Being a woman, do you ever find yourself changing something about yourself to feel safer or be taken more seriously?

‘Yes, sadly I find myself worrying about being seen as ‘too much’ in terms of being too loud and annoying simply just for having a voice. Sometimes I change the way I dress and present myself for safety, I don’t always speak up for myself when I should. I have also spent a long time trying to hide parts of myself that are typically more ‘feminine’ because I don’t want to be judged for it, this is something I am working on however.’ 

‘Yes, often men are surprised how direct I am. I have been called bossy in the past, but I believe this is just a stereotype placed on woman that says we can’t take charge of situations. A man in the same position as me would be called decisive but I am called bossy. How could that be seen as fair or equal? “I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitions and doesn’t mind leading.” Amy Poehler’

‘I don’t want to change for anyone, yet I can adjust to new situations. Changing yourself is not you; in my perspective, it’s the same as attempting to be someone else.’

‘Many times if I’m walking alone or cutting through Highwoods country park I will keep my keys in a certain stance in my hands or pick up a stone in case.. (however for all I know some men could do this also!) but I suppose it is through fear of being attacked by a man.  Sometimes I wear makeup to feel more confident if I know I’ve got to make big statements or feel its going to be a big day to help me feel more confident in these situations. If I see men looking at me in an uncomfortable [way] I will change my facial expressions to very blunt and disgusted and make sure I give them eye contact to show I am not approving of it as a kind of defence. (I would never dream of acting the way some men do towards anybody). Overall upon reflection I have changed the way I behave to feel safer or changed the way I look to be taken more seriously. This can be a positive but also a negative.’ 

‘I have changed my appearance before to feel safer or to be taken more seriously. I still do it nowadays but used to do a lot more when I was younger.’

‘Yes, clothing wise and have worried about grey hair and general ageing.  Have experienced being put down because of these.  I also often change my walking routes to avoid feeling vulnerable in isolated areas where young men tend to hang around.’

‘I am pro ‘change’. I’ve always been the kind of person who liked seeing herself evolving, shedding my old skin and “get born” in a brand new one. Confidence, intelligence and courage are the three most important qualities that a woman can have and that she can work on.’ 

‘Yes but this is more in regards to my physical appearance. I feel the need to have a new outfit for every event I go to so people will think I am “glamorous” I feel the need to dye my hair so that people will think I look fresh and not the same and boring all the time. I feel the need to constantly be on a diet because I feel that if I gain weight I will be considered as unattractive and I also in 2020, got lip fillers because I was under the impression that if I had lip filler I would get more likes on instagram, which looking back, was a pretty silly decision, but I guess that’s how far some of us women are willing to go to ensure positive public opinion.’

‘Having to change different routes because of men or drugs.’

‘There are times when I think about changing my appearance through cosmetic surgery, clothing, hair and makeup etc. not even necessarily for me, but for other people, in order to be ‘liked more’ and to fit societal standards. It doesn’t feel nice being in this mindset, but then I remember that if I’m trying to do something for someone else and not myself, it’s not worth doing.’

‘Yes the way dress- both socially and in the workplace.’

‘I dress differently when on my own, if going for a walk- I would not wear shorts.’

‘As [a] woman I do find myself changing my appearance, the way I dress, and act will be the first impression that people will get from me. When I’m alone in public, I find my self covering up, acting modest so I don’t get called out or looks on my body. I feel more safe that way and get less disgusted from seeing how people would of reacted to me for looking a certain way. Makeup really changes how I look. When I put someone on I feel older, taken more seriously of, more attractive. Without makeup, I really just feel like a child, I feel unprepared and less confident. I do get worried in my appearance, I think about how other people would perceive me to be.’

‘I don’t think so.’ 

‘Often! At night I will change my clothing, hair and make up in order to feel safer. I will also change these alongside my personality in order to be taken more seriously.’

‘I feel like I act in more typically masculine ways to appear stronger (wear trousers, actively take up more space, speak louder) in order for men to take me more seriously professionally.’

‘I mean, I try to wear bulkier clothes when I go out at night simply because I feel unsafe going out at night alone as a woman. To be taken more seriously I tend to wear make up and dress in business clothes because I feel like it earns me more respect.’


‘Pretend I’m on the phone walking at night.’ 

[Y]es. a lot of the time. [I] feel as though my fashion is held back in a way that [I]’m not as expressive as [I] want to be.’ 

‘Yes. I could easily take a 15 minute walk home from my local pub but due to it being dark and walking through unlit alley ways I usually pay for a taxi or ask a friend for a lift. Something my brother has never had to do. Even though it empowers me to look a certain way, I also believe [I] feel that way because I know if I dress in a certain way at work I’ll be taken more seriously. If I wear a blazer, shirt and trousers with heels and my hair in a neat bun and full face of make up, then I’ll be taken more seriously because I ‘look’ more professional and ‘prett[y]’ according to the society men have laid out in front of us.’


‘Not that I can think of.’ 

‘I change my behaviours and the way I dress in certain situations to feel safer and to be viewed in a particular manner.’

‘Especially when I am out at night I find myself taking precautions to feel more comfortable, and when I perhaps apply for jobs, I feel my taking steps to “tone down”’

‘Yes, there definitely have been many instances where I found myself changing something to feel safer in the society. It is a constant journey of learning and unlearning. Moreover my journey has been unlearning the belief of changing myself to box in the categories of the society only to break free from the myths and be proud of being in my own skin.’

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