An old, crappy TV, showing off the dreamiest scenes between men and women, always capturing an unrealistic image of femininity, self-worth and relationships.
As a female human being, I can say that I have experienced this phenomenon in my very young years of life already, probably multiple times.
As a girl, I was always in touch with “girly” things, such as fairy tales, which are always constructed on the ideal that the ultimate goal in a woman’s life is tied to male validation and marriage. Always the same old plot. Lost princess, gets rescued by strong man, they marry, she is finally validated and sees her worth and out of the blue she has reached her one and only ever life goal and everything’s alright.
No matter how much society changed in the 21 years I have been alive, I still experience judgemental looks when I make critical comments on the concept of marriage.
The older I got, the more I got in touch with the phenomenon of the other sex’ validation and relationships.
When I was a teenager, it seemed like your greatest achievement in life to have a significant other, just for the sake of saying it. It made you seem loveable. You had a piece of evidence that you are not the worst person on the planet.
Long story short: when you did not have a boyfriend, you felt like a looser.
All the childhood bedside stories, covered in glitter, being watched trough a pink girly bubble have truly left their impact on my further life.
Growing older and getting more in touch with the mysterious world of dating, I felt lost. I had many wrong associations about it but was mainly lost about how it worked.
It did not take very long until I stopped caring about who I actually dated, I was fine with it as long as they gave me the addictive feeling of validation.
Male validation became my crack, my drug. Once I felt validated, this rush of dancing dopamine hormones were having a dance party in my veins. I felt good, and I wanted to have this feeling last forever. It is as addictive as any other kind of drug.
After quiete a while of practising this toxic behaviour on a very regular basis, I found myself again in my therapists’ office being emotionally weak as hell.
I told her about my lack of self-worth, self-confidence and how much I crave male validation and attention to fill up this giant hole in my soul.
A couple sessions, breakdowns and panic attacks later, I finally let myself be convinced by my therapist and a couple friends to stop my craving for validation.
Nobody ever in this world will be able to kiss your shit away. Nobody ever will be ever to give you the self-respect that you don’t even dare to give to yourself.
So, after all this time of messing around with my own mind, I had to deal with being alone. Solitude. I was terrified of doing anything alone, and then I forced myself to force a lot of time by myself. Out of pure desperation, I probably read every article on the internet with detailed instructions on how to fall back in love with your own company.
After a while of spending time by myself, and mostly taking care of myself, I actually started linking to have time only for myself. I finally started to give myself the respect that I deserve (well done, it only took me 21 years of life to do that lol). All what I am saying here is just the retelling of my personal experience and feelings, please do not let it come across as a hate against the other gender.
Now, being very comfortable on my own, I finally feel like I have broken my chains from constructed society conventions about relationships, validation and marriage. For some people it might still be the call in life, for my personal case, I don’t know. I am way too young and juvenile to have it all figured out already. Let’s just see what the future holds.
What I want to say is, that no matter what your current position in life is, no matter on how much you are struggling, your worth is not based on the validation that someone else out there could possibly give you. You have to give yourself the validation, self-respect and worth first, before anyone else can properly do it. It is not fashionable to disrespect your personality or to constantly talk you down.
Your worth is never based on some hero who will save you out of your chaotic situation. You are worth so much more that you will ever think.
PHOTOS BY ANAELLE