This post is from our blog competition winner Linda Lam – Auckland, who shares her thoughts on women, beauty and flowers
As women, we often live under the immense pressure in society to strive for perfection; the media constantly bombards us with what is believed in modern day to be “glamorous” – to transform ourselves into the “perfect woman”. I cannot escape from the fact that sometimes I do feel influenced to view a “successful” women as someone who has it all – the perfect career, the loving spouse/husband, the financial earning power, that elite social circle of friends, those killer looks and that incredibly hot, toned body. AND don’t forget that cherry on top – the “perfect” woman should still remain sweet, good-tempered, well-mannered and proper at all times, no matter what you are going through.
Let’s say, so far in my twenty-eight years of life, I definitely don’t have it all – in fact, I’m far from having it all. I don’t know if this is mathematically accurate – but I’m roughly guessing so are probably 99% of women in this world; who like me are striving daily to reaching “perfection”.
I recall in English history, Kathryn Howard (one of King Henry VIII’s six wives) being referred to as “the rose without a thorn”. What a compliment to be bestowed upon a woman; to be called a rose without a thorn. Always beautiful, always proper. Purely positive, zero negativity. We are encouraged to be the rose in society, yet at the same time to hide our thorns. Lose that weight. Be flawless – put on makeup. But is it really possible; to live a life and present ourselves as women to only show a “good” side and never reveal our flaws in life? Does such a woman even exist?
In fact, what are roses, without their thorns? I once came across a saying; that “….roses and thorns are parts of the same plant. Somehow though, some people are concerned mainly about the roses. The rose is not on the plant for more than a week, but the thorns are there forever. Roses are teaching that the beauty of life will bloom, once you have taught yourself the lessons given by living with the thorns.” (Grigoris Deoudis)
To this may I add – people see the beauty of roses and tend to ignore their thorns, yet see cacti and can only see their thorns. The thing is; when you see beyond the thorns on a cacti – they too, can also grow flowers. Some women may not be roses, but instead like cacti – prickly, independent and tough – we are survivors.