Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Modern Pin Up's Feminist Perspective

I am incensed; absolutely bounding with fury.
I was reading something very clever on CNN, recapping the Golden Globes, which I sadly missed, and at the bottom of the article there are hyperlinks to similar stories or featured editorials that compare with the article you’ve finished. We should all be familiar with these; these are the hyperlinks that will be ‘just a quick read’ that lead us to avoiding work for 15 minutes longer than anticipated. I clicked on one of these said articles simply because of the heading, which as a feminist, inflamed my senses with curiosity: “Stars who look Awful without Makeup.”
The actual heading turned to “37 Celebrities Who Should Always Wear Makeup” (equally as disappointing). There are several things wrong with this pictured opinion slide show, I will name only a few:

No. 1: It was published. It would behoove our society to thwart trash like this from being published. We should unite to fight the ludicrous standards of beauty forced on women due to the media.

To clarify, I am not for censorship, in any rational degree. And of course, people can have their opinions about these terrible things. However, does the publication and promotion of such topics make it relevant and newsworthy? This article was no ‘worst dress list.’ This was about someone’s natural look, their face. They may have well named the article “Stars who are naturally hideous!” Which may be a more appropriate title for the point they were making.

I believe, as should we all, that by averting the promotion of this sub par 'journalism,' we are choosing not to contribute to the degradation of the female sex and are electing to enrich society for the positive. Instead, why not speak about celebrities who do positive things for the environment. Or praise them for their volunteer efforts?

The beauty of free speech is that we can elect to write about anything and have the freedom to do so. Should we write our opinions about who is an ugly celebrity? Would it make any difference if we exchanged these ‘ugly without make up’ celebrities for the people in the surrounding cubicles, or your neighborhood cul-de-sack, or church congregation? Then it would be considered libel.

No. 2: It was a hyperlink
Seriously, CNN, get with it. We can elect to publish and promote anything. What it is says something about the organization who promotes it, or allows it as an "around the web" featured article. Perhaps there is control, perhaps not, however it needs to be brought to attention.

No. 3: It was thought to be newsworthy
Women are punished for looking normal, looking beautiful, looking bad, looking left and looking right. Honestly, do we need to enrich our hatred of each other or hone our ‘Mean Girl’ behavior further? If it was men, my opinion would not change in the slightest.

Women are unfairly given standards by which to live and we are still fighting men, the workplace, the struggle of parenthood, society, stereotypes and each other for justice. I simply ask of all of my readers to question this? WHY!?

No. 4: These women are not awful with or without makeup.
These women are accomplished. They are human. They have families. They have pets. They have someone who loves them.
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die?"

No. 5: People read it. 
Question ourselves. Would this pathetic, drivel of an ‘article’ have been of note, if not for the frequency of views? Personal responsibility has to take hold somewhere. Just as a person can elect to write it, a news agency can elect to publish it, we can elect to NOT read it. Why contribute to something that would hurt others? Reading about a celebrity who may or may not have blackheads is not going to positively (or negatively) affect my day. In fact, it will waste my time.

Now, there are some who will read this and have the opinion that celebrities elect to become the object of scrutiny by their choice of career and/or status in life. One could possibly look at it this way; sure, celebrities do subject themselves to a level of scrutiny and their lives and choices will be inspected. Evidently, I do not agree with it and I especially do not think that the celebrity rags available at Nail Salons should be in existence – Yet, it is a very true statement; their lives will be under a microscope.

Nevertheless, does that make it ethical for one to scrutinize them over the face with which they were born?! If we do this, we will subsequently be reading of their botched reconstructive plastic surgery done in an effort to change the face that the public so disliked. Not only is the judgment questionable, the principle is as 

Allowing articles, such as this beaut, to be in existence and given any number of ‘hits’ is a terrible example for the young men and women of any generation. My cousin just turned 16 and I am petrified that she will have to experience or, heaven forbid, has experienced some of this torment.

These unrealistic expectations of ‘thigh gaps’ and horrendous YouTube ‘Am I Pretty’ videos astonish me (seriously, Google it, it will mortify you). Why are we, in the year 2014, allowing women and girls to be the subject of such a terrible scrutiny? This type of microscopic lens is not justifiable for either gender. Why would we subject anyone to this type of hazing? Although the legal system has not yet caught up with Internet trolls and Internet hate crimes (and I will go ahead and claim this to be as such, if not for the reality, at least for the weight of importance), why should we just idly accept it as an acceptable practice. When the law does huff and puff itself up to technology's heels, perhaps then we will be able to move beyond.
In the interim, personal responsibility and conscious choices may be one of the few options we have as a community. Stick together. Support Women. Support Men. Support one another. Stand against hate.

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