualities for any person to have, I began to feel as though society was confining me to one box. As though grace and beauty were required to be the perfect woman. It seemed to me that one’s femininity was determined by posture and poise, rather than intellect or courage. 

However, I soon grew to realize that we are so much more than what the media presents us to be. A woman is not just a polite, compliant, and dependent being, but rather, has the potential to be strong, brave, intelligent, and so much more. Societies perception and portrayal of women has been limited for so long. The gentle and effeminate representation of women has lead young girls to believe there is only one proper way for them to act. Only the truth is the exact opposite. A woman is not solely defined by her manners and courtesy. Instead, we are capable of so much more. 

What is a perfect woman? The question has no definitive answer. The best women are brave, strong, kind, creative, intelligent, and beyond. We are not simply confined to just one box.