Introduction to our Problems:
I know that this may be a bit of a touchy subject but I must, I’m obliged to write about it, this subject being feminism, this feminism still being stuck on seeing women as more than sexual objects. I know that a lot of my male (and women) counterparts feel that this is a subject that has been well overdone and abused, that our equality has been reached, that now it is all a matter of choice. But to me it is not an overdone, abused subject matter, it is infuriating because of this initial choice.
Yes, I’m stating how uncomfortable I’m about how women are choosing to belong to the patriarchal notion that women are products to be sold. Women are too willing to let themselves become nothing but an image and this to me is frightening. The world has still not escaped the idea that women are glamorized property, a little piece of heaven to be owned. Just turn on American’s Next Top Model and see how every cycle every girl, some with great minds, is ready to just become a signifier of fantasy, the product to be sold to the hungry masses.
So what? Who cares if a young lady decides to become a model? Who cares if a young lady decides to produce pornography? The list could go on and on. Well, the problem lies in the simple fact that just because it was the lady’s choice she is still perpetuating the idea that she was meant to be sold and seen as an object. Even if she has control over her image she is still using the language that is rooted in patriarchal thinking. Her image is still being the one thing that is cherished and valued. Once this image is used it is so easy to dispose of and these ladies are not tissues.
But what of it? Not all of us are giving in to being products of fantasy. And if we are, then are we not contributing to this world’s beauty? Beauty, it is where the complexity of the problem begins. Beauty if handled carefully will not become a negative value, but, unfortunately, it is often mishandled. Mishandled in which it is often categorized as a young woman’s sole virtue. That it is championed as a virtue, a gift of god and a reflection of someone’s morality. A trait in which gives a woman success and happiness. But beauty in our society is a complete fabrication, of which most women do not belong to, unless they go to extreme measures (hours spent in front of the mirror – making sure you give the illusion of perfection, spending ridiculous amounts of money on the RIGHT clothing, plastic surgery, etc) . This leads to anxiety, frustration, competition and general all round muckiness. And in the end, if you find yourself giving in to the fantasy – a fantasy that has been around for hundreds of years, and it’s getting to old for you, me, us – you are indeed part of the problem.
I’m by no means saying stop making yourself presentable to society, no. I’m just saying stop stressing over whether or not you fit the mold. Cherish that mole above your eyebrow, love your crocked smile, take pride in not being a size zero and having the strength of an ox. But deeper than the superficial: love what is inside of you. Be proud of your mind and find what drives you. Every time I meet a girl completely obsessed with her looks and not seeing past it, a part of me dies. Or a girl who is convinced she is no good since she doesn’t have that perfect smile. These girls/women are all over the place, just turn over a stone and you’ll find them. Heck, I even fall under this disillusioned thinking. And why are we still falling for the fabrication? Because we are still bombarded with images of the fabrication and it has only gotten worse ever since Tyran Banks decided to continue the fabrication, by implanting the Barbie Doll myth further into the dreams of my generation.
Alls I’m saying is don’t get seduced into being one narrative. You are not just a baby making machine. You are not just a beautiful image. You are not a trophy. For fucking sakes accept yourself already. All women are beautiful, we just have to adjust are thinking: it starts with you. And perhaps if you accept yourself, perhaps we will stop being disullusioned in thinking that the lady that sells her image as a product is empowering; because ultimately the one that holds the cards is the buyer and generally that buyer isn’t really respecting it for what it should be.
But both images are the two sides of beauty: fantasy and vulgarity.