There's this one topic that's been tickling my mind
I would dare to say that women of today are quite shallow. Just walk into any drugstore and you'll see that 95% of the beauty and vanity products are designed for women. Yet, there's this popular opinion that this role is somehow imposed on us by the society. That's where we get to 'certain recent events' I mentioned - Essena O'Neil story that went viral. Essena, in her dramatic video confession advocates that social media is 'evil' and somehow it 'makes' you design yourself and your life to be likeable. Honestly, I can't agree on that. We are all free to choose our own aspirations. We are free to choose our idols. To set our own goals. Never have I ever felt the pressure to do my full make-up every single morning, and take pictures in order for people to like me. If I did feel that way, I would consider myself an unstable person.
So, who do we chose as our idols? I guess The Kardashians is one of the answers, because they're all over the place. And don't tell me that 'someone' is pushing them - that's what people ask for! That's what we ask for! Every other article is about their make up routine or their waist shaper corsets or their 'female empowering' giant buts! What exactly is empowering about someone's derrière?? There are thousands of female body types, and making women feel good in their skin is a great thing, really, but all we ever talk about is our exterior and how to make ourselves pretty. Again, don't get me wrong, everyone loves to look good and feel good, and they should. There's nothing wrong about that. But with such elaborate make up routines we see all over the Instagram - heavy contouring, eyebrow game, lip game, and so on - do you even have time for a single thought that doesn't revolve around your looks? Just think about how insecure (not to mention shallow) it makes you to rely only on your looks. If that's all you appreciate about yourself, of course you'll be vulnerable and feel pressure to present yourself as 'perfect' in order to be loved.
Why is it we never hear about women aspiring to be scientists? Authors? Why do we never talk about how important education is for women? When we read about Princess Diane, it's 99% of the time about her fashion sense. Same goes for Audrey, Coco and many others. We reduced all these incredible female figures to style icons. Once I heard someone calling Beyoncé the Queen of the world because - pay attention now - she posed semi naked for Vogue only a few months after giving birth. Is that supposed to be my ultimate goal to achieve? Just think - how many times have you seen an advert where woman is naked/wearing sexy lingerie next to a man in a suit? Million times at least! That happens because we accept that role, not because someone imposes that on us. There's nothing wrong about naked female body, it's the most beautiful thing that exists. The problem is that we put our sexuality first. We base ourselves on it. We act like it's all we have to offer and we reduce ourselves to it. Again, you're just making yourself vulnerable, because there will always be someone prettier and someone better looking!
I remember an article about a woman who took her daughter's Barbie dolls and wiped their make up off, and then drew 'ordinary' faces on them. I find that beyond ridiculous. People always say that 'society influences kids this way, that way', and that's just plain avoiding responsibility. I played with full make up Barbie dolls as a little girl, I watched MTV, I read glossy magazines... but that was not what educated me. My parents educated me. My mom taught me woman should look good, but also should have something in her head. Society and media can't possibly have bigger influence on a child than their parents!
You can't put all the emphasis on your body and sex appeal, and then complain about nobody caring about your brains. Put your brains out there, dare say something smart! Do something smart! Choosing the easy way will never bring extraordinary results. If you want to be respected for your brains, then don't just share pics of your but on social media. Do something respect worthy, and by that I don't mean posting quotes from the books you never red. Yeah, right, everyone's inspired by the exact same Bukowski quote. How deep. Come on! You can do better. We can do better than that!
So what is the point of this rant, you might wonder? Honestly, I'm desperate. I'm ashamed of what we, as women, have become. All that people want to see and read are these shiny pretty shallow things, and I refuse to give in. That's not what you'll find here. Also, I believe you should shape your audience. Educate. This one post will most definitely not correct all the wrongs, but it might ignite a change. It might make you feel uncomfortable, it might move you. I really hope it will!
So tell me - did you know you were free not to follow where everyone else is going?
Photo Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia, 1989