No Country for Young Women: Jenny's Story

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Jenny photoshootI believe that as young women in today's society we are brought up to believe that we should see ourselves as small. We are taught to be 'pretty' and 'nice' and not to be 'aggressive' or 'tough'. We had Barbies whilst boys had action men. The assumptions about how a 'lady' should behave still exist so I wasn’t surprised to read in Young Women’s Trust’s new report that more than half of young women said they lack self-confidence.

As a young woman growing up I learnt that self-criticism was the only acceptable way to talk about yourself or respond to a compliment, and that it is 'big headed' to be proud of yourself or celebrate your greatness. So I internalised that message and began to only see the negative things about myself, and shy away from positive. I was brought up to apologise for myself, and to feel like a bad person if I was proud or outwardly 'bragging' about myself.

We are only just starting to see a shift with campaigns like #thisgirlcan and #likeagirl but for my generation a lot of the damage has been done, and woven into our identities.over half