By Ikiriza Nahurira
Society has shaped our thoughts, norms, expectations, and lifestyles in general.
Most of us follow those unwritten rules without thinking about their consequences. The big question is: are they safe?
Honestly, some of the expectations in our communities are confusing.
One says this, the other says that, and we find ourselves torn into a conflicting urge to please both sides.
We stress ourselves trying to impress others as if we shall never be accepted if we became our real selves.
What women face
Although most of these standards can be easily adjusted to, some are dangerous and expensive to change, hence most women live in remorse against their own bodies.
This is mostly because she will hear one man today praising a certain body type and tomorrow some other man is demeaning it.
Society considers a woman’s body to be okay if she has not too big and not too small breasts, a well-curved behind and noticeable hips.
Ladies that are not naturally made this way hate their bodies and end up taking life-risking steps to adjust them.
The world standard size of models is mostly considered too skinny and most of the women in this size group will be told to eat something, yet once they add some weight, the same society again label them as fat and disgusting.
Girls who decide to keep their virginity till marriage are called backward and too conservative, but when the time comes for men to marry, they want innocent girls.
Besides, women who do not bother waiting for marriage are usually marked as whores, sure hits or public sockets, which is disrespectful and demeaning.
Women who do not drink liquor will be called boring, while those that drink are considered wasted and immoral.
If she is being mistreated in her marriage and she decides to persevere, society says she is being too desperate and deserves better. But once she files for divorce, she is deemed impatient, a failure and weakling.
What men face
Men are expected to have a well-built and toned body; something that naturally skinny men find hard to manage, let alone have.
In other places, however, men are required to be tall and slender for them to be attractive.
Rich men are desired and loved, but never trusted, and always marked as cheats and controlling.
Whereas broke men are considered loyal and loving, but they are never loved.
If a man enjoys helping with housework, he is praised as caring and loving, but also deemed too soft and submissive to his wife; a sign of weakness.
These and more unstated, are unnecessary stress factors to anyone. It is easier to live one’s life without fear of judgment, while putting in mind that it is you that pleases your God.
If you do that, you will be happier and free. You will comfortably eat any kind of food you want, live the life you desire, and live up to the future you want.
Love yourself the way you are. Do things because you want to do them, not because society thinks you should do them.
We shall have a less depressed generation if we stop letting others define us.
The writer is a student at Rukungiri Technical Institute- Kyamakanda.