My sister is visiting me here in
There isn't enough variation in dressing, attitude, hair, looks...within gender while at the same time there is quite a distinct divide between the genders. So for instance, I see women who are all following the same fashion trend (say WIDE belts slung low over the hips), long-er hair, and high heels tottering around on cobbles in all weather. Everytime I look around, I see women scurrying to keep up with male partners. Their stille-toes however, won't allow them to stride so they end up taking these fast mincing little steps which looks ridiculous rather than sexy. And they always end up walking behind the man (talk about allegorical positioning of the sexes) who can stride and lead the way. Even in the coldest weather, you can see these women wearing hardly anything. They are supposed to look sexy- but goose bumps and a funny walk don't do it for me- but of course, they aren't doing it for me anyway- so hey, WIN-WIN!
Gray on a man – distinguished and even sexy. Gray on a woman – past shelf-life. Admittedly, more and more men are also facing the pressures to conform but nowhere close to what women have to deal with. The hair color industry is reaping the rewards of our conformity to vain ideals. Meantime, studies telling how toxic hair color really is can find hardly any readers. Who cares about health if you can look young and sexy?
We are being shown a caricature of the perfect, sexy and feminine woman with constant images over all media of women like Paris Hilton (blonde, thin, lanky, baby voice, and no substantive messages to detract from her femininity – that would probably spoil it all), Jessica Simpson (same with added bonus of boobs and I’m not talking about the guy she recently divorced), Sienna Miller (umm, I really don’t know what this woman is famous for other than what is called her “Boho” style and the boob that she hangs around), Britney Spears (formerly sexy, now that she is pregnant again, she is losing her spot as a sex bomb while Christina Aguilera continues to retain hers)… This could go on ad infinitum if we looked at all the latest film starlets who are getting the roles, the “super” models, etc. It is as if they are the ultimate in feminine ideal and the last word in sexiness and we can only ever hope to aspire to it.
While I began noticing these trends in the
Why is what is feminine and sexy being defined into a narrower and narrower range? And why are we letting it dictate our own sense of our worth and how we should appear? On the one hand, facial and body hair on women is considered gross (ok perhaps not by you particularly, but you know many people do) and unsexy. On the other hand, as any woman who has been with a partner knows, that whether or not they have passionate sex and how often has nothing to do with whether she shaved her legs and armpits today or at all.
We are told that it is the biological imperative that impels us to be as feminine and sexy as possible. However, feminine and sexy used to encompass a wide range. Well, really it still does except we refuse to acknowledge how much variation there can be in the feminine and how lovely and rich that diversity can be. Women and curves used to be synonymous. Now, curvy is a euphemism for large or fat!!
We don't all have to look like we came from the same mold. Healthy women can come in all kinds of sexy shapes, sizes, colors, hairdos and attitudes. Most pictures you see in magazines are airbrushed so don't go b(u)y those. Aim for feeling at peace with yourself and healthy. You do not have to work on being feminine by buying products or coloring your hair or talking softly or dieting or whatever. You are by definition the epitome of femininity! Don't let the caricature of womanhood being projected all around you pigeonhole your lifestyle, outlook, demeanor, philosophy and attitude. Be You!