Tag Archives: feminism

Society: To Hell in a Handbasket With Just One App?

The “HuffPo Women” section of the Huffington Post often brings tears to my eyes. Tears from laughing at ridiculous or crying because we’re doomed…it matters not. Supposedly a page to empower women and highlight “equality” between men and women, the page is often littered with topics that distinctly make women…feminine. This week, one of the articles details “The Most Offensive Apps for Women” with the most offensive one being ‘SkinnyCam’ where you can supposedly upload a photo of yourself and “pinch” yourself thinner to see what you would look like if you shed a few pounds here and there.

::sigh::

The whole ‘body images of women are deteriorating on account of societal pressure’ really bugs the heck out of me. Allow me to turn their argument around on them: Essentially feminists are saying that women aren’t strong enough to combat the “pressures” to be thin from society. I could argue that men in magazines and on TV shows have an unreasonable expectation for their looks as well but we don’t see men caving to the pressure and crying in their clothes because they have to go purchase the next size up in jeans. So are women weak?

The reason I haven’t given feminists any credence to date is because they make arguments out of the most ridiculous things. I doubt men sit around uploading photos of women onto SkinnyCam with their buddies drinking beer and acting all manly only to then return home to show their girlfriend, wife, life partner, mate –whatever-term-is-now-politically-acceptable– how much better they would look if they would just tweak the necessary curves according to a smartphone app. (They may do it now that I have suggested it, but I digress.) Can we all agree how ridiculous that sounds?

As a person who had a ever too long period of my life where I was not thin, I can confidently say that the pressures to be fit, thin and lean do not come from men or society or the magazine covers. The pressure is a personal thing. If you take away all the magazines, the TV ads, the Victoria Secret fashion shows and every last man…women will still feel inferior. Women don’t sit on the couch eating M&M’s and white cheddar popcorn and suddenly begin to feel self-conscious when a L’Oreal commercial comes on the screen. The folded arms, keep your purse in front of you while tugging on all your clothes come from standing next to a woman you feel looks better than you. This is because WOMEN COMPARE THEMSELVES TO ONE ANOTHER!
This will never change but ignoring the concept and deflecting does nothing. So I would like to see women acknowledge that they themselves want to look a certain way.

Magazines or no magazines, app or no app, men or no men…Let’s take some [personal] responsibility here.

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If I Looked Like a Victoria’s Secret Model, I’d Wear Wings Too

I’m pretty vain. Not about you or the guy down the street but I care a lot about how I look. I’d say my expectations for myself are likely more unrealistic than “what society expects of me”. I often wonder what makes me that way. I wasn’t abused as a child, I wasn’t bullied, and I didn’t have any other “triggers” that would make me focus on my appearance–other than the fact that I spent some time in my teen years a “bit” overweight. (No need for numbers here, they don’t matter now. It’s a thing of the past. I’ve also burned every picture from that era so don’t expect some lovely before and after creation.)

I played with Barbie, was a tennis player who loved the cute outfits and when I receive the Victoria’s Secret catalog in the mail, I still have about 3 minutes of unrealistic goal setting which usually ends with me heading to the gym.

This all has nothing to do with the societal movement to be thin or fit or whatever the trendy phrase is today. Playing with Barbie as a child did not incline me to believe a certain body type was “right” and I never believed that people on TV were what I was supposed to look like. That’s why the yearly outrage over the Victorias Secret fashion show makes me SO mad.

Maybe when we were all still in the dark about modest airbrushing, maybe when we shifted pant sizes make the former size 4 a size 2 to mess with women’s minds and maybe when Jane Fonda was the leader in fitness, I could understand the “pressure”. Maybe.

But now we know that magazines shape things up to make the models look better. (Sometimes they even airbrush limbs off on accident). Now we know that the average female is not going to look like something from Victoria’s Secret without working out 3 hours a day, every day, and eating minimally. And we know many guys who there who don’t even appreciate such a body type. We know all of this. And people are still very, very angry. You sound like feminists.

If you want to live your life making choices by whether or not a Victoria’s Secret model would do it, then that is your right. It is also your right to eat as you please, not exercise and deal with the ramifications of that. And every lifestyle in between.

My point here is that YOU are in control of YOU and a girl in lingerie shouldn’t irritate you, infuriate you or send you into a rant. If you’re comfortable with yourself, then it “ain’t no thang”. We claim that the media shouldn’t dictate aspects of our lives (political, monetary, etc.) What is the difference here? Why are people so intimidated by a company that historically portrays LINGERIE on skinny MODELS? You don’t have to watch it, you don’t have to buy it, and you don’t have to look like them.

For the record, if I looked like a Victoria’s Secret model…I’d walk around wearing wings, too.

But I don’t, so here’s me…all bundled up

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