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We live in a world where it seems like people are constantly trying to tell us to be something other than who we are meant to be. When we hear qualities like sensitivity, compassion, passivity, tenderness, thoughtfulness, and patience we all know which gender is supposed to possess these traits. Likewise, whenever we hear characteristics like toughness, dominance, risk taking, resilience, drive, and courageousness, we also know which people should have these traits. These qualities shouldn’t be associated with just one gender, but often times they are. If a woman isn’t sensitive to the needs of those around her, she may be chastised. And if she possesses a stereotypical masculine trait then her femininity may even be called into question. The same can be said for men. A man who isn’t driven may be looked down upon for a lack of ambition. And if a man is too sensitive or thoughtful, he may be told to toughen up because he isn’t being manly enough.

Even if no one has ever personally told you that you aren’t masculine enough or you aren’t feminine enough, you may have still felt the pressure to conform to some societal idea of what it means to be a man or a woman. TV, movies, magazines, and social media constantly portray a caricature of what it means to be a man or a woman in our society, but it’s not a true picture of what masculinity or femininity truly means. Whenever you see a caricature done of somebody at a fair or at an amusement park, we never take them seriously. We know that the person doesn’t really look like the drawing, but for some reason, when we witness these caricatures of masculinity and femininity we sometimes do take them seriously. These images that are portrayed to us on a daily basis of what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman may make us think that there is something that is the matter with us if we don’t fit into this picture. But the thing is positive thinker, there is nothing wrong with you if you don’t fit perfectly into this image. A caricature of masculinity shows us a distorted and untrue image of what it means to be a man in our society and a caricature of femininity depicts an unrealistic and unobtainable idea of what it means to be a woman, and for this reason you shouldn’t take caricatures of masculinity and femininity any more seriously than you would a caricature of yourself that was drawn by a street artist. A caricature of yourself isn’t a true depiction of who you are and neither are the caricatures of masculinity or femininity that you come across on a daily basis.

And these ideas of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man doesn’t stop with how we are on the inside either. We turn on the TV and see men and women with “perfect” faces and bodies. We open up a magazine and see men and women with luxurious hair and bright and shining smiles. These images have the soul purpose of trying to make us feel bad about ourselves. They are trying to tell us that our lips aren’t big enough, our waists aren’t small enough, our legs aren’t long enough, and our hair isn’t full enough, or they make us think that our muscles aren’t big enough, our height isn’t tall enough, and our shoulders aren’t broad enough, but this isn’t true either. There is no perfect way that a woman should look despite what we see on TV and there is no perfect way that a man should look despite what we see when we look at an ad in the magazine. Perfection isn’t achieved by adhering to some societal notion of what it means to be perfect. You are perfect just by being who you are.

We aren’t made from a cookie cutter, so we aren’t all the same. All the women in the world were not cut from the same female cookie cutter, nor were all the men cut from the same male cookie cutter. We’re different and that’s what makes us so great. We don’t have to fit into some stereotype of what it means to be female or male, black or white, Christian or atheist, Republican, Democrat, or indifferent because you can be these things regardless of whether or not you can check off every trait or characteristic that is associated with whatever group you are a part of.

Positive thinker, there’s always going to be somebody out there telling you that you need to act and look a certain way in order for people to like you. You may be too sensitive or you may be too tough, but if that’s who you are and if you’re comfortable with being that way then it shouldn’t matter what anybody else thinks. And you may not be a size zero or have wash board abs, but that shouldn’t matter either because you are great just the way you are.

You’re not made from a cookie cutter positive thinker, and that makes you unique, so don’t try and be anybody other than who you think you are supposed to be.

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