Bravery, Not Perfection
We all know how stereotypes work. You know that girls like pink, and boys like blue. You know that girls wear dresses, not boys. We have grown up in a society where these stereotypes, right or wrong, exist all around us, so, to have them ingrained in our minds is completely understandable. This article is based on one such stereotype, and this is it:
Girls – be perfect; boys – be brave.
In a recent American study on bright Y6 students, when presented with a set of challenges, the boys took risks and had a go whereas the girls on the whole gave up incredibly quickly: they didn’t want to make a mistake and get them wrong. They were more concerned about being perfect than brave. The point is, boys are socialised to be brave, and girls are socialised to be perfect.
In our daily lives, we girls need to make changes, to show ourselves that we are brave, and that we are just as capable as boys are of being outside our comfort zones. Eventually we need to try to make bravery become second nature to us.
So, seen a new club you want to join, but you’re new to the activity and are afraid people will laugh? Just sign up. There’s nothing to say you shouldn’t, so just do it! None of your friends are going and you don’t want to be alone? Take this as a chance to make friends.
It’s OK to get things wrong.
An American IT teacher tells a story that in one of his coding classes, after an hour of coding and writing algorithms, a girl backspaced (or deleted) her entire code simply because she got a few parts wrong, and rather than reveal the mistakes to the teacher, finished the lesson with a blank screen. That girl would rather show a perfect nothing than the brave progress she had made, with a few mistakes from which she could learn.
So now think about how you could be braver in your life. Try that new sport! Wear your hair like that! Tell your teacher you don’t get it, even if the class has to wait a couple more minutes for you to catch up. The thing is, human behaviour is often contagious, like yawning. Be brave, and others will follow. So why not just try one brave thing this week? Sure, you might be scared, but once you have been brave, you’ll see just how rewarding it really is.
SHS will become the bravest band of confident young ladies, if we all are just a tiny bit less perfect, and a lot more brave.
Kasia Middleton (Y9)