Botox. Selfies. Boob jobs. Fillers. Sexy instagram photos. Piercings. Crop tops. No bra. Push-up bra. Not enough makeup. Too much makeup. Hair extensions. Hair too short. Too thin. Too fat. Too muscular. Too tan. Too pale. Too wrinkley. Too plastic. Too many tattoos. Too much body hair. Not enough body hair. Too feminine. Too masculine. Too edgy. Too basic. Too sexy. Not sexy enough. No lips. Fake lips.
As a culture, we put a disproportionate amount of value on the way a woman looks, valuing youth, thinness, and conventional white attractiveness. Think Instagram algorithm. Yet it seems, no matter what a woman does with her body, whether she looks like a modest and virginal supermodel or rebels against ideals completely, shaving her head and refusing to shave her legs or commit to a gender pronoun, someone has some shit to talk about it.
We, as a culture, value a woman’s beauty, yet it seems no matter the trajectory she takes, we have ample criticisms to offer in her personal representation of her feminine beauty.
When we rag on women for their lip injections and boob jobs in the name of feminism, we attempt to tear town the woman abiding by the social and cultural standards we keep in place with our hard earned dollars when we buy wrinkle creams, push up bras, and lipstick.
In other words, we’re hypocrites if we partake in the culture that asks us to shave our legs, pluck our brows, and wear mascara, and then rag on a woman who has the cash and desire to take it further with, say, bigger tits.
Maybe that woman isn’t getting bigger boobs to be more attractive to men. Lesbians get boob jobs, too. Women like boobs, too, you know. Maybe she’s not objectifying herself. Maybe she’s queer and is turned on by tig ol’ biddies, and having them will enhance her own sexual experience. Maybe she sees herself as a blank canvas, and tattoos, hair dye, and cosmetic surgery are like a big dress up chest for her.
Maybe she doesn’t shave her legs because she likes saving money and time, and for her it rules out dates that are not granola or open minded enough for her.
If a woman lets herself get soft, she’s lazy, but if she’s too fit, she’s self obsessed. She’s a slut if she dresses too revealing, a prude if she dresses too modest. She’s too basic or too weird. We can’t win. No one wins. Not the contestants, not the judges. The only winner is the beauty and fashion industry who keep raking in the bills as we strive for impossible standards.
Let’s just stop. The culture that says it’s ok to comment on, criticize, demean, and fine tune a woman’s appearance is the same culture that reinforces the idea that it is ok to touch or violate a womans body. Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me… or can they? Can words send subliminal messages that it’s ok to hurt women?
We don’t comment on mens bodies the way we do with womens. Sure, we may throw some flack for a guy taking a shirtless mirror selfie or getting a supremely hip haircut, but for a woman daring something similarly risque? She’ll be labeled a whore, reported, inundated with dick pics, or hash tagged #daddyissues.
This goes back to the age old conundrum of Americas simultaneous obsession with and repulsion to sex. Namely, American culture’s idea of the ideal female looks and acts like a virgin who could, essentially, act like a whore in private. It’s impossible and there’s no winner.
Let’s start catching ourselves when we see a woman and judge her for her outfit, her selfies, her sex appeal or lackthereof. Let’s not demonize a woman who goes under the knife in an attempt to abide by the very beauty standards we condemn her for. We value femininity and having a full set of breasts and butt, and yet we judge woman who spend their hard earned cash (or someone elses) to achieve this. Who is this helping?
Women have agency over their lives and their bodies, and it’s really not your place, whether you’re a man or a woman or anything in between, to comment on that.
Of course, free speech is a wonderful thing, and do as you will. This isn’t about free speech. This is about realizing you’re wasting your breath when you criticize a woman’s appearance or the choices she makes in fine tuning that appearance, because you’re feeling entitled to criticize a woman for, say, plastic surgery, is the same culture that created the demand for it. In other words, it makes you a hypocrite.
When we judge others or try to control others, we’re shrinking ourselves. One, we’re wasting our precious energy trying to control things out of our control, which is always a losing game, and two, we’re closing off our minds to the unlimited possibilities as to why a person is the way they are and do the things they do.
Perhaps she sees her body like art, and turning into a cartoon version of herself fulfills some creative expression. Perhaps surgery increased her earning potential in her field, and she had kids to feed or an abusive relationship to leave.
We never know, and when we assume, we stay stuck in small minded thinking.
We’re essentially all wasting our energy if we pick each other a part, especially for the way we physically express ourselves. Energy is finite. Think of all the ways you could better spend your time. You could write a book, start a business, learn a new language, catch up on reading, get in amazing shape. You’re better than nit picking the way someone else looks.
Leave women the fuck alone for what they do with their bodies, essentially. Whether they want to look more androgynous or like hyperbolic feminine versions of themselves, just shut the fuck up about it. It is truly freeing to live and let live, and just be curious and interested to take note of all the wild characters we share the planet with.
A woman’s body is her souls home, and how she chooses to adorn it is really none of your business. If you were visiting someones home, you wouldn’t start audibly criticizing the decor. Sure, it might not be your cup of tea, but you understand it is someone elses version of home. Let’s start offering the same base level of respect to women and their bodies.
It is impossible to live up to the standards of youth and endless fertility while at the same time remaining all natural.
You cannot be a virgin and a whore, darling, no matter what advertising says. So let’s just let women adorn themselves as they see fit and finally accept that whatever they do is literally none of our business.