I'm Not Beyoncé but, Question...Tell Me What You Think About Me?
Before Destiny's Child asked "tell me what you think about me?", very few of us have ever asked the question outright. Instead, we follow social stigmas, social constructions and misconceptions about how we, as females and males, should look, feel and behave, in order to fit in and be "socially accepted". Ironically, many people (wrongly) decide that offering their opinions other people is relevant. For an example, people think because I'm blonde, I MUST be stupid. I have been called very offensive things, for the way I look, for how I dress, how I am. But, as many girls can relate to, there is more than just the outside.
During the week, I asked my lovely Instagram followers to take part in a survey about social stigmas. It came to my forefront attention recently that some people ask or expect WAY too much from their other halves, and we are not realising what effect dependence can have on another human, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, father or mother.
The idea behind this blog, just like my other blogs, stemmed from my own frustrations, and for those who know me, know that I am (maybe too overly) opinionated. I don't always voice my opinions, but they almost definitely feature in my blogs.
What I find mostly crazy, is that recently I have started becoming more and more aware of couples who are 18/19/20 years old, that are financially dependent on the other. I am frustrated (I know if you could see me now whilst I write this, with my unicorn sleep mask on my head with matching unicorn PJ's, you wouldn't feel very threatened by my growing frustrations) because yes, caring about someone is something to be so proud of, and being a lovely genuine person, enough to financially support someone at an incredibly young age is something to be pleased with.
However, I personally struggle to agree with it. I find it very, very annoying that a girl I spoke to recently was telling me all about how she was an "independent woman" and she was bragging about it so much that you would've genuinely thought she wrote the song "Independent Women". Yet, in another topic, she was bragging again about how she didn't pay for anything and expected her other half to pay, and there wasn't even so much as a please or thank you. She just got everything she asked for.
I found it incredibly insulting, as I am a woman who strives to be entirely independent, financially and emotionally, and I work hard for my money.
If I cannot rely on myself, then who can I really rely on?
Sure, I have been on many dates where the guys have paid, but I have always asked to split the bill, or if the guy had paid the previous time (on the very rare occasion I get a second date) for both of our meals, I would insist on paying the entire bill the second time and so forth. I set no expectations for whoever it is I'm dating, I only set expectations of myself - and that would be standing by my belief in being equal, no matter the gender, no matter the income. It would not be right for me to sit on my high horse preaching about independence, and trying to empower individuals if I did not believe in equality, would it?
I asked 8 questions so here are the stats of that survey.
Girls, what is more attractive in a man?
I gave my followers 2 options: Being sensitive, or showing no or little emotion.
When writing this question, I knew the answer would be more sided with "being sensitive".
But then when the poll stats came in...I thought to myself...
Don't we always hear the phrase "He's just too nice!" being thrown around more than Lindsay Lohan?
So, at what point does a guy become "too nice"? Well I can only vouch for myself on this question, but when I've met so-called "nice guys" before they have been incredibly boring. And girls, if you are anything like me, you want a guy with a bit of "character"..if you know what I mean. I do personally feel, because of the headstrong person I am, guys that can take full control is ideal. If the guy is "too nice", I will find it easy to get my leg over them, and I will get bored easily.
Anyway, I have no idea why I just gave you my dating preferences, back to the matter at hand...
89% of my female Instagram followers said that they prefer guys to be sensitive. Still, 11% of them said they prefer them to show no emotion or little emotion. I'm just going to leave those stats for the little/no emotion there..because I fail to understand how anybody would find being brain dead attractive...but each to their own.
Boys, what is more attractive in a woman?
78% of my followers said they find independent women more attractive, and 22% said they prefer the girl to let them take care of them. I feel sometimes independent women can be intimidating to men with significantly inflated egos, but some men who value and take women for the incredible beings that we all are, are in love and admiration with that trait about us. It is still quite sweet however, when a guy wants to look after his woman. As outdated and old fashioned it is, it is a prime example of care and love. I still believe taking care of each other should be the norm, from both sides of the relationship.
I was intrigued to ask this question because I feel it is perhaps, a taboo to men, and it just goes without saying that if you have a girlfriend, wife, partner, whatever - society says you simply look after "the seemingly weaker sex". As one of my followers mentioned to me, a man is naturally built to be the protector, they have a bigger frame, and are biologically made that way to be "the protector". Sometimes, it can make the man feel more like a man to take care of his girl, which is fundamentally the same feeling as when a girl gets compliments, it makes them feel good about themselves - and - is there really anything wrong with that?
When it becomes a problem
A man looking after a woman becomes a problem when there is sheer dependence present. And in some cases, a mans ego can be so incredibly fragile that they may hit a financial or physical brick wall in any period of his life.
A couple are out in Selfridges. The woman spots a pair of brand new Jimmy Choo's. She only had a new pair just last week, but she is insistent that these are the shoes of her dreams. The boyfriend loves her so much and wants to spoil her and make her feel loved 24/7, so, he gives in and buys them for her. When he gets home from the shopping trip he logs into his online banking and sighs as he sees another £300 on his credit card statement. He's in debt and she has no idea, but he doesn't ever want his girl to worry, he wants to protect her and shower her with anything she wants - simply because he is in love. He also doesn't want to jeopardise his manliness because taking care of his girlfriend makes him feel like a true man.
Sound familiar to any of you lads reading? You can be the best boyfriend or husband in the world, and that, is truly priceless, so don't get a credit card maxed out just to prove your love. The right girl will only want your time and affection, not your money.
Men's mental health is something I feel incredibly, indescribably strongly about. Because they are the ones who are supposed to be strong, hence why they want to look after us girls. But raking up these debts, bottling up emotions - in order to be a protector or more of a man, are reasons the suicide rates in males are so significantly high, which is why we as females need to realise that our men need looking after too.
Is it right for a man to feel obliged to pay?
Well, my Instagram followers have their heads screwed on because a whopping 91% said no to men feeling obliged to pay. And the remaining 9% said yes, it is right for a man to feel obliged to pay. And the interesting thing behind the 9% is that the majority of people who said they prefer a woman to let the man look after them, also said it is right for a man to feel obliged to pay. That's an interesting correlation that maybe either suggests that a females independence threatens them as a man OR they just genuinely like to look after the person they are with. Awwww.
Girls, do you prefer muscle or "dad bods"?
This all comes down to personal preference, but I just felt like this question could help to squash some thoughts that some men think about themselves. Society would say that men with muscles are THE thing. Men are lead to believe that being muscly or "big" is the way to be, in order to be "accepted" by other men, AND to attract women.
Well, my Insta followers are thinking differently, as 69% of the women participating in the poll said they prefer "dad bods".
Get your coat Dad, you've pulled.
Still, just under a third of the girls voting said they prefer muscle. Fair do's.
Boys, do you prefer petite or tall girls?
I see on Twitter all the time, men tweeting with rants and raves about petite girls. I asked a few of the boys who voted for "petite" on my Instagram poll, which got 84% of the votes, why they sided with that preference. One replied, "because a small girl is cute, makes you want to look after them" and another suggested that "because I am a small guy, a tall girl with me would just look disproportionate". There was still some love for tall girls though, with a percentage of 16%. We still keep going back to this theme of men looking after women, but the majority of the vote for the first poll question was that you men liked a woman who was independent. Make your minds up, boys.
Boys, do you believe it is a "manly requirement" to look after a girl financially, and/or physically?
I had to include a question sticker on this poll because I feel like the two options of "Yes" or "No" simply wouldn't settle the question. The stats on this poll are: (drum roll please)
59% of the men said Yes, they believe it is a requirement of being a man.
41% of the men said No, it is not a requirement of being a man.
Some of the in details answers were:
"A woman has to pay her way as well, not just depending on a man's finances"
"It's not a requirement of being a man, but if you care for a girl, I feel like all of it follows anyway" "I don't believe in being financially supportive to a woman, definitely physically but it can be mutual, purely to be the alpha"
"I like to look after the girl I'm with, however I don't want them financially dependent on me"
"It's not 'manly', it should just be a requirement"
Ooooo I just bloody love opinions. They are so mixed but it's so nice to get different views on a subject, right?
Girls, do you feel the pressure to be picture perfect 24/7?
I was expecting a huge percentage of my female Insta-followers to say "yes", no questions asked. 67% said yes and 33% said no. It still highlights the fact that lots of us girls feel we need to be perfect, and deep down inside, we know it is not an attainable goal, we just see flawlessness 24/7 on our phone screen and convince ourselves that our lives will be fulfilled once we look like Kendall Jenner.
Boys, do you feel you should be more of a man or "lad" around a group of other males?
I believe deeply in animalism. For those that don't know, the dictionary says: "In the philosophical sub-discipline of ontology, animalism is a theory according to which human persons are animals."
So, with that in mind, just like a pack of male dogs, there has to be an alpha male. Which is why I was interested in knowing my followers response to if they felt any animal-like characteristics around a group of the same sex. I do believe too, that this is where the social construction of being the "alpha male" comes from, and that's animalism.
63% of males voted for No, they don't feel anything differently around a group of the same sex, whilst 37% said that they do feel the need to be "more manly" around their fellow mates.
So I sat down today and I thought:
"I still don't have a synopsis."
Then I was like, "what am I going to do? How can I conclude a poll consisting of opinions?"
The truth is, I can't. When opinions are concerned I can only give my opinions in return. Then I panicked and asked my followers to give me one thing, per gender, that they feel is required of them by social media or social stigmas. Here are very few of the answers.
The girls said:
"The clothes you wear"
"Looking pretty 24/7"
"Perfect hair all the time"
"A curvy body"
Aaaaand the boys said:
"To constantly be okay, you have to be emotionally strong constantly or you're not a 'lad'"
"To be muscular"
"To be a provider"
But, what would life be like without social stigmas?
Everything used to be protected. You couldn't tweet about how great your new Valentino handbag was, you didn't take selfies and you couldn't brag about all the materialistic things your boyfriend had bought you because there was no such thing as Instagram or Facebook.
And here I continue to be a hypocrite. I am a victim of social media. I wouldn't be able to write my blogs if I wasn't, I wouldn't have anything to promote my blogs on if social media did not exist. But, I never wanted to be addicted, and my parents would constantly tell me off in my single digit ages that I should stop using social media as a diary. Yet here I am now with a blog. So deal with it Mum and Dad.