Recently, we saw an article floating around the internet, as articles do, on how to remain ladylike in the wilderness. Without diving into the potentially endless ‘politically correct’ argument, the article rubbed some people up the wrong way for obvious reasons.
Inevitably, that kind of article will encourage two strong opposing reactions. Of course, there’s no denying that some females do actually want to remain ‘ladylike’ (we’re assuming that means hygienic and looking and feeling fresh?), as do many men, by the way. Contrarily, there are those who absolutely love to embrace the wilderness for what it is and throw away the societal norms and expectations.
We’re in no way putting down the aforementioned article. In fact, we’re pretty sure it provided solutions for many. However, it has inspired us to write an opposing article on how/why to embrace and make the most of the wilderness, ditching the pressures you may normally feel to be ‘ladylike’.
Societal Expectations, Norms, and Pressures
There’s never been a time where stereotyping genders has been more controversial and openly discussed than now. We’re not writing this article to open up the debate, but it’s useful to preface our next few words by mentioning what’s going on today.
Whether it is through want or pressure, it’s pretty hard to deny that women (and men) are somewhat expected to look and behave a certain way as they go about their jobs and day-to-day life. Plenty live happily without questioning this and an ever-growing number choose to ignore the pressures, often expressing clear views on how it can be destructive to your self-esteem, for example.
Whether you have strong opinions one way or another, or are simply indifferent, heading out to the wilderness offers the perfect excuse to ditch your normal routine – a routine that can involve masking imperfections with makeup, worrying about how many hairs are on your legs, and how you smell. After all, the wilderness itself is perfectly imperfect.
Embracing the Stubble and Worrying Less
Whether it’s a camping trip for the weekend or a multi-day hike, you want to be able to go all-in on the experience, without your normal daily worries. Have you ever gone somewhere and totally lost cell signal? It feels incredibly liberating, right?
At home, you tend not to notice the micro pressure that comes with feeling the need to check every notification and constantly catch up with what’s going on in the world. It’s not until you’re forced to let go of this that you experience a needed sense of freedom.
Take a moment to think about what other parts of your normal routine cause you to feel said ‘micro pressure’. The chances are that there are several things you do from day to day which you could do without. Is it shaving? Maybe it’s the makeup? It might be that, just like until you’re forced to drop the cell phone, you’ve never really given yourself the chance to let go of these things, the chance to feel liberated, and the chance to worry less.
Of course, every individual (man or woman) has their own set of hygienic standards to which they enjoy to adhere. Most of these, presumably, include teeth brushing and good toilet etiquette. This article isn’t suggesting that you suddenly drop all hygiene standards, but rather it is encouraging you to question your normal routine and how that makes you feel. Does it actually even prevent you from exploring the wilderness as much as you could?
Bringing it Home
You never know, by doing this experiment for a couple of days while camping, you might find something that you want to (dis)continue when you’re back home. It could be something as simple as not carrying a mirror with you everywhere. Leaving the mirror behind, if even just for one outdoor trip, will force you to accept that you might just have three hairs out of place. Deal with it.
Lastly, if it’s not for you, it could be for your kids. Teaching them to be happy and to not feel the need to succumb to daily ‘micro pressures’ can only be positive, right?