“Seeking perfection is probably the best way to feel bad about yourself.”
One of the best advices I learnt from the book. From now on, it’s not going to be the perfection I’ll strive for, but rather the best I can possibly do will be the motive.
There exist some books that might not be as popular as others, that might not have as high ratings (in this case- no rating at all on Goodreads) as others, but none of these factors can veil the worth of such good books. Now this book – UNFOLLOW (Living life on your own terms)– that I finished recently is one of those not-so-popular books. This 200 something pages book written by a UK based psychologist, Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, is, not a must-read perhaps, but worth reading for any millennial girl (boys can read too to gain some rational insights).
Once I started reading it, I got too engaged and didn’t want to put it down; and that was the moment I decided that this book is worth 4 stars but then I proceeded to further chapters (the whole book’s divided into 8 chapters), and to give a rating of 3 suited me for its overall appeal.
Does that mean only the initial chapters of the book are good? No. In fact, what is all there in these 8 chapters! Let me put it out for you in here succinctly,
Chapter 1– Illusion of attaining the Perfect Lives; with notions of which we have been constantly fed for years and years of our lives.
We still have old-fashioned pressures of being perfect girlfriends and wives, as well as the more modern-day demands that we be physically beautiful, ageless and sexy, have brilliant entrepreneurial minds and be creative and ambitious. The result? We are always feeling anxious that we are not doing or being enough and we constantly feel less than perfect and guilty for not being able to have it all.
Chapter 2– Few insights on how Feminism started and what it was originally meant to be a feminist; to stop putting our self-esteem eggs into our appearance and realizing how much enough is Hot Enough?!
It is frightening how little emphasis today is placed on the emotional and intellectual aspects of who we are – that while we are inundated with ways to ‘fix’ our appearance, very little value is put on the way we think, feel and relate to those around us.
Chapter 3– With the help-books/ guides for everything available around, we react not how we want to but how we should; Online Me – Offline Me: Who Am I Supposed to Be? gets discussed in here.
Chapter 4– The Need to Please- Pressure, Expectations and Saying No– when pleasing others, even when it comes to physical needs, doesn’t stay a characteristic of ours, rather becomes a way of living.
The fact that gender-based play patterns tend to make more allowances for ‘naughty’ behavior from boys – meaning that ‘naughtiness’ in boys is somehow expected and therefore more acceptable- may go some way to explaining why guilt tends to be felt more intently by women…
Chapter 5– Super-sexualise Me– How females have been getting objectified for ages and, now, with its omnipresence, objectifying females and their body parts has become second nature of ours.
The objectification of women has become normalized; it feels like that’s how it’s supposed to be, so the things that should incense us, that should make us stand up and shout ‘WTF!’ simply go unnoticed or remain unchallenged.
Chapter 6– Women is women’s best friend and the worst enemy as well- this’s not just a random statement, it is based on facts and figures. Why does a woman become a woman’s enemy and how to tackle one is discussed in Avoiding the Bully.
…the instant nature of the online world doesn’t allow the space and time for reflection.
Chapter 7– How leaving our parents’ home, after completing school to be on our own, be thrilling as well as scary? How we lose our individuality, overlook our own likes and dislikes, to fit-in in a group? How being alone isn’t even that daunting a phase as it sounds is talked about in Going It Alone.
Chapter 8– There is not only one crisis namely mid-life crisis, but, now, we’ve a quarter-life crisis too. When the ones in the prime of their youth start dreading the old-age, which is decades away from them, then is the time to talk about Quarter-life Crisis and the Fear of Getting Older.
We’re used to instant gratification, but one of the things that psychologists have known for years is that delaying gratification, learning how to put in the work and wait for the reward, is key to success in later life.
Now, what I liked of all this were the themes that I could relate to or was curious enough to get into the depths of. For me such chapters were 1st, 2nd, 5th and 8th.
Throughout the course of this book, Dr. Linda has taken the reference of various surveys and their results to put forth her arguments, which is the right way of doing it. There are no stray comments, neither arguments, nor any blame-game is played. Even though the book is written from a woman’s perspective, why it is solely not the men or the women to be blamed for the patriarchal society we’re now living in, is explored in various segments by Dr. Linda. Perhaps, this is not the best book in its theme (which is varied by the way, but feminism is in the core of all of it); after all, with the wave of feminism floating around, it won’t take me by surprise if I find hundreds of books solely on this theme. But, this I can assure you, spending time reading it won’t make you regret.
It was while this reading, the topics, I so wanted to write about, not from weeks but months, resurfaced and, thanks to this book, I will soon be covering and exploring all those themes, one-by-one, here with you all.
Life anyway isn’t easy, and we, through our conscious efforts, make it more miserable for us. And, sometimes, even on realizing it, we do nothing to save ourselves; as if saving oneself from the misery is a task for others. Not to take one’s own responsibility is the worst we can do to ourselves, and we do it, without any guilt. Don’t we? This book will explain you the how and why and what can be done to undo it.
With a dive into this book, everything rose back to the surface- feminism, objectification of women and their body parts, the stress we delve ourselves into through social media, the porn industry, not mid-life but quarter-life crisis, fear of getting old.
So above mentioned are few of the themes that I want to explore, discuss about. We know we’ve problems around; so instead of shunning, let’s talk about them in the forth-coming weeks. Shall we?
Which are the best books or articles that you’ve read on similar themes? Do share the names; I’d love to gain exposure and knowledge through the best of the sources.
IF YOU ARE A FIRST-TIME VISITOR OF MY BLOG, DO REFER ‘First-Timers’. IT WOULD HELP YOU IN EXPLORING THE PLACE.
No credit for the Image used
Copyright © 2017 by Idle Muser. All rights reserved.