I normally try to reserve my blog for things related to my craft of work, but every once in a while (which seems more often lately) something really irks me and I feel I need to write about it. I chalk it up to saying, I am still writing, which in a sense is a “craft.”
The other day I was approached by a stranger who said, “You would be amazing to photograph, you have a beautiful face, very pretty legs, but I think you would have to trim down the middle if you wanted to make it a serious profession.” One, no I don’t want to make being a model a serious profession, I have no idea where that came from. And two, the nerve people have saying this to complete strangers. I in fact did not reply, mainly because it would have turned into me screaming at him about how rude it is to tell a woman she should try to be smaller, skinnier, more trim. Basically, if someone ever approaches me and says, “You’re chubby, you should hop on a treadmill,” I might actually punch them in the face. If I come back demanding respect I get the “she’s a feminist crazy girl” look, which honestly most women should have. We are women yes, we do demand respect, and I am one that will fight until I achieve it.
When did it become more attractive to look like a mini bean pole? When were curves and a full bodied woman seen as unattractive? I don’t think beauty is about a dress size I think it’s about the confidence you carry, the dazzle of your personality, however I have never had a guy come up to me and say, “wow, your brain is beautiful.” Women are looked at as a sexual object. We are objectified, shot down, pushed into the corset of societies ideals of what beautiful should be. We wake up and pile on the makeup and hair products, we squeeze into tight dresses and short skirts, snap into the super lift extra curvy bra and plaster on the sparkling smile because….why? To impress? To feel beautiful? We buy certain outfits that not only fit, but also slim, to hide unwanted extra belly fat or disguise the extra wide hips and larger thighs. This isn’t just annoying, it can be utterly depressing. And then you open a magazine and see all the size zero models with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect outfits and massive amounts of Photoshop that ISN’T REAL!!
Women are taught at a young age, through ways of observation, that we are to be thin and dainty. We must refrain from speaking our minds and keep opinions to ourselves. If we choose to speak we must choose our words wisely. Women aren’t to be on top in the work place, we are to remain just beneath the status quo. You know what I say to that, I say SCREW IT! No, I will not take a back seat when I want to sit in the front. I will wear pants and tank tops and flats to work if I want to, I will wear a dress when it suits ME. I will speak honestly, and don’t think I won’t be forward you will hear what I am thinking. Yes I do want that last cookie, no I don’t want to stop eating bread, yes I know that sandwich has calories, and no I don’t want a non-fat extra lite soy calorie free latte. Give me the sugar, the fat, the everything I want because I want it. In a lovely poetry slam edition, a poet named Lily Myers stood and shared an impressive poem called “Shrinking Women.” http://hereandnowwbur.org It’s worth a watch, and it explains the issues of what we have learned through our lives as a woman and how completely ridiculous it is that we continue to live this way.
Mean while, on the male’s side, I won’t lie you have your own fish to fry. But….you can actually eat the fried fish can’t you? You don’t worry about too much extra when you waltz into older age, men look esteemed and classic with grey hair, round glowing cheeks, a full belly and a scruff of beard. Women, you better color that hair. You better buy gobs of wrinkle contol, pore diminishing, skin brightener, luminating cream, cover up, and when all else fails go under the knife to rip out the fat, tuck up the laughter lines and crow’s feet and why not lift the flat breasts while you’re at it so the world has something to look at when they are talking to you. Do you see the ridiculousness of this harsh difference? I'd you don't you are...ignoring it.
The problem with being a woman and dealing with this struggle to maintain appearances is that even when you go the lengths to be “perfect” from the eyes of the world today, it doesn’t always work. In the business world, it almost doesn’t matter what you look like, you are female and that is already one negative aspect against you. When thinking about publishing my novel I am thinking of using a suedo name so that I am not based on my name alone when people go to look at my work. How sad is that? I am afraid that I won’t be judged on my work, but solely on my sexual being. I am a woman, therefore my novel is filled with yucky women stuff, lovey dovey mush, and of course whiny unmanageable characters. NO YOU ARE WRONG! That doesn’t stop the publishing world from thinking it though. In a Huffington Post article I was amazed at the research done by VIDA stating the differences of publication stats of men and women.
“According to VIDA's study, the New Yorker published 459 pieces by men vs. 165 pieces by women in 2011. The New Republic published 198 articles by men vs. 50 articles by women. The New York Times Book Review reviewed 520 male authors vs. 273 female authors. It is not the first time someone has called the New York Times Book Review out on not paying enough attention to female novelists.”- Huffington Post
“The numbers show what many of us have suspected or known for a while: women are underrepresented on every level in these publications.
The stats are published online in the form of pie charts, and there’s something peculiarly poignant about seeing them broken down in this way: the small blue female slice, often scandalously slim, in a big red pie. The New York Review of Books last year published 79 women and 462 men; The Times Literary Supplement reviewed books by 330 women and 1036 men; The Paris Review interviewed one woman author and seven men. That’s a small slice.”- The Wheeler Center
I wish I could say, “I am going to change the worlds view on this!” I wish I could say that it were as easy as a spoken word, but it isn’t. Women look at themselves with a notion of needing to make themselves better to fit in. Look at Marilyn Monroe, she changed everything about herself just to take a place in the spotlight. She was a beautiful curvy woman, but the spot light highlights the flaws society deems unworthy of perfection. I can’t change what people think, but I can change how I live my own life. I am who I am, and I will be loved that way or not, but I won’t allow the NOTS to cinch me into the mold they prefer. I am a size 10, I have curves and I am proud of what my mama gave me. Take it or leave it, because I will never change my appearance or who I am for someone else’s gratification.
So I am going to go eat a healthy sandwich, because I want to, and follow it up with a big pint of ice cream…because YUM! You better hide delicious calories, I am coming to get you!!!