Feminism should not create the yardstick by which women should express themselves. It should not make rules or tell women how to be female. It should create a platform to enable women showcase and express their diverse natures and features as women
Don’t get me wrong, fashion and style are not bad in themselves. Women by their nature love to be beautifully adorned, glamorous and attractive. It gives them the boost they need when the situation warrants it. It helps them rise to the “occasion”.
However, most of these adornments and practices are not natural. Many are man-made. Something that is not natural can be good for short-term, occasional use but surely not long-term daily use.
That said, another concern is the risk they may impose on a woman’s mental view about herself. By adorning this fashion and styles too regularly, sometimes, the view of the person regarding their self image starts to become distorted. A new 3D image becomes projected daily through enhancements, styles and various beauty regimes until but the woman in question as well as her onlookers start to forget the original less fantastic image of the woman. It then gets to a point where the woman rejects herself, her real image… in the mirror.
This problem creeps in gradually until even the woman begins to want this image to be painted on as soon as she opens her eyes to the world. Feminism means women are now free to express themselves in any way they choose. For those in the media as well as the so-called icons of feminism who project only perfect images for others to copy I ask is this truly feminism?
Should feminism not also include ways to help women accept who they are? A little touch up here and there might be okay but surely a complete metamorphosis (to the extent that an un-adorned “self” becomes unrecognisable) cannot be healthy.
That’s not to mention the constant blow taken by the female skin from the endless array of products which leave the woman in a vicious cycle of perfection. This is on the other hand to the delight of the capitalist who sells enough products to feed various stages in the cycle depending on the aspect of perfection or enhancement the woman chooses to fixate on. Make up, hair, skin, weight-loss, diets etc.
Nobody is perfect….
At this juncture, a rather dissimilar analogy comes to mind and so, i digress but with good reason.
I remember the case of bad music as a child. A particular song would be released by the media. The popular opinion about that song would be that it was more of a joke than a song.
The initial response would be of disdain and apathy towards everything that made up the musical piece. However in no time, as the radio station carried on playing the “joke song” regardless, the opinions about the song would begin to change. Not to appoint a love but mostly to a point of tolerance.
After months of airplay people although acknowledging the imperfections of the “joke song”, would begin to hear other aspects, elements and less obvious sounds in the song until it became palatable. In no time, a point would be reached when people would find themselves chanting the song. As ridiculous as this was, It was all because they became used to hearing the song.
Now back to my argument….
Perhaps beauty, fashion and feminism can be treated this way. Women must not only be able to express their feminism in the way they like, but must also be empowered to resist the pressure of conforming with any set rules for female expression. Perhaps if women continue to constantly project and impose their real selves on the world and stopped succumbing to the idea of picture-perfectedness, like the music on the radio in our earlier analogy, they will become accepted for who they are.
Maybe if women did not curl away at the slightest criticism of the imperfection, they will be taken more seriously. It is fair to say that people will only take us as seriously as we take ourselves. We all have to learn that completely and constant acceptability is not real.
Nobody is perfect….
Not really. People tend to project aspects of themselves that are appealing to others. Nobody puts their bad foot in front first at least not knowingly. Neither the people dry their dirty linen in public. People hardly go for interviews showcasing their weaknesses while leaving the strengths at home. Therefore we are all flawed by our imperfections and made unique because they exist. If we choose to only focus on what we lack in our beauty, body, wardrobe, then we lose sight of the bigger picture.
In the same way you are not only your face or your hair or your shape or your belly as you may want to believe. You are a complete package. You are a person…a woman.
Be the self that makes and keeps you happy. Do not join the team natural (who do not adorn or beautify themselves even for special occasions) if you don’t want to. Stay on the team you want because you want to and not because you have been forced to by the media, people or even your demands on yourself. Remember, the real people who love you will do so unconditionally. So stay true to yourself.
Thank you for reading
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