Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be offered membership to any militant uber-feminist club, because I love my Dior mascara and my high heeled shoes and my pushup bras too much, and I’d be hard-pressed to give them up. But I’ll tell you what – I am sick and tired of being told through the media that as a woman I need to alter myself to be acceptable. As if it weren’t enough that we are ridiculed for not having big enough breasts, or being too fat, we are constantly being told through print media, ads and our celebrity population that we must shoot ourselves full of botulism and chemical fillers so that we don’t offend anyone with our age. We are blasted nonstop with ads for plastic surgery, diet products, anti- aging blah blah blah….And this past week I saw not one but TWO stand up comedians making fun of women for having pubic hair. They joke about it as if it so crude and unnatural for a woman to have pubic hair. What’s unnatural is for a sexually mature female to NOT have pubic hair. (and believe me, never in my life did I think I’d ever be blogging about pubic hair)
The message being sent through the media to all women and young girls is this:
To be acceptable in our society is to be perpetually young with a thin, narrow boy-like body, the large, full firm breasts of a lactating mother, and the bare genital area of a little girl.
Did you get that? Read it again, and then think about it.
Why are women held to these sick, twisted standards? We look back in horror at how the Chinese used to cripple their girls by binding their feet to achieve their standard of beauty. But look at us, America, the land of the free. Are we really free?
We mutilate our bodies through surgeries and injections, implants and extractions, always striving for that unattainable notion of perfection which doesn’t exist. We are slaves to an unreachable standard of beauty, and are subtly encouraged to feel some level of shame for not achieving it.
Even More magazine, which is a magazine for women over forty, airbrushes their cover models then tells you “This is what 45 looks like”. No! That is NOT what 45 looks like- that’s what airbrushing looks like.
And this ugly message of “you are not enough” is affecting our daughters. Last night I sat with my Japanese daughter-in-law as she cried and cried over gaining three pounds in her eighth month of pregnancy. No matter how much I told her how beautiful she looks, and how normal and healthy it is to gain weight in your pregnancy, I couldn’t erase her shame. In Japan, she told me, no one will love you if you’re fat.
As women we have got to RAIL against this damaging message, and stop it from being passed down to the next generation. So what can we do, each of us, to stop this? I need to come up with some ideas before I start going all “Eve Ensler” on someone’s ass.
Here is MY message, as a woman, to ALL media and stand up comics, and I hope you’ll say it with me:
I am a REAL woman, with real breasts and hips and smile lines.
I will NOT conform to your unhealthy standards. I will stand in my truth and learn to love myself just as I am.
Oh and by the way, Barbie can KISS MY ASS!