Something people have been saying in conversations to me, and on the internet is, “If Beyonce can do it…” trailing off as if that was all there is needed to be said. The thought is that if Beyonce can do something then anyone should be able to. Does this sound right? I don’t believe so. It isn’t as if we don’t beat ourselves up enough, now we must hold ourselves to a standard of song bird/superstar? I am not saying that life hasn’t been hard for the beautiful, talented, and exceptional singer. She works extremely hard, I am sure, and she worked hard to get where she is. Now, however, her life is very different from a normal human.
I don’ t really need to go through the list of reasons a normal day for Beyonce would be different than anyone like excess time, money, help, and resources. My goal is not to belittle Beyonce’s struggle or to make light of her accomplishments. She is a multimillion dollar recording artist, amazing beyond words. My hope in writing about this is to encourage women to not be so hard on themselves. This is another example of holding an impossible standard. I don’t believe it is fair to hold myself to the standard of any other woman.
My best friend is a runner. She gets up and goes walking and running religiously. She also is very good with shopping on a budget. Both of these habits elude me.
My own sister is really good at exercise. My own flesh and blood is amazing at exercise. She is able to go to the gym and work out sometimes for hours. We joked that if she ate like I did and I worked out like she does we’d both be skinny. Certain habits are inherently easier for different people. Can we admit that and stop persecuting ourselves?
What is bad about this type of accusation is that it not only belittles the efforts of the person saying it, but also the efforts of all other women. We must ask ourselves: Is it so easy because another woman does it?
When I went on my honeymoon I watched a woman who did acrobatics and hand stands to tropical drum music. Her rock hard abs didn’t seem to even hurt after and mine hurt for days after one session with a palates’ instructor. Do you think I could do what she does? Maybe, if I abandoned all my current goals and dedicated my life to this pursuit I could do it, but it is doubtful. So if I said, “Hey the dancer on my honeymoon can do it…” not only do I belittle her accomplishments, I make an impossible goal for myself, which in turn makes my failure to become an acrobatic goddess seem even more disappointing.
Please, those who are accidentally comparing yourself to international super stars be nicer to yourselves and other women by not just throwing around these senseless sayings that make it harder for us to feel good about ourselves. We all work within our own time and have our own pressures. No one knows how the obligations in our lives work, what our bodies can handle, or how we want to spend our time but us. It is up to every woman to be kinder to herself and in turn it will allow us all to be gracious with ourselves and each other.