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.
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.
I’ve done quite a few pieces on underlying messages in movies, games, books and things of the like that are aimed at children. One of my very first blogs was on the Game of Life and examined how the game has evolved to reflect several liberal- borderline socialist- foundations. The criticism I presented was much different from that presented in a recent Huffington Post article analyzing messages in board games.
At first I REALLY thought it was a joke. The author of the article mentioned the damage caused to children when they find out the hippos in real life aren’t pastels like in Hungry, Hungry Hippos or that it isn’t ethical to perform open-heart surgery on a conscious patient.
But then! Then, the article starts in, stating, Monopoly teaches children “how to stifle competition, squeeze rent from squatters that stop by their properties and exert maximum profits at all costs” or that Guess Who focuses on “Is it a man? Does he wear glasses? Is he white? These are the sort of ways that kids are encouraged to categorize people” or even that the Game of Life “teaches us that you MUST get married (to someone of the opposite sex, of course), that purchasing insurance or pursuing a college education really have very little impact on your future, and that you should only help the homeless if you’ll get a reward afterward”. They even go as far to say that Operation will lead children to believe that a black market for organs is okay and that Old Maid shames unmarried women. What the…
This article is just a shameless attack on conservative values. I can’t figure out if the author is angry at the companies who produce these games, the people who play them or just herself because all she ever turned out to be in her ‘Game of Life’ is a writer for the Huffington Post. To imply that a daughter will assume it’s ‘okay’ to sneak out and meet her ‘motorcycle-riding boyfriend’ in the middle of the night after playing Don’t Wake Daddy is absurd. If your child is sneaking out or selling organs (or drugs) or is racist or values money and nothing else it is simply a reflection of your parenting and the values you instill. If you feel attacked by the game Old Maid, you may have some self-esteem issues to work on yourself.
It ends with asking whether or not children are better off playing video games…What do you think?
Take a look at the generalizations they made for the corresponding games.
||“How to Be the 1%”
||“How to Profile”
|The Game of Life
||“How To Equate Lifelong Success With Money”
||“How To Perform A Live Dissection”
||“How To Laugh When Your Kin Die Of Dysentery”
||“How To Stalk People”
|Don’t Wake Daddy
||“How To Sneak Around Your Parents”
|Hungry, Hungry Hippos
||“How To Overestimate Dangerous Animals”
||“How To Develop A Shopping Addiction”
||“How To Shame Unmarried Women”
||“How To Get A Sugar Habit”