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Discussion Starter #1
We're getting kinda off-topic here, but I find it interesting that most teenage girls think more highly of their friends than they do of their family members. You noticed this in your sister and I did so in mine. It has probably got something to do with their perspectives on freedom and independence, my sister has said she feels held back when she spends too much time with us and she had this whole 'you're-not-giving-me-enough-emotional-space' phase about half a year ago. It might also have to do with hormones and finding mates though, in that case you might as well look at this phenomenon from a sociocultural-evolutionary perspective. After all it's no longer common to find mates within a family setting, women want to personally choose their own mates nowadays and family members are seen as bothersome or undesired in the process of making this choice. However, although teenage girls say they want to choose their partners themselves, they do find the opinions and the advices of their friends important... their friends opinions might even be show-stoppers to their relationships with certain (possible) mates. So there's been a shift from adhering to family values towards adhering to the values of one's friends when it comes to choosing a mate, which has been rationalized through the idea that this change is progressing one's personal choice while in fact there's just been a shift in focus on certain values. Women are not more free at all when it comes to choosing mates: they are still socially conditioned, but they are conditioned by their friends instead of their family/clan. For me this proves that most women (and some men) are still prone to be crushed under peer pressure, these teenage girls are not in the least free and I doubt whether they actually want to be free from this kind of peer pressure. They seem to love being these post-feminist conformists and the few women that have actually enough self-esteem to choose their own path in life are being alienated by these so-called feminists. The modern feminist is nothing more than a fascist telling other women how to live their lives. I long for the day that girls make up their own minds about their views in life because I can't stand the current ideal of the hyper-elitist, picture-perfect skinny, part-time job woman that every teenage girl is trying to become. It's sickening...
This is my last post in my other thread (Life in an introverted household) and since it was kind of becoming off-topic I decided to make this into a new thread. So, what do you think of my insights in this posts? Do you agree or do you think I'm totally misinterpreting female behaviour and the female psyche?

I'm especially interested in the opinions of female INTPs, but everyone is welcome to comment of course.
 

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Of course in a trivial sense feminism - being an ethico-political stance - tells people what to do. I don't see how feminism promotes the particular ideal of the "hyper-elitist, picture-perfect skinny, part-time job woman" - perhaps you could cite prominent feminists promulgating this? - much less the relationship between any of this and fascism.

It's quite possibly that I'm misinterpreting you, especially since your thoughts appear so inchoate. Perhaps you should try to dumb it down a bit.
 

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Yeah, I have a negative view of the more militant feminists, and I do see females as harmed by this modern movement.

It's one thing to want equality; it's another thing entirely to aggressively push that agenda, to the point of antagonizing others, presuming a single "female way." It's unproductive and negative and only gets in the way of positive, productive methods of reforming society's traditional treatment of females. I don't know how many times I've seen modern feminists promote female independence at the expense of respect for the opposite sex. It illogically amounts to a self-defeating purpose, like reverse racism: instead of actually promoting fair treatment for all, one group instead decides to fight for equality by treating the other side poorly.

For instance, Malcolm X had a philosophy which told African Americans to group up and isolate from the rest of society, and that violence against others was sometimes permissible. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the other hand, had a large problem with that philosophy. He felt the only way to truly progress as a society was to use non-violent, peaceful means - to elevate the African American to a normal status, where they can be respected - NOT to elevate the African American to a status of superiority over whites.

And I fear militant feminists may be going about this in the wrong manner, just as Malcolm X. On a good note, however, there are many modern feminists who've realized the pointlessness of aggressive feminism.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Of course in a trivial sense feminism - being an ethico-political stance - tells people what to do. I don't see how feminism promotes the particular ideal of the "hyper-elitist, picture-perfect skinny, part-time job woman" - perhaps you could cite prominent feminists promulgating this? - much less the relationship between any of this and fascism.

It's quite possibly that I'm misinterpreting you, especially since your thoughts appear so inchoate. Perhaps you should try to dumb it down a bit.
Yes, I was unnecessarily blunt and cynical in my previous post... Not very political correct I guess. I didn't mean to say that feminism in theory equals fascism, but you could say that it does equal fascism in practice. What I meant to say is that most women that are radically feminist, can be seen as incredibly traditional and anti-intellectual. I constantly see these hardcore feminists doing things that are, when you think about it, based around the female community, they are based on how women should communicate their difficulties to each other and form a front against the unwilling and oppressive men in their society. This seems all very authoritarian to me. These women are being indoctrinated into wanting to become self-concious, beautiful career tigers who are superior to men. The original theory of feminism is, of course, very egalitarian in nature, but it seems as though there's nothing left of this egalitarianism in modern feminism. Feminism has become obsessively women-centric, it has lost it's ethical goals and it seems to do nothing but promote the superiority of women.
 

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It's one thing to want equality; it's another thing entirely to aggressively push that agenda, to the point of antagonizing others, presuming a single "female way." It's unproductive and negative and only gets in the way of positive, productive methods of reforming society's traditional treatment of females. I don't know how many times I've seen modern feminists promote female independence at the expense of respect for the opposite sex. It illogically amounts to a self-defeating purpose, like reverse racism: instead of actually promoting fair treatment for all, one group instead decides to fight for equality by treating the other side poorly.
If you're an egalitarian and your society isn't, an aggressive stance is warranted. Martin Luther King, your "good" example, aggressively pushed an agenda to the point of antagonizing others. After his conversion to Islam, Malcolm X embraced white men as his brothers, but that didn't mean that he rejected a fundamentally radical political stance.

Lesbian separatism was an extreme minority viewpoint in second-wave feminism and is basically nonexistent in the third. Perhaps you only mean to condemn them, but I'm pretty sure most feminists who rejected female supremacy, which is basically all of them, would still characterize their philosophy as aggressive. Whether it's right or wrong to do so, feminism is up against attitudes that went unchallenged for thousands of years! How could it be anything but aggressive and antagonizing?

Yes, I was unnecessarily blunt and cynical in my previous post... Not very political correct I guess. I didn't mean to say that feminism in theory equals fascism, but you could say that it does equal fascism in practice. What I meant to say is that most women that are radically feminist, can be seen as incredibly traditional and anti-intellectual. I constantly see these hardcore feminists doing things that are, when you think about it, based around the female community, they are based on how women should communicate their difficulties to each other and form a front against the unwilling and oppressive men in their society. This seems all very authoritarian to me. These women are being indoctrinated into wanting to become self-concious, beautiful career tigers who are superior to men. The original theory of feminism is, of course, very egalitarian in nature, but it seems as though there's nothing left of this egalitarianism in modern feminism. Feminism has become obsessively women-centric, it has lost it's ethical goals and it seems to do nothing but promote the superiority of women.
There's nothing wrong with being blunt and cynical; it's simply that your meaning was unclear.

Could you produce some examples of prominent modern feminists "indoctrinating [women] into wanting to become self-conscious, beautiful career tigers who are superior to men?"
 

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Do you agree or do you think I'm totally misinterpreting female behaviour and the female psyche?
I tried but can't understand what you've written. so I don't/can't agree. xD but also I don't think there is something comprehensive and exclusive that could accurately be labeled as "female behavior" or "the female psyche". we're individuals! (just like everybody else!)
 

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We're getting kinda off-topic here, but I find it interesting that most teenage girls think more highly of their friends than they do of their family members.
So do all teenagers for that matter. This does not correlate to gender, so I am not sure how or why you decided to tie this into feminism. That it has something to do with finding mates - possibly, if you read about monkeys for example the way younger male monkeys get to have sex early on is by challenging and ganging up on older male monkeys, so in order to have a chance to procreate they have to come to devalue and challenge the hierarchy when they come of age. People of course aren't monkeys but teenagers get rebellious in all countries and all societies and start valuing their peers over their parents and teachers (and if you think about it, could it be for purposes of challenging the elder 'pillars' of the hierarchy?). So imho this is more of a biologically pre-programmed event that just happens at this age in humans rather than cultural phenomenon that society conditions young people into doing and neither does it apply only to girls.

That people in general need to think for themselves more and "make up their own minds about their views in life" I completely agree, feminism or no feminism. But there is definitely a strong drive to conform and blend in with the group and take group's values as your own, because just like in that example of monkeys that I've given an individual can reap greater material and social benefits through association with a group and working in unison with other individuals rather than standing alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There's nothing wrong with being blunt and cynical; it's simply that your meaning was unclear.

Could you produce some examples of prominent modern feminists "indoctrinating [women] into wanting to become self-conscious, beautiful career tigers who are superior to men?"
Well, first of all, it are not necessarily the prominent feminists that are indoctrinating teenage girls. I actually think that most teenage girls don't value the opinions of older feminist big-shots at all, to the average teenage girl these are probably just old hags talking about ideas that might be interesting or good, but the prominent feminists have no direct influence on the behaviour of these teenagers. However, the second feminist wave and all kinds of other social changes have made the female segments of our societies post-feminist and most teenage girls have grown up with the accompanying post-feminist values. These values are very much focused on the group of women by which a girl surrounds herself; it is expected of a teenage girl that she more or less turns her back to her family unit and focuses on another social unit, namely her group of (mostly female) friends. And it is this group that indoctrinates the individual girl, especially in high school it is important to most girls which group of people she surrounds herself with. The group will give the girl her identity and it is absolutely essential that a girl conforms to the social standards of her group in order to stay in the group. Furthermore, I thought it was quite obvious that the social standard in these groups of female teenagers suggest that there's some sort of ideal to be lived up to and this ideal seems to be that of a 'beautiful and self-conscious woman'. I also think that it is quite obvious that what is now considered to be beautiful in the western societies wasn't always seen as beautiful, and self-consciousness wasn't a norm for a 'good woman' in the past either. In the early 19th century the ideal woman was considered to be obedient to her husband, selfless, family-oriented and didn't have any sexual feelings of her own. Now, I'm not saying that I want to go back to those days! But I am saying that it is time for women to make up their own minds about what their own personal idea of an ideal woman is, and I want them to stop following this prescribed post-feminist ideal of a self-conscious and aesthetically correct, working woman. If a girl doesn't want to be a make-up wearing doll than she should have all the opportunity to choose her own style; if a woman wants to be a traditional mother living at home than she shouldn't be seen as unmotivated or not fully aware of her rights as a woman; if a woman wants to live up to the post-feminist ideal than that's okay too... but it should be out of her own free will and not because it's fashionable to do so or because of peer-pressure, and I don't believe that a lot of women are actually making this choice on a conscious level, if that were the case then I can't understand why there are so many girls who are all aspiring to be the same ideal woman...

btw Of course men are also experiencing pressure from their peers, but I think they tend to be far less focused on the group (which might indicate a better position of men in our societies because they seem to be better equipped for individualism, it might also have a biological/neurological cause though).
 

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If you're an egalitarian and your society isn't, an aggressive stance is warranted.
An aggressive stance is never warranted.

Martin Luther King, your "good" example, aggressively pushed an agenda to the point of antagonizing others. After his conversion to Islam, Malcolm X embraced white men as his brothers, but that didn't mean that he rejected a fundamentally radical political stance.
Martin Luther King Jr. didn't antagonize others in the sense of promoting the mistreatment of others or the supremacy of his own perceived race; he merely created a counter-movement, but thanks for taking my statement out of context. And your second point isn't really relevant.

Lesbian separatism was an extreme minority viewpoint in second-wave feminism and is basically nonexistent in the third. Perhaps you only mean to condemn them, but I'm pretty sure most feminists who rejected female supremacy, which is basically all of them, would still characterize their philosophy as aggressive. Whether it's right or wrong to do so, feminism is up against attitudes that went unchallenged for thousands of years! How could it be anything but aggressive and antagonizing?
Indeed, it was an extreme minority, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and there are examples of it in society. Moreover, not all females reject female supremacy entirely; some aren't so overt about it but merely hint at it through indirect means. "Be a woman!; let no one tell you what to do." Often times, these messages come with unstated connotations and undertones that females pick up on, especially the impressionable ones. So clearly, there is a right way of promoting female equality and there's definitely many wrong ways. Period. (And again, you took the word aggressive out of context. It's okay to seek equality by pushing a little, but not the point of really causing tension between the genders). And it doesn't matter how many years it's gone unchallenged; in the modern era, progress is possible and all it requires is people willing to promote new images - not warmongers who go out and seek conflict to push their agendas through tension. That's all. You cannot justify or rationalize a militant stance against sexism; it's ridiculous. Sexism is sexism; by promoting anti-sexism, we'll move forward and away from these ridiculous behaviors - not by created a new brand of sexism. You don't put out a fire with more fire; it's self-defeating and counter-productive.
 

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Even though I am only 16, I like to think of myself as a feminist and, in my opinion, those women who are pushing to be "self-conscious, beautiful career tigers who are superior to men" could be, in fact, using whatever resources they can to enhance the rights of females.

By becoming a business woman, you may in turn hire more women into your team as you are promoted. This may not be a bias, in fact, as women they may be more open to the idea that other women may be more capable/intelligent than they are, and, although I don't want to make sweeping statements, I think many males are (usually subconciously) intimidated by females they see as more capable than them (especially in a career environment) and may not give them equal career oppurtunites as some may feel that their masculinity is at stake. Therefore, a woman who has used her "feminine charm" so, to speak in such a way as this may actually be opening up the career world to women, as what they are doing will have a ripple effect in both inspiration and job oppurtunities. I think (if done in the correct manner) then this is a much more intelligent move than trying to be the complete opposite of what common society perceives the 'perfect woman' to be. After all, if you want to make changes to the views of society, you cannot be seen as an outcast to that society. What I'm not saying, however, is that every teenage girl should aspire to fit into this ridiculous image, just that trying to be the opposite, for the sole cause of rebellion, is not going to gain much of a response.

However, I am also against those women who claim to be feminists and yet play the 'I am a pathetic female, please come to my rescue' card. Feminism (in my opinion) is all about the empowerment and strength of women, so that they are not perceived as inferior to males, merely different.

I do disagree, however, with your statement that modern feminists are telling women how to live their lives. In my opinion, they are simply showing them the alternative, and if a woman wants to seize that with both hands, then good on them. Furthermore, I do agree with you that the media hype today that is encouraging teenage girls to be some imaginary, perfect goddess is wrong. However, I think this would also apply to teenage boys, who need to somehow come across as the macho male to fit a social stereotype. Neither of these stereotypes are really helping towards equality between the sexes, but I don't think you can just attribute this to females.

...okay, just read that back and I'm not sure if it's really answering your question, but never mind - maybe just a different point of view was useful?? :blushed:
 

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I'm a bit confused here. Are you (Elwood) saying that the problem with modern society is that people want to be rich and good-looking?

What is considered beautiful varies through place and time, but beauty is always - by definition - preferred to ugliness. In earlier times, when fat predominated among the rich, thinness wasn't as important at marker, but they still had their own standards. Likewise how people get access to resources changes across societies and eras, but most people are always going to prefer more resources to less. When women were kept out of wage labor, their primary means of securing more resources was a richer husband, and so seeking that was the social ideal. Under present circumstances the material importance of a rich husband has declined - though hardly vanished - and the importance of getting a high-paying job for oneself has increased.

I also think you seem to be using "self-conscious" to mean the exact opposite of its conventional usage, but again, I could be misinterpreting.
 

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Betty Friedan and other liberal feminists often see precisely the radicalism of radical feminism as potentially undermining the gains of the women's movement with polarizing rhetoric that invites backlash and hold that they overemphasize sexual politics at the expense of political reform. Other critics of radical feminism from the political left, including socialist feminists, strongly disagree with the radical feminist position that the oppression of women is fundamental to all other forms of oppression; these critics hold that issues of race and of class are as important or more important than issues about gender.
Essentially, I personally oppose militant, radical feminism. I'm more in favor of liberal feminism. And it is true that radical feminists are a minority, but I still see strands of it every so often in society, and I find it appalling. It's a good thing the liberal brand is in the majority. I really wouldn't stand society much at all if most feminists were thrusting their agendas left and right from a truly radical standpoint. I'm all for female equality - I just think it should be done in a peaceful manner, without completely overlooking social harmony, because without keeping a clear focus on social harmony, there's no point attempting to fight for equality, and then you're just fighting for a new social order that oppresses someone else, which is completely self-defeating and pointless. Have a good day. Now you guys know my stance. I will speak no further.
 

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Perhaps we're talking past each other. Could you define "aggressive" and "militant" for the present context?
It doesn't matter. You essentially probably misinterpreted my position. Perhaps my recent post will clear things up. I'm in favor of liberal feminism, but not radical feminism. It does exist, so I do think it's worth speaking about, and it does tie into how some females are affected by these strong claims made by some feminists that females should become so empowered that they are tied down by no one, which can lead to potential gender polarization. And that's not good at all for any of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Even though I am only 16, I like to think of myself as a feminist and, in my opinion, those women who are pushing to be "self-conscious, beautiful career tigers who are superior to men" could be, in fact, using whatever resources they can to enhance the rights of females.

By becoming a business woman, you may in turn hire more women into your team as you are promoted. This may not be a bias, in fact, as women they may be more open to the idea that other women may be more capable/intelligent than they are, and, although I don't want to make sweeping statements, I think many males are (usually subconciously) intimidated by females they see as more capable than them (especially in a career environment) and may not give them equal career oppurtunites as some may feel that their masculinity is at stake. Therefore, a woman who has used her "feminine charm" so, to speak in such a way as this may actually be opening up the career world to women, as what they are doing will have a ripple effect in both inspiration and job oppurtunities. I think (if done in the correct manner) then this is a much more intelligent move than trying to be the complete opposite of what common society perceives the 'perfect woman' to be. After all, if you want to make changes to the views of society, you cannot be seen as an outcast to that society. What I'm not saying, however, is that every teenage girl should aspire to fit into this ridiculous image, just that trying to be the opposite, for the sole cause of rebellion, is not going to gain much of a response.
I don't want girls to aspire to be the exact opposite of what is commonly perceived as 'the ideal woman', I want them to think about what they are doing! It seems as though they are just blindly following this elitist post-feminist perspective because of social pressure. Their identity is being mass-produced by society, they are aspiring to be the same too much. I'm just saying that they are conforming to this prescribed identity for all the wrong reasons. Furthermore, you yourself seem to think very much in an 'us versus them' way, you say women are more capable to decide who's the best fit for a job than men, because men have a subconscious inferiority-complex. That's exactly the kind of gender supremacist opinion that I am against. You pretend you're for equality between men and women, but in fact you are saying that women are a bit more capable to lead and to see talents in others, your opinion up till now is a perfect representation of the hypocrite and secretly supremacist views that modern feminism instils into many teenage girls' thinking.

However, I am also against those women who claim to be feminists and yet play the 'I am a pathetic female, please come to my rescue' card. Feminism (in my opinion) is all about the empowerment and strength of women, so that they are not perceived as inferior to males, merely different.
Why do women need to be strong? Why can't they choose themselves whether they want to be a though working gal or a damsel-in-distress? I never hear people telling me that I need to be strong because I'm a man, but for women this is apparently a different case. They all need to be strong and self-empowered. Once again you are portraying the exact same thinking patterns that I find so harmful in the stereotypical modern feminist.

I do disagree, however, with your statement that modern feminists are telling women how to live their lives. In my opinion, they are simply showing them the alternative, and if a woman wants to seize that with both hands, then good on them. Furthermore, I do agree with you that the media hype today that is encouraging teenage girls to be some imaginary, perfect goddess is wrong. However, I think this would also apply to teenage boys, who need to somehow come across as the macho male to fit a social stereotype. Neither of these stereotypes are really helping towards equality between the sexes, but I don't think you can just attribute this to females.
I think we can attribute this more to females than to men, because I don't feel any social pressure to be a certain kind of man (and nor do my friends, I have asked some of them to be sure). Luckily, there's not an omnipresent expectation for boys to live up to. There are expectations and there is peer pressure for men too, but they are the bare minimum, while females are bombarded with stimulation, they really believe that they need to make a move in order to catch up to the men. In fact you yourself believe this too, otherwise you wouldn't find it necessary for women to be more represented in the "career world". And I believe that this kind of 'we-are-going-to-get-them-back' thinking is very harmful to society in the long run. Feminists need to show more vision and less supremacist dogmas... only then women will be free of unnecessary social constraints.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm a bit confused here. Are you (Elwood) saying that the problem with modern society is that people want to be rich and good-looking?
No, I'm saying that I find it very sick that they all have the same view on what it is to be beautiful or successful in life. It's almost like they are suffering from some sort of mass-delusion.

I also think you seem to be using "self-conscious" to mean the exact opposite of its conventional usage, but again, I could be misinterpreting.
No, but you're probably confused because I have also called them conformists. Am I right?
 

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No, I'm saying that I find it very sick that they all have the same view on what it is to be beautiful or successful in life. It's almost like they are suffering from some sort of mass-delusion
My impression is that, as a result of general social fragmentation, there's more diversity in beauty standards and success criteria than there has been in any previous society. There are, of course, broad trends, but is there anything about contemporary Western society that strikes you as particularly monolithic?

No, but you're probably confused because I have also called them conformists. Am I right?
No, I'm confused by your claim that the female ideal of the past was distinctly less self-conscious than today. Women today are expected to be much more confident than the women of the past, if not as confident as the men of today.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My impression is that, as a result of general social fragmentation, there's more diversity in beauty standards and success criteria than there has been in any previous society. There are, of course, broad trends, but is there anything about contemporary Western society that strikes you as particularly monolithic?
Here I just completely disagree. Globalisation has made us more the same than ever before, aesthetic values have become more and more the same and the world of fashion is now a global network. All over the world girls are dying to buy the new clothes from the best designers from Italy or god-knows-where. I can't see how there's more diversity now than... let's say a century ago.

No, I'm confused by your claim that the female ideal of the past was distinctly less self-conscious than today. Women today are expected to be much more confident than the women of the past, if not as confident as the men of today.
Could be because I'm Dutch. In Dutch being self-conscious means being conscious of one's place in the world and one's opportunities... is that not also the English definition?
 

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Here I just completely disagree. Globalisation has made us more the same than ever before, aesthetic values have become more and more the same and the world of fashion is now a global network. All over the world girls are dying to buy the new clothes from the best designers from Italy or god-knows-where. I can't see how there's more diversity now than... let's say a century ago.
I would certainly agree that there's less global diversity, and that there are aspects in which this is a bad thing. I would say, though, that any particular person is exposed to a more diverse set of norms and standards than she would have been a century or half-century ago. Would you disagree?

Could be because I'm Dutch. In Dutch self-conscious means conscious of one's place in the world and one's opportunities... is that not also the English definition?
Ah! Another simple communication error! In English "self-consciousness" means being aware that others are watching you, fear of being judged, &c.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I would certainly agree that there's less global diversity, and that there are aspects in which this is a bad thing. I would say, though, that any particular person is exposed to a more diverse set of norms and standards than she would have been a century or half-century ago. Would you disagree?
Well, I don't know for sure actually. But if you are right and we are exposed to more norms and standards, then wouldn't it be more logical that teenage girls are all aspiring to be different? Why does the majority of the teenage girls aspire to be the same... It seems that most of them want to be hedonistic and beautiful, and they all seem to have the same idea of what feminine beauty is. They don't make a very diverse impression if you ask me, most girls my age seem to like the same clothes, hairstyles, nail-polishers etc. and when I'm watching to a documentary about the USA or Brazil, I'll probably notice that the teenage girls over there are wearing the same clothes from the same brands...


Ah! Another simple communication error! In English "self-consciousness" means being aware that others are watching you, fear of being judged, &c.
Well, at least I have learned something new today! :laughing:
 
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