Perspectives In Social Constructivism
You're a girl you can't go out. You're a girl you can't be talking so much. You're a girl "chilling" is not part of your dictionary. You're a girl it’s not worth dreaming so big. You're a girl you don't have a voice. You're a girl you can't talk to boys. You can't do this, you can't do that, you can't do this, you can't do that, and you can't do anything! You're a girl, things are just not the same. Well, let me make this clear, I am not that typical "girl". I will only do everything and anything you tell me not to do. I will talk to everyone, I will do what I desire, I will exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy, and most of all I will be my own voice. In my own experience, it has been too easy for people to label me based off my body language in a social setting. Welcome to the story of my life. Social constructivism has an inescapable impact on my life, specifically when the media enforces a certain body image that effects my self-esteem through the ways I chose to dress, act to be socially accepted and understand why sports empowers me. Growing up I was known as the class clowns, the one who constantly made sure that everyone is happy in an enthusiastic way.
My parents would label me as a squirrel because of my inability to follow instructions and sit in one space. As an adolescent female child, I understood that I had to act a certain way to be acceptable in the society. Being a girl, was harder for me to act that certain way to understand the expectations that this society has painted for me as a growing child. I never understood why I had to follow such a socially constructed notion of the “ideal” women. Women in this society are known to being physically attractive and that women should strive to achieve and maintain that certain goal. Aside from that stereotype, body language and the way you present your self in public can really influence the stereotypical things people would speak about you. I’ve been named “chatter box” by my fellow elementary friends who never took the time to study me.
This name followed me throughout high school, as I was known for the loud and most social student in the school. I then again ended up just being a normal girl who was being called a “chatter box” without people knowing my story or who I really was. Then again, the way my body language expressed the engagement in talking and taking that extra step to get to know people at the time. I was very smiling, happy and helpful student which indicated to students that I was more of an outgoing person to be around. No matter how friendly and talkative I could be, people never knew the shy and closed off side to me. In different settings such as at work or at my language classes I was a very closed off person. I had the body language of sitting in my own bubble rather then popping people’s bubbles to engage with them. I always wondered what new nicknames I would received in these settings but realized that wasn’t even noticed enough to be the talk of the crowd. Ideally our bodies control the way in which we are observed and presented by the society due to social constructivism. Throughout my childhood days, I’ve always been told through family members and friends that I’ve never acted as the ideal girl. Friends have used such words as “why are you sitting with your legs wide open”, “why are you running around instead of sitting in one spot” or “why are you wearing clothing in a sophisticated colour”.
After I grew into my teenage years I was labelled as a tomboy, a girl who shows characteristics and behaviours which are very similar in being a boy. I then wondered, why not treat everyone equally for their own physical and cultural choices, rather then giving them a certain label? I realized through the stereotypes, that females are supposed to be close off which explains the introverted body language while men are more enthusiastic and shows the extroverted body language. I would often be ignored by the male population who stereotypically thought that females couldn’t played sport just because of the ideologies that only men are fast and tough enough to handle sports. Little do male athlete know that females are just as tough as them, even if society doesn’t emphasize us that way. In the South Asian community for a girl to study abroad in the sports medicine field, is still a conflict of interest. In my community I grew up with the belief that, no matter how much we may excel our better half you must always be more qualified and respected. If that means throwing away societies ideology of females being weaker then men, then its time to prove this society that we females can be just as powerful too.
As a growing child I could vividly remember my wardrobe going from neon pink to a variation of plain and neutral colours; mostly dark blue and green. It was just a matter of time that I wasn’t consciously having this sudden change. Just a hyper active girl finding her new modern look to eagerly get along with other students. To me, it all just felt like a blur and something I couldn’t recall on when or how the change began. This new me look really gave the way people around me to understand my personality. My clothing probably suggested to viewers that I wasn’t a very spirited girl, rather a girl who decided to wear deep dark colours to blend in with the crowd and to not be approached. I was more comfortable in my sophisticated look which didn’t draw any attention towards myself. My peers would come to school dressed in some goofy t-shirts and patterns all over their pants while id avoid all those styles and went with something more closed off. My wardrobe also went from wearing pink dresses and bright red coats to simply a basic comfortable collection of plain sweats and sweaters. I find it interesting how girls my age come to school in such passionate and crowd-pleasing outfits while I end up being the total opposite. I can say that the way we portray yourself through either the way we dress or the colour scheme we go through really emphasises the sense of where we belong in our society.
The way we socially construct our society is merely on us though the way to chose to act, dress, talk, and walk. However, we have constructed various meanings for way people do certain acts to present their bodies, that are not necessarily true. Social constructivism has played a role in defining who I am, playing a role in awareness of others and still understanding what stereotypes influence the society I live in.