To quote my 13-year-old daughter, “It is easier to be a boy than a girl!” Although that may not be completely true, I have to admit it often feels like that. There are many double standards for men and women, but there is not enough room in cyberspace to discuss them all here.

The double standards for appearance have always bugged me. It starts early on. When my daughters went to preschool, they wore cute dresses and barrettes or ribbons in their hair. They were dressed similarly to the other girls. When my son went, he wore those Nike elastic-waist running pants and a t-shirt. Sometimes he went to school with bed head. He also looked like his peers.

It’s no different for adults. Everyday women spend hours putting together the right outfit – one that is in style, that compliments their body shape and that no one has seen them in. Men grab something quickly from the closet that is relatively clean and easy to put on. Look at business attire. Women wear dresses, pants and skirts trying to break up their style and not appear to have the same look every day. They devote several pages in woman’s magazines every season to show us ways to stretch a dozen key items into 30 days of outfits.

Men put on a suit – black, navy, gray – not much to look at. How many suits does the average business man have? Five? Seven? Ten? Add a dozen different shirts and ties and you have got yourself a wardrobe! Oh, I forgot the shoes – one pair of black dress shoes and one pair of brown dress shoes. Women have many, many shoes.

In addition to clothes, men’s general appearance is pretty low maintenance. How many hair styles are available to men? A handful. Now what about women? Hundreds! Men can shower and walk out the door in 10 minutes. No blow drying or straightening. No searching for undergarments that help tuck in or boost up. No make up. Half the time, they don’t even need to shave.

Women – why have we allowed an unshaven face to be sexy? As it is, they only have to shave their face while we are plucking, waxing and shaving everything from our eyebrows to our toes. Why are we letting them get away with that? What if we quit shaving? Would we be considered sexy? Would Hollywood start casting women with bushy eyebrows and hairy legs?

Don’t even get me started with aging. Too late! It is unfair that men can have gray hair and look more distinguished and more qualified for the promotion. Gray haired women look old. They look tired. They look like life has passed them by. It is the same with weight. Men can put on 10 lbs and no one notices. Put those same pounds on women and people start talking. Why is that fair? Women carry the world’s children. These children stretch out our body and take away our sleep. Can you imagine if a man had to bear their children and be the primary caregiver? What do you think they would look like?

After my daughter’s statement, I tried to come up with ways that it was easier to be a woman but I was stumped. If any of you can come up with something, please feel free to share.

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