The whole thing of how women’s perception of themselves has been steamrollered by the gaze of men is … soul-emptying.
How can one begin to understand oneself when one is bombarded by images and expectations created by people who are not you? Who have zero idea of what it is like to inhabit the body of a woman? Because, to live in the actual body of a woman is not a superficial thing. It is not about having a certain figure. It is not about moving in a particular manner. Or speaking in a particular manner. Or anything else that is put upon you by an external observation.
Living in the body of a woman, an understudied subject although we are half the human race, is about things internal. Biological things that men do not and will never experience. Our bones are even different. The chemicals that course through our bodies are uniquely distinct from that of men. We experience pain differently. And wow, the life of a woman, a mature woman, is a hell of a lot about pain.
Yes someone outside of you can observe things about you that you may not be consciously aware of. But they CANNOT LIVE INSIDE YOUR BODY.
So we remain mysterious, unknown except as defined by the other one. To our detriment.