From being seen as “superficial” for showing interest in makeup to being embarrassed about liking the color pink, one would think that the universe has some form of a vendetta against women, who are shown criticism from a young age for being too much of “tomboy” but are given no leeway when they subsequently show interest in traditionally feminine ideals. Not to mention, the modern perils that teenage girls face for expressing themselves on social media sites through what they wear, as they are coined terms such as “VSCO Girl”, “E-Girl”, and more for fitting into a niche style group.
Action movies and sports, which are traditionally marketed towards men, are considered to be tasteful and generally accepted as “cool,” which is made evident when anyone shows their lack of interest in either as they get immediately told off for it. Conversely, showing interest in stereotypically female things, such as classic romcoms, makeup, and fashion is seen with a negative light and never generally agreed upon as something that is “cool.” While things geared towards men are considered to be token aspects of culture, why are those marketed towards women seen as superficial and basic?
According to Pierre Bourdieu, a renowned French sociologist, and philosopher, “cultural capital” refers to the social assets that work to promote social mobility, such as education, physical appearance, outerwear, and intellect, which are seen as valued and worthwhile by society. In terms of gender, this explains the distinction between what the general public claims is worth seeking and what is not, which usually falls on gender-based lines.
Surprisingly, this shockingly different reaction towards men and women partaking in stereotypically fitting activities is still given even if the action is more or less the same. This is strikingly evident in entertainment; young girls camp outside of a stadium waiting for their favorite boy bands to perform and are deemed as weird by not only the general public but also news reporters who broadcast their seemingly “strange” obsession for something considered to be superficial. However, why is it that no one bats an eye when men do the same thing by lining in front of stadiums for their favorite sports team?
All in all, this phenomenon, though it constantly presents itself for females, should not stop anyone from loving what they love wholeheartedly. Though it proves to be difficult when your passions and interests are demoted by others and seen as “shallow,” it is important to not live life according to what others may or may not think is “basic.” Instead, live how you see fit because what brings you happiness can never be just skin-deep.