Today's Smart is Sexy Sunday's post was originally going to be about etiquette. Then while perusing around Barnes and Nobles, I stumbled across a magazine cover that instantly made me angry. That's when I decided that this post was going to be about the female and her image in media today.
In college, I took a class titled Women Artists. We studied Camille Claudel, Leonor Fini, Cindy Sherman and so many others (these three just so happen to be my heroes). I remember how angry I felt when I learned of Rodin and his Camille. How I identified with Cindy Sherman and her "message of feminism", and how guilty I felt when I realized that I referred to male artists by their last name, and to female artists by their first (art history books do it all the time).
|I typed in "female image" into Google, and this is what I got|
I remember sitting in class and thinking "What is this deep injustice in the world? Why are women treated so sub-par? Why is this still an issue?" Yet years after college, and nearly four years after our country showed the world that we could look past skin color when it came to electing a president, "bitch" -a female breeding dog - is still a word that is used by highly regarded media to describe a woman. I now find myself asking "Are we as women, our own worst enemy?"
I mean hell - look at Anna Wintour. Would you describe her as the warm, and nurturing soul of Vogue? Should she be described as one because she is a woman? Should she be considered any less of a woman because we (the media) want her to have a nurturing, motherly image but doesn't? If women behaved the way the media would have us want them to behave, would any woman be in any position of power? (I would venture to say no, because that "woman" wouldn't want it.)
We still live in a world where a woman is judged not entirely by her education, her status in her community, or her intellect. Who's fault is that? After much thought and introspect, I've found my answer. The fault is mine. I take full responsibility. If the Editor in Chief of a widely circulated and well known magazine who just so happens to be a woman can put this on her front cover:
Then I know that I as a woman, have done something terribly awry. Now the question is, what do I do to change this? How do I speak up to let others around me know that this is something I will no longer tolerate? That media images that glorify rape, child-like pornography (disguised as perfume ads), eating disorders, and sexual abuse is not okay? It's not okay with me! It never was! If this is something that I am so against, then someone please tell me how images such as these and the brands that they represent ended up in my home, on my computer, on my phone, and on my wishlist?
I don't pretend to have all the answers. I'm not even calling for a boycott. However what I am saying is that I do have a lot of thinking to do. I never meant for things to go this far - for the female image to become so low - for women to be treated as sex objects that you can order online - as childlike and objectified playthings. Did you?