Tuesday 23 July 2019

Eight things every woman in her 20s should know

Two women gossiping in studio
Two women gossiping in studio

From misjudged ideas about the sisterhood, to surviving on the cabbage soup diet for days on end - there are certain rights of passage that we will inevitably experience before the penny drops.

Our twenties are arguably our most formative years, as we enter the working world, discover our greater purpose in life, and try emancipate ourselves from home comforts.

This decade can be a minefield, as we attempt to conform to what we think we should look and behave like. From extreme diets that do more harm than good, to shaming others for our own gratification - we can often become our own worst enemies.

However, let us break down some things for you. The following is a list of things every woman in their 20s should know, compiled by Emma Roche, a 23-year-old English Literature / Gender and Sexuality graduate.

1. Be a feminist because it’s important - not because it’s fashionable

Every woman in her twenties should have an understanding of feminism that moves beyond the general popular worship of Jennifer Lawrence quotes.

No disrespect to Ms Lawrence and the positive messages she tries to appropriate, but further familiarising yourself with the issues surrounding for women’s rights is something every twenty-something female should make a priority. If you’re a woman in her twenties who equates feminism to an irrevocable hatred of men, know that you have been utterly misinformed.

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2. One size does not fit all

For shame on you if you’ve managed to make it to your twenties without being fitted for a bra.  Honestly, there’s something rather liberating about the self-exposure involved in Bra-fitting. It’s really not all that horrific a process and more importantly 34C does not a universal size make.

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3. Let’s talk about sex, baby

It’s not embarrassing to buy condoms or tampons, who knew? By the time you’ve hit your twenties you should know how to distance yourself from any feelings of shame related to your sexuality. 

4. Fad diets are not for life

Cabbage Soup, Five for Two, South Beach- all infamous fad diets which, by the time you’ve hit your twenties, need to be reconciled as exactly that, fad. Honestly it’s boring as hell for a woman in her twenties to obsess over diets, bouncing from one fad diet to the next. Be healthy, but food is fab. Social dining in your twenties? Even more fab. 

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5. Sisters are doing it for themselves

Not getting into the critical implications of the wide use of the term ‘sisterhood’ but once you’ve reached your twenties it’s time to learn how to support and recognise the achievements and qualities of other women.

Not to be confused with discrediting the power of free speech but modern women are too quick to count the flaws of their sisters. It’s morbid and disheartening to watch women pick each other apart, so don’t. 

6. All is not what it seems on social media

Having a well-reasoned attitude and understanding towards social media in this, ‘the social media generation’, is pretty pivotal to the twenty-something woman.

It’s important to know that nothing and no one is perfect. Social media really is only an extension of a person’s reality, not the whole picture.

7. Use your vote - we’ve earned it!

Irish woman have not even had the privilege of registering a vote for 100 years (the anniversary of which will take place in 2018.)

If you’re an Irish woman in her twenties you should know not only the importance of registering to vote but the importance of actually submitting said vote and the difference your vote can make.

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8. Think for yourself, and beyond yourself

If you are a woman in her twenties it’s time to think beyond what may necessarily be required of you in your day to day life, to formulate your own opinions.

Try to think beyond yourself, leaving behind your adolescent self-indulgence and deciding precisely how it is you view the world. Maybe start by taking the Bechdel test to LOL at the prominence of gender bias in films and television. If not, start somewhere, just think. 

Follow Emma (below) on Instagram here.

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