Monday, 18 June 2012

I'm Sexy and I know It

Let's talk about our current, hypersexual culture. You know, where a women's worth is measured by sexual allure, and where sexual allure is associated directly with femininity? No? You hadn't noticed?

And let's start small. Make-up. I wear make-up occasionally. I don't think it's a really anti-feminist thing to do. I can see the appeal of dressing up, and I don't see wearing make-up as undermining anything I believe. Men can dress up, women can dress up. There is definitely something attractive about being able to alter ones' appearance.

What's sad is when people want to alter their appearance to conform with a specific view of 'male' or 'female'. As a female the current image is: thin, large breasted, nice arse, scrupulous hair and make-up, and designer clothing. We are constantly bombarded with air-brushed images of how we ought to look. Not only that, but we are wholly convinced that this is a positive thing. That it's all about empowerment, you know, because ''you're worth it''.

I'm sorry, can someone remind me why a women's self-worth is measured by her appearance?

And for many of us, we can't imagine that it was any other way. The media convinces us that this is how it was, and how it's going to remain. Don't speak up. Don't say, "actually, I'm a pretty cool person, I'd PREFER people to acknowledge that". Wear push-up bras, get a boob job, layers of make-up, fake tan, fake nails, hair extensions, fake eyelashes, go on extreme diets, spend your money on how you present yourself. You're a woman of the 21st Century and you are here to look pretty. Celebrate it.

If you look at, for example, post-WW1 memoirs, where women have discussed how they measure their self worth, appearance was not on that list. Studying hard was. Concentrating was. Being reserved was, and so was making moral decisions. There are plenty of things on those lists that were a result of oppression, but the interesting thing is how the concerns back then, compare to the concerns of today. Even I find it hard to believe. I cannot imagine a time when being a woman has not been defined by sexual allure. I feel under pressure to conform. I have spent hundreds of pounds on trying to sculpt my body.

And I've resolved not to do this anymore. It's not easy when people make you feel like the odd one out for not conforming, but my role as a woman is most definitely not to dress up as a sex object. Be sexy, that's fine, that's great! But don't be sexy BECAUSE you're a woman. Don't feel like that's your role in society, like that's some kind of power over men or something.

People constantly try to justify the way we feel by telling us it's our choice. It's hardly a choice when the alternative is to be isolated by society. If we don't feel like we have any real talent but we think it's acceptable, desirable and easy enough to make some money glamour modelling, you're not going to find very many women who are going to say no.

That's not a choice. It's a logical conclusion of a hypersexual culture... And it's pretty sick when you stop to think about it.

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